All About Emotional Support Animals in NC

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All About Emotional Support Animals in NC

Emotional support animals are animals prescribed by licensed healthcare professionals to help patients deal with certain emotional and mental health conditions. Anyone hoping to have an animal declared an will want to make sure that they are familiar with the laws on such animals.

North Carolina doesn't have its own laws on emotional support animals. Therefore, you will need to familiarize yourself with federal law on the topic. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, emotional support animals are not viewed as service animals. As a result, animals such as dogs who are classified as ESA dogs will not necessarily be permitted entrance to public areas, even though animals designated as service animals under the ADA do have such access.

The federal law that does apply to ESAs in North Carolina and elsewhere is the The Fair Housing Act. This law requires landlords to allow ESA owners to have officially-designated emotional support animals in their home, regardless of the landlord's normal pet policy. There are also a few airlines that sometimes also allow ESAs on board, provided that the owner requests such accommodations through an ESA letter.

Navigating the different requirements regarding ESAs can be a real challenge. Fortunately, now North Carolina residents have a resource to make the process simpler: DoNotPay.

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in North Carolina

If you want to get your pet designated as an emotional support animal in North Carolina, you will need to ask a healthcare professional licensed in the state to prepare an ESA letter for you.

Only physicians and licensed mental health providers can write such letters on your behalf. These letters are the first step in requesting accommodations from companies such as airlines or from your landlord regarding emotional support animals.

What Is an ESA Letter?

An emotional support animal letter is a letter that you obtain from a licensed mental health professional or physician that attests to your need for an emotional support animal.

These letters should always contain the following information in addition to a specific description of your need for an emotional support animal:

  • Your physician or licensed mental health professional's license number
  • The date the letter was issued
  • The professional's contact information, in case verification is required
  • Their license expiration date

Examples of uses for an ESA letter include:

  1. Travel - An ESA letter can be useful for getting accommodation for your emotional support animal if you're headed somewhere on a commercial airliner. Even though some airlines do not permit ESAs, some will if you request accommodations properly.
  2. Housing - The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to allow residents to have emotional support animals, even if pets are not usually permitted. You will need to show the landlord an ESA letter to make this request. It's often useful to look at some examples of ESA letters before soliciting your own from a licensed professional.

Who Can Write an ESA Letter in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a licensed healthcare professional can write an ESA letter if they are actively managing the mental health diagnosis for the patient in question. Keep in mind that the professional will need to be familiar with your situation before being in a position to be able to write you a letter.

Any of the following licensed healthcare specialists can write up an ESA letter:
  • Clinical social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Registered nurse (RN)
  • Certified counselor
  • Doctor's assistant
  • licensed marriage and family therapist
  • Psychiatrist
Some of the common mental conditions that qualify individuals to receive an ESA letter:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic stress
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention deficit disorder

How to Deal With ESA Requests on Your Own

Requesting ESA letters or accommodations can be a pain, particularly if you don't already have a relationship with a licensed healthcare professional. First, you have to find such a professional, set up an appointment, and explain your situation before asking them to write you a letter. Then, once you've received your letter, you have to make sure that it gets to the appropriate parties and that they understand your request.

Fortunately, now there's a simpler way to get through these challenges.

DoNotPay Can Offer Assistance With Airlines

One area where there can sometimes be confusion around ESA requests is airlines. DoNotPay can help. We can contact airlines to ask about their ESA requirements for emotional support animals, saving you from dealing with customer service yourself. Examples of companies whose requirements and policies we can help you ask about include:

  1. American Airlines
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. United Airlines

Get ESA Assistance With DoNotPay

Obtaining help with the ESA process can be difficult. Companies have varied policies on this topic, and knowing how to make requests isn't always easy. Luckily, now you have a resource that can help you navigate these questions: DoNotPay.

With DoNotPay's Service and Emotional Support Animals product, you can get assistance in dealing with all of your ESA-related concerns. DoNotPay can help you exercise your rights with your landlord, get information on ESA policies from airlines, and find the most affordable way to get an ESA letter online.

Using DoNotPay is quick and easy. To get started, simply do the following:

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.

  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.

  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.

And that's it! Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will generate a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf, contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you with much more than emotional support animals. Below are just a few examples of other ways we can help make your life easier and save you money,

Give DoNotPay a try today to see all the ways it can be of assistance. It's fast, it's easy, and it helps you get done what you need to get done, giving you back time and energy for other things!

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