Emotional support animals (ESAs) have gained popularity in the last decade, but what does it take to get one? What makes an ESA legitimate is a letter written by a mental health professional in your state of residence stating that the presence of an ESA will be beneficial to your well-being.
ESAs can be great if you want to live in the city but find yourself getting anxious around crowds and heavy stimulation–both of which Las Vegas is known for. Having an emotional support animal may help you navigate those aspects of Las Vegas so you can enjoy all of the wonders that the city has to offer!
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal, or ESA, is an animal that provides comfort and improves their handler’s well-being simply by being there. An animal doesn’t need specialized training to be considered an ESA, unlike service dogs. The most common ESAs are dogs and cats, but any animal can become an ESA as long as it doesn’t break any zoning laws; ESAs, however, are exempt from breed and weight restrictions.
Who Can Qualify for an ESA in Las Vegas?
ESAs are prescribed for disabling mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. ESAs can help mitigate the symptoms of these conditions just by being there, since their presence can be very grounding, and living with them can encourage a healthy routine.
For your ESA to be legitimate, you must talk with a mental healthcare worker that’s licensed in your state of residence and obtain a letter stating that an ESA would be helpful with your condition. If you don’t know where to start looking, U.S. Service Animals can help connect you with one.
What Are the Benefits of Having an ESA Letter in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is a very common tourist destination year-round, especially on the strip and in other famous places like Fremont Street. If living in a city with crowds heightens your anxiety but you still want to enjoy these places, then coming home to an ESA and decompressing after you go out may be able to help alleviate your anxiety!
Unfortunately, you’ll still have to pay a pet fee if you have your ESA with you in your hotel room (if they allow you to bring your ESA in the first place – they’re not legally required to). But the Fair Housing Act ensures that you’ll always be able to live in your residence with your ESA, even if there’s a no-pet policy in place.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter in Las Vegas
To get an ESA letter, you’ll need to talk to a mental health professional licensed in the state of Nevada about how an ESA could potentially aid you with managing your mental health condition. If you already have a diagnosis from a previous mental health professional, this will be particularly helpful.
Once this mental health professional accepts your request for an ESA, they’ll write you a letter stating that an emotional support animal would be beneficial for your wellness. This letter alone legitimizes your ESA, so no additional training or certification is necessary.
Las Vegas is, unfortunately, a city also known for its scams, and it’s no different in the ESA certification sphere. If you work with U.S. Service Animals, you can rest assured that you’ll be working with a mental health professional who has a current license in the state of Nevada, not just a random person. You’ll also have access to our legal team, which can help you navigate any issues you run into when it comes to housing or other sticky situations.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in Las Vegas With U.S. Service Animals
U.S. Service Animals streamlines the process of getting an ESA letter for the state of Nevada–especially because therapists often have waiting lists!
The first step is to give us a call to see if you qualify for a free consultation with our Nevada-licensed mental health professional. Expect to give us some information like your name, address, and your (potential) ESA’s name. If you have questions beforehand about what information you’ll need to provide, let us know in our online chat!
Next, we’ll connect you with our in-house mental health professional licensed in the state of Nevada. This may require a scheduled call back, or it could happen in the same call, depending on scheduling.
Once you’re connected with our mental health professional, they’ll give you a consultation. This will consist of questions about why you think an ESA will be beneficial, so if you have previous diagnoses, be sure to have that information on hand. This is especially great for those who have moved states, already have an ESA, and don’t want to seek out a new therapist just to have an updated letter.
If our mental health professional approves your request for an ESA letter, you’ll receive it immediately via email so you can print it right away.
If you aren’t approved, you won’t need to pay our consultation fee, making this a totally risk-free process!
What Are the Laws About ESAs in Las Vegas?
ESAs are federally protected by the Fair Housing Act, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t offer much in terms of public access.
If you’re planning on going to the Las Vegas strip, you may find that it’s more animal-friendly than other cities! Many of the hotels and businesses on the strip welcome dogs and cats, which means that your ESA will have just as much fun as the family.
If you’re in the process of training and socializing your ESA, the Las Vegas strip is a great place to practice since there’s often so much going on. Be warned, though; since ESAs aren’t federally protected, you will need to pay a pet fee if you plan on staying in a hotel, and can only stay at properties that allow pets. Check out our pet-friendly hotel suggestions!
Can I Fly With an ESA in Las Vegas?
