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Emotional Support Animal Laws in Florida

Apr 8, 2019 By USSA

An emotional support animal is a pet that does not need training or certifications like a service animal. They provide support, companionship, and a sense of well-being to their owner who has a mental health disability. As long as the owner as has an Emotional Support Animal Letter explaining the need for the animals support, they will be an emotional support animal. They primarily help owners with mental illness including depression, anxiety, and PTSD through emotional support and companionship.

Emotional support animals are not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act but service animals are. There are a number of laws in Florida that do cover both emotional support animals and service animals which may differ from state to state.

How to get an emotional support animal in Florida

The process of getting an emotional support animal is the same in every state in the United States of America. If you have a disability that can be verified by a medical professional and the support from an emotional support animal would help improve your life, a letter will be given to you. This letter is very important as it provides proof of your animal being an emotional support animal.

Use our simple, hassle-free registration to register your animal today at US Service Animals. Simply speak with one of our mental health professionals to find out if you qualify then get a letter stating your need for an emotional support animal. This letter will give you the ability to have your

emotional support animal with you when you fly or when you live in a no-pet policy housing.

Employment

In Florida, employees can have their dog with them at work, if needed. This means employers must make reasonable adjustments for employees with emotional disabilities if they decide to let them into the workplace. If you have a valid ESA letter, employers can allow an emotional support animal into the work area. Even though some employers will accept support animals into the workplace, it is not a requirement under the law, unlike service animals.

Housing

Under the Fair Housing Act in Florida, both you and your emotional support animal are protected. No one with an emotional support animal can be restricted, evicted or charged, as long as they provide proof that the emotional support animal is needed. The proof is through the ESA Letter which you can get from US Service Animals easily. Campus accommodation at college and universities in Florida are also covered under this act. This means if students have an ESA letter, they must be allowed in the accommodation.

The only exception is if an animal is causing harm to their owner, itself or others, landlords can deny requests for that animal living in the property.

Travel

Travel in and out of the state of Florida with an emotional support animal is covered under the Air Carrier Access Act. This act allows customers to travel on an airplane with their emotional support animal when they provide an ESA letter. Airlines are very strict and the letter must have confirmation from a medical professional of the diagnosed mental health condition, the need for an emotional support animal and a signature from the mental health professional including license number and issue date. This can all be provided by US Service Animals when you register on our site and apply for a letter.

It is also important to note that airlines may have additional requirements including extra forms and a doctor’s note. Make sure you plan in advance and double check the airline you will be traveling with will accommodate for your animal. For example, a number of airlines won’t allow animals under 8 weeks old or over 20lb.

Misrepresenting You Pet As an Emotional Support Animal

It is important to know the difference between an emotional support animal and a service animal. If you misrepresent an emotional support animal as a service animal in Florida it is against the law. If you break this law you can be punished with jail time of up to 60 days and a fine of $500.

In Florida, there are plenty of places for you to visit with your emotional support animal. Florida is full of beautiful beaches and parks. There are plenty of pet-friendly activities where you and your emotional support animal can feel safe.

The advantage of applying for an ESA letter from US Service Animals is that it is not state specific. So whether you’re in Florida or St. Louis, you can register for an ESA letter. So register your emotional support animal today to get your letter for housing, travel, and employment.