Emotional Support Animals In Louisiana

Louisiana’s law on emotional support animals and service animals are the same as the ADA’s. The ADA or the federal law on service animals states that a service animal is a dog that has been trained and certified to complete a task or service for a person with any physical or mental disability. This can include reminding them to take their medication or opening doors.

These disabilities can include someone diagnosed with depression and anxiety. In these cases, their animal must be trained to provide comfort when an attack or episode comes about. The animal must also be a dog. If your animal meets these requirements, it is considered a service animal and not an emotional support animal.

Emotional support animals are animals that have not been through any specific training, and their only purpose is to provide comfort and companionship to the individual. Emotional support animals are not service animals and do not receive the same benefits and protections through the eyes of the law in Louisiana – or federally.

Restrictions on Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals are not service animals. They are not allowed to be permitted into all public accommodations as service animals are. It is illegal to pass your emotional support animal off as a service dog in any situation.

The reason that emotional support animals are not given the same rights as service dogs have to do with their lack of training. Without the certification that they have been through the proper training, it is impossible for businesses or other people to know how they might act in certain situations.

This means they may cause a distribution or prevent an actual service dog from doing their job for someone with a disability. If you need your emotional support animal to occupy you wherever you go, it might be worth sending them through the proper training.

It is also worth noting that each individual business has the right to modify this restriction on emotional support animals whenever they see fit. You might want to call the location you plan to visit first and ask if you wish to take your animal.

Protections That Emotional Support Animals Have

Even though emotional support animals are not considered service animals, they are considered assistance animals. Under the Fair Housing Act, assistance animals can not be denied housing. Housing includes places that rent, hotels, motels, and any place that might be rented for an overnight stay.

This also means they can not require you to pay a deposit and that places that state no pets have to still allow you entry. This is so that people with disabilities can still enjoy the places they love and not be inconvenienced by their disability. Even though they can not charge you a deposit, you will still have to pay for any damages your animal might cause to the property.

Emotional support animals used to be allowed to fly in airplane cabins with their owners, but the law has changed. Now, only service dogs are allowed in the cabin. If your pet is small enough, you may be able to bring it as a carry-on and stow it under your seat for a fee. If you have a dog, you may be able to train it to become a psychiatric service animal (PSD). These dogs are considered service animals and are permitted to fly in the cabin for free. Psychiatric service dogs, like all service dogs, are trained to perform tasks that benefit an individual’s mental health. Airlines are within their rights to require you fill out a form for your service dog before allowing it to travel with you. These forms often ask for the information of the person or organization who trained your service dog. Therefore, though you can train a PSD yourself, it may be helpful to go through a program instead.

Below are more specific laws on service dogs in Louisiana.

Psychiatric Service Dog in Louisiana

Psychiatric service dogs are service dogs that have been specifically trained to help individuals with a mental health condition or psychiatric disability that affects their daily lives. These dogs differ from other types of service dogs, such as medical alert or mobility support dogs, in that they are trained to identify and interrupt negative behaviors, provide deep pressure therapy or other calming support, and complete tasks such as identifying hallucinations or guarding their owners in public. Conditions that psychiatric service dogs help with include anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and PTSD.

In Louisiana, state law supports protections for psychiatric service dogs that are defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals with psychiatric service dogs in Louisiana can access businesses, restaurants, or other facilities accompanied by their dogs, and they also have the right to fair housing and travel accommodations with their service animals.

PTSD Service Dog in Louisiana

PTSD service dogs are psychiatric service dogs that have been trained to help provide assistance for individuals that are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition commonly develops in individuals that have been exposed to traumatic events, and it is especially common among veterans or those who have served in the military.

PTSD service dogs complete tasks that support their owner and relieve symptoms associated with this condition such as anxiety, depression, agitation, fear, and panic. PTSD service dogs may perform tasks such as retrieving medication and water, guiding their owners to safe spaces, guarding their owners in public, and checking rooms for their owners. They might also interrupt nightmares and provide a calming presence during flashbacks.

Providing Proof

Businesses are not allowed to ask for proof of your service dog or about your disability. All they are allowed to ask if what task the dog completes for you and how this helps you. Since emotional support animals are not service animals, this does not apply to them.

Businesses providing housing are required to ask for proof of your emotional support animal to ensure that all parties are safe and in compliance with the law. This is the only time it is okay to be asked for proof. It is important to have this ready beforehand to make the transaction go by smoothly and ensure that your animal gets to take advantage of all the protections provided to them by law.

Why Emotional Support Animals Are Important

Emotional support animals provide comfort and companionship to people who might have anxiety or feel alone. This comfort allows them to relax and get through everyday stressors more easily. By having this extra support, they can live a more regular life and be able to get through everyday tasks that might otherwise cause them too much emotional discomfort.

Emotional support animals are just as important as service dogs to people who suffer from emotional illnesses or disabilities. Just because the animal hasn’t be trained to do any certain task doesn’t mean they don’t provide a much-needed service.

Why You Should Register Your Animal With USSA

USSA is a reputable website that will register your emotional support animal or service animal in just a few simple steps. It is as easy to answering a few questions and receiving your proof. Having proof of your emotional support animal will allow you to avoid some conflicts with particuarly stubborn landlords or housing mangers.

USSA also allows for you to have a stress-free and easy place to get a doctor’s note in case you don’t have one yet. USSA takes the guesswork and struggles out of registering your animal. They make it so easy that there is no reason not to do it today.