Unfortunately, ESAs are no longer allowed to fly in the airplane cabin for free due to changes to the Air Carrier Access Act, or ACAA. The ACAA is a federal law, and neither the state of Nevada nor the city of Las Vegas has an exception to it. Flying with an ESA to Las Vegas means that you will have to pay a pet fee and, depending on the size of the animal, your ESA may have to ride in cargo.
Can I Live With an ESA in Las Vegas?
Yes! The Fair Housing Act is a federal law ensuring that ESAs will always be allowed to live with their handler, even if the landlord stipulates that pets aren’t allowed.
The Fair Housing Act does not cover hotel rooms, though. If you’re planning on traveling to the Las Vegas strip or another tourist destination, you will have to pay a pet fee or try to negotiate with the hotel you’re looking to stay at.
Can I Bring My ESA to Work With Me in Las Vegas?
Public access laws ensure that service animals will always be allowed entry into public spaces, however, ESAs aren’t covered by the ADA, so your employer can legally refuse your ESA. However, if you approach your employer with a letter explaining that your ESA is necessary for you to perform your job well, you may be able to get an accommodation made.
Most employers have forms to be filled out for workplace accommodations, so make sure you attach that to your letter. While you can ask for this accommodation verbally, it’s best to get everything in writing just in case a dispute needs to be resolved down the line.
What Exceptions Are There to ESA Laws in Las Vegas?
The biggest exception to ESA laws in Las Vegas is behavior. If a landlord finds that your ESA is destructive, they can deny your ESA’s housing rights, even though they’re federally protected. In the case of dogs, particularly large ones, this is why it’s recommended to complete an obedience training course before getting an ESA letter.
When it comes to dogs, many cities in the US have breed restrictions. Breed restrictions are something that you don’t have to worry about in Las Vegas, as Nevada law has made it illegal to discriminate based on dog breed. However, ESAs are exempt from breed restrictions, no matter what – so even if Nevada changes their laws, your ESA will still be protected.
Where Can You Take Your ESA in Las Vegas?
ESAs are federally protected under the Fair Housing Act, which guarantees them housing rights even if the landlord has a no-pets policy. Along with this, you’ll never have to pay your landlord a pet fee for having an ESA, no matter what type of animal it is.
While ESAs aren’t protected when it comes to hotel rooms, many hotels offer pet-friendly rooms. Serene Las Vegas Resort allows one pet up to 25 pounds, The Westin Las Vegas allows two pets up to 50 pounds, and Vdara allows two pets with a combined weight of under 100 pounds.
A little ways away from Las Vegas proper is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which makes for beautiful sights and great hiking! Red Rock only allows leashed dogs, so cats and other ESAs may need to stay back.
If you’re looking for a place for your emotional support dog to have a little fun, check out Barkin’ Basin Park! Barkin’ Basin is a dog park that spans almost 8 acres with 3 different fenced-in areas and shaded seating for handlers!
Las Vegas also has a few dog-friendly restaurants! Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar, located in southern Las Vegas, is a chain mostly found on the west coast offering comfort food in an atmosphere described as “lodge-chic.” Lazy Dog allows dogs on the patio and even has a specialized dog menu with beef and chicken options!
Big Dog Brewery is a microbrewery in northern Las Vegas serving sandwiches, burgers, and of course, craft beer. Dogs are welcomed on the front patio as long as they’re on a leash and well-behaved, though you may want to bring your own water bowl. Big Dog Brewery is open 24 hours, making this a great spot for late-night munching.
Important Facts About ESAs in Las Vegas
Here are some important facts that any potential ESA handler should know before starting the process:
- ESAs can be any animal, though dogs and cats are the most popular options.
- ESAs are different from service dogs–service dogs are covered by the ADA and allowed anywhere for free with their handler, while ESAs do not have the same rights.
- To qualify for an ESA, you must have a relevant diagnosis. Without a relevant diagnosis, you won’t be able to get a valid ESA letter.
- For your ESA to be legitimate, you must obtain a legally valid ESA letter from a mental health professional licensed in your state of residence.
- Online certifications and registrations are not legally binding; registering your ESA online does not mean your ESA is legally legitimate.
- ESAs do not have to undergo any specialized training, but they must be non-aggressive, well-behaved, and non-destructive, or they can be asked to leave, even under the Fair Housing Act.
Get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter in Las Vegas Today
If you’re planning on moving to Las Vegas but you’re worried about overstimulation or other psychological symptoms, an ESA may be perfect for you! When you work with U.S. Service Animals, we guide you through the process to make it as easy as possible, giving you one less thing to worry about! Schedule your risk-free consultation with us here!