Are you overwhelmed with anxiety or stress? Do you live in Arizona? Then you may be happy to hear that this desert state does recognize the emotional support animal as a valid therapeutic treatment plan to help those that suffer from a psychological or mental disability. Although the laws surrounding the ESA are not quite as liberal as those of Service Dogs, you can still reap some benefits of having an official emotional support animal.
If you feel that an emotional support animal is right for you, complete the questionnaire in the link below to get help from an Arizona licensed medical/mental health professional. Having your ESA letter from an Arizona licensed therapist will allow you to travel and live with your support pet.
What Qualifies As a Disability in Arizona?
The sixth largest state takes their definition of a “disability” from the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes (but is not limited to) those conditions such as severe anxiety, PTSD, phobias, social anxieties, depression, etc. Many doctors/therapists are now prescribing an ESA as part of their patient’s wellness plan. The Federal government also agrees that the use of an emotional support animal should be recognized and given rights when it comes to “no pets” policy rental units and air travel.
Arizona Emotional Support Animal – Apartment Laws
The term “no pets allowed” in a rental unit does not apply to the individual with a legitimate emotional support animal. The landlord or building manager cannot under Federal law evict you or deny you housing because you need an animal to help you cope and manage a normal life. However, to help you gain access to these types of rentals, you should have a letter from your medical health professional.
This letter must contain very specific information for it to be considered legitimate. This includes;
- The ESA letter must be written within one year
- The letter must come from a licensed mental health or medical professional and written on his/her letterhead
- Your condition must substantially limit your ability to participate in at least one major life activity (sleep, work, etc.)
- Details stating your therapist’s license type, issue date, and state where it was issued
Once you have your legitimate emotional support animal letter, your landlord must provide you with reasonable accommodation. However, there is an exception to this rule. If the landlord can prove your ESA is a liability (poses a real threat or danger to the property or other tenants) he or she can evict you, ask you to re-home the ESA, or deny you housing altogether).
Arizona Emotional Support Animal – Air Travel Laws
The Air Carrier Access Act has been established to allow people with mental and emotional disabilities to travel with their emotional support animals. When flying out of Arizona, your ESA will have access to the cabin of the airplane without any extra fees charged to you. However, be ready to present your ESA letter from your mental health professional and be sure to call at least 48 hours before your departure date to inform the airline that you will be traveling with an emotional support animal. This courtesy call will give the airline plenty of time to seat you in a safe place.
To check on your airline’s emotional support policy, click here.
Emotional Support Animals in the Workplace
You cannot be discriminated against in Arizona when it comes to having an emotional support animal, but your employer is not required to accept your ESA. You can request that you be allowed to bring your ESA to work, but it must be sanctioned by your employer. You can send a written request to your HR department for your emotional support animal. Be aware that most employers will most likely want to see proof of your need for the emotional support animal if they grant your request. This is where your ESA letter would come into play.
Arizona residents are allowed to have an emotional support animal in “no pets” policy rental units, in the workplace and on an aircraft. However, be sure to get a formal letter written by your mental health professional. Having this letter will validate your need for the ESA and make dealing with landlords, bosses and airlines a whole lot easier.
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