The Silver State provides many ideal running areas for dogs, and surveys agree: Nevada cities received high grades for their access to dog parks and walking areas. If you’d like to bring your dog to a restaurant, Nevada has several dog-friendly options. All these benefits are favorable to get an emotional support animal in Nevada.
You may be wondering about making an emotional support animal part of your mental or emotional treatment plan. If you live in Nevada or plan to move there, the following information may be helpful in your decision-making process.
What is an ESA?
An emotional support animal (ESA) is an animal that provides emotional support to someone with mental or emotional concerns. An ESA however is not a service animal.
A service animal is trained to perform a specific task for someone with a disability. Unlike service animals, an ESA does not receive training to perform tasks like detect seizures or prevent falls. ESAs do, however, fulfill an emotional component for their owners simply by their presence.
These two federal laws protect Emotional support animals:
- Fair Housing Act, individuals who own emotional support animals cannot be discriminated against by landlords. A building’s policies and restrictions that apply to other pets do not apply to ESAs.
- Air Carrier Access Act, an ESA can accompany their handler in the cabin of the aircraft.
Because federal law protects ESAs, the owner of an ESA must have a valid ESA letter to be legal. An ESA must be a part of an individual’s mental health plan for their mental or emotional condition, and an ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional stating as such must be written.
What Is An ESA Letter?
An ESA letter provides written proof that an animal is working as part of an individual’s emotional or mental health recovery plan. The ESA letter verifies that an animal is more than a pet. The letter allows ESAs to enter public areas and reside in homes with their owners that are not typically pet-friendly.
Who can write an ESA letter?
The person writing the letter is required to be a “licensed healthcare professional,” these include:
- Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW),
- Licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT),
- Licensed mental health counselor (LMHC),
- psychologists, and
- licensed nurses and practitioners.
ESA letters are available either online or in person. If you are seeing a licensed healthcare professional for emotional or mental concerns, you can inquire with them about whether an ESA is right for your treatment. If you currently have no therapist or your doctor is out of state, you may consult a reputable and legitimate online service.
Should you decide to use an online ESA service, make sure that you are connected with an LMHP licensed in the State of Nevada.ESA Doctors, est. 2015
Where You Can Go With Your ESA
Because ESA are allowed in close quarters with people in public, ESA should be safe and well-behaved. However, the ADA and Fair Housing law only allow ESAs in:
- No Pets Allowed housing
- Within the cabin of an aircraft while with their owner or handler
- College dorms
- Places you can adopt an ESA, such as animal shelters
A common misconception is that ESAs are allowed wherever an owner goes. Although many establishments are very accommodating to ESAs, by law they are not required to host any emotional support animal.
Where You Can Adopt an ESA in Nevada
Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue
Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue (SNBR) connects beagles and mixed-beagle breeds with forever homes. After adoption, SNBR keeps their beagle community together through events and meetups. Once you find a beagle here, you’ll also find friends.
Desert Haven Animal Society
The Desert Haven Animal Society in Pahrump, Nevada, reunites lost pets with their owners and finds homes for stray and surrendered animals.
Pets for Vets Las Vegas Chapter
Pets for Vets pairs servicemen and women with animals as a way to heal trauma brought on by military service. Due to an emphasis on finding highly adoptable and loving animals, Pets for Vets is ideal for vets seeking a possible ESA.
Hearts Alive Village
Hearts Alive Village in Las Vegas, Nevada’s focus is on providing loving and unshelter-like conditions for their cats and dogs who are waiting for forever homes. They also have a donation bank where funds are used to help owners who can’t pay veterinary fees for their pets.
Where You Can Take Your ESA for Exercise, Especially Before a Flight
Before a long flight or trip, an ESA needs to be relieved. Failing to provide a dog the time to “go” can result in “an accident on an airplane.” Dogs also need to stretch their legs before a flight, because they tend to tolerate travel better when they’re tired. The following are top-rated dog parks near the McCarran International Airport.
McCarran Dog Relief Sites
On the grounds of McCarran International Airport are some dog relief sites. These relief spots are well kept, and they do the job. If you’re looking for some grass and sunshine for your dog, however, the following dog parks near McCarran may be what you’re looking for.
Barkin’ Basin Park
Barkin’ Basin Park boasts three separate dog areas, some cool shady trees for owners, and water fountains for both dogs and people.
Woofter Family Park
Woofter Family Park is a convenient spot to run your dog prior to flying. Clean and well-kept, the park has areas for both shade and sunshine.
Sunset Dog Park
Located within a gorgeous public park, Sunset Dog Park near McCarran International Airport boasts two large fenced areas for dogs. Loved by locals, you’re bound to find other dog lovers when you and your ESA are there. Though almost always filled with dogs, Sunset gives ample room for an ESA to run and play.
Your ESA in Nevada
In 2016, Nevada’s bar association put out a brochure regarding Nevada’s animal laws and federal animal laws. If you plan on obtaining an ESA, be aware that Nevada law NRS 426.805 considers fraudulent misrepresentation of an animal as a service animal to be a misdemeanor. When getting an ESA in Nevada, ensuring you have a legitimate ESA letter is of utmost importance.