Emotional Support Animal – Kentucky

ESA LawsEmotional support animals or ESAs are not like service dogs or animals. Service dogs are going to perform a specific task for a disabled person. An ESA is going to be defined as a companion that provides therapeutic benefits to a person or individual who has a psychiatric or mental disability.

Most of the time an emotional support animal is going to be either a cat or a dog but there are other animals that can be a support animal. To be offered protection under the US Federal law, an individual must meet the requirements defined by the federal government of having a disability. They must also have a note from his or her health professional that this disability would benefit from the emotional support animal.

To explore this topic further, we are going to go into more detail on how to obtain an emotional support animal and what some rules are in the state of Kentucky. For those who do not have access to a mental health professional, you can go online to the USSA website to start registration.

Emotional Support Animal Vs. Service Animals

Many people are confused between service animals and emotional support animals. Many people do not know the difference. There are a few similarities such as both help people with medical issues, however, typically a service animal is going to be a dog and is specifically trained. The tasks these animals are trained to do vary on their owner. Service animals are going to be trained to alert those who have seizures or diabetes or even push a wheelchair.

It is against Federal law to discriminate against those who have service dogs. This means that service dogs are allowed to be in all public places. Emotional support animals are not trained and do not have access to be in all public places. However, they do have rights under both Federal and state laws.

ESAs in Apartments and Condos in Kentucky

Under the Fair Housing Act, those who have emotional support animals have every right to live with their animals in any apartment or condo. This means even if the housing does not generally allow pets, you can have your ESA live with you.

This act allows emotional support animals to live with their owners in all apartments and condos throughout Kentucky no matter what their pet policy is. This means you can have your ESA in an apartment that has a no pets policy. Under this act, emotional support animals are not considered pets.

A landlord is not allowed to discriminate against a person who has an emotional support animal on their premises. However, is that the landlord liable if that emotional support animal bites or harms someone?

The law in Kentucky for landlords’ states that an owner of a dog is someone who allows it to be housed on their property. The landlord does not meet the definition of an owner and is not liable for damage done or caused by an animal.

Emotional Support Animals at the University of Kentucky

Many students attend this college and wonder if their pet can come with them to provide them relief. If this is you, there are a few regulations that need to be followed for you to have your pet.

  • You must register the emotional support animal at the Disability Resource Center before you come to the campus.
  • All dogs and cats are to be house trained.
  • Animals that are larger than 75 pounds are unable to be placed in the residence hall.
  • The Disability Center will determine if your species is allowed.
  • The emotional support animal can only be in the hall where the student is living unless otherwise stated.
  • The vaccines must be up-to-date and proof must be provided.
  • Your mental health professional needs to complete the UK Disability Support Animal Verification Form.
  • A photo of the animal and completion of the Support Animal Roommate Agreement must be filled out.

How to Obtain an Emotional Support Animal in Kentucky

Many people would agree that an emotional support animal or ESA is a gift to them. However, for an animal to be considered a legitimate emotional support animal, the emotional support letter has to be written on a doctor or licensed mental health professional’s letterhead. This information is also needed to verify your eligibility

  • The name of the physician.
  • The physicians lisena number and state,
  • The date the letter was issued.
  • A signature from the licensed mental health provider.

Keep in mind that this letter is only valid for one year and it must be renewed in order for your landlord and other people to keep it on file and allow your animal to be with you. If you do not renew this letter, your animal may not be able to live with you or go with you where you need them to.

Your Emotional Support Animal and You in Kentucky

If you feel like an emotional support animal would benefit you, you should first find a mental health professional. This person is going to be the one to evaluate your situation. From there, he or she will work with you and either deny or recommend that your pet be an emotional support animal.

Once you have obtained an emotional support animal letter, you should choose an animal that will be best suited for all living areas. This includes college, apartments, and housing. You do not want a large animal but you do not want something that could not behave well either. You should be aware of the animal you are choosing because the more well-behaved an animal is, the more likely people are going to allow you to have it.

Keep in mind that an emotional support animal could be the help that you need. If you believe that is true, take the steps and register your animal on the USSA website to get started. Having your pet by your side can make a huge difference in your quality of life. It can make you go from living to living well.