Rules to consider
ESA Doctors can help you and your emotional support animal to qualify for protection against discrimination, increased rent, pet travel fees, and security deposits that could make it difficult for you to keep your ESA animal by your side.
Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or house, you have the legal right to have a pet in your residence to treat your medical condition! Knowing how valuable a pet can be for treating many psychological and physical symptoms, our mission is to increase awareness about the Fair Housing Act while qualifying as many individuals as possible to own an emotional support animal in their home.
There are three general categories of animals who may be considered under these regulations:
Emotional support animals: These animals are not always specifically trained, but serve as comfort to individuals with a documented mental health condition. There is no restriction for the breed of emotional support animals because all domesticated animals can serve as ESAs.
Therapy animals: These animals are usually evaluated and registered by an agency and provide emotional support to individuals who need them. They are often used in hospitals, nursing homes and in school reading programs such as Reading Educational Assistance Dogs.
Service animals: These animals have been specially trained to perform tasks their owner can’t do on his or her own. Guide dogs for the blind are perhaps the most well known in this category. Service animals are not required by law to wear vests or have any form of identification.
Eighteen states, including Virginia, Colorado and California, have laws that criminalize fraudulent representation of a service animal. These violations are usually misdemeanors, but repeated violations can result in jail time. West Virginia is not one of the 18 states, however, businesses could pursue a trespassing charge if a second incident occurs. Play it safe with an ESA!