Does Colorado Allow Emotional Support Animals?
The state of Colorado is aware of mental health struggles in individuals and acknowledges the fact that emotional support animals (ESAs) can be a part of the treatment plans.
Thus, Colorado has various laws to help protect individuals and their emotional support animals.
Laws such as the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and employment laws protect individuals with mental and emotional disabilities. Emotional support animals include dogs, cats, ferrets, miniature horses, and other small animals.
What are the Emotional Support Animal Colorado Laws?
There are no specific emotional support animal Colorado laws. Laws regarding emotional support animals fall under federal laws.
However, individuals that are found to have false claims about assistance animals will be severely fined by the state.
A few laws related to emotional support animals in Colorado are the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Employment Act, travel laws, and public access laws.
What are Colorado ESA Housing Laws?
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) is the housing law that protects emotional support animals in Colorado. This is a specific emotional support animal Colorado law protecting ESAs and owners.
The FHA prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants with disabilities using support animals. Landlords and other housing providers must provide reasonable accommodations for such individuals, even in the case of a building with a ”no pets” policy.
This law deems it illegal for landlords to evict, deny housing, or impose extra fees based on a resident’s assistance animal.
If you and your emotional support animals are denied housing or discriminated against, you can file an official complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
However, the landlord has a right to charge you for any damages to the property if your ESA is disruptive.
Please note that while the FHA covers university campus accommodations, dorm rooms and hotels are not included under this law. Landlords and universities can request an ESA letter to determine their eligibility for housing.
What are Colorado ESA Employment Laws?
Colorado currently has no laws that mandate employers to accept an ESA in the workplace.
Employment laws in Colorado concerning animals fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which only protects service animals.
A service animal will help and support a person with a physical, emotional, and mental disability. This can range from physical impairments (like blindness or hearing disorders) to learning disabilities and other mental health conditions (like autism, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder).
However, if you have a valid ESA letter and feel like you need your emotional support animal with you in your workplace, you can approach your employer and inquire if they can accommodate your ESA in your workplace. Many businesses are becoming more flexible in working practices and are accommodating in this regard.
However, if your request is denied, no ESA law in Colorado can force your employer to accept your support animal.
What are Colorado ESA Travel Laws?
Most emotional support animals are not allowed to board airplanes because many of the animals lack proper flight training.
While ESAs used to be protected under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and allowed to fly in the cabins of planes, the law has been modified to include only service animals due to the disruptive nature of many ESAs.
However, if your emotional support animal is small enough, you can be permitted to carry it along in a pet carrier as a carry-on item.
What are Colorado ESA Public Transportation Laws?
Emotional support animals are not supported by the American Disability Act (ADA), so a public transportation system with a pet policy (such as a bus or a train) can refuse them entry. However, since many transportation systems allow small pets, you should be fine to board one with your ESA.
The emotional support animal Colorado state law does not provide additional protection to ESA handlers. This means that emotional support animals are not allowed access to public places that are originally off-limits to pets.
The animals exempt from these restrictions are fully certified service animals. Public establishment owners can refuse entry to individuals and their ESAs or charge them extra pet fees.
How do You Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter in Colorado?
Wondering how to get an emotional support animal? In Colorado, you can get an ESA without going through government agencies or registration processes.
You need an emotional support animal letter issued by a licensed professional after being evaluated. The professional will assess the individual’s emotional and mental health situation and determine if they are eligible for an ESA.
If eligible, the healthcare professional will write a letter detailing the person’s disability and why spending time with the animal positively influences their treatment.
The letter must also include their name, license number, and contact information. This letter can be delivered electronically, but it must be written on their letterhead.
The ESA letter must come from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). Because the demand for ESAs has grown, there has also been an increase in the number of fraudulent letters that leave people stranded.
These professionals include psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists, and others.
To avoid this, you can register at CertaPet, where you’ll get access to a network of LMHPs that you can trust to conveniently provide you with a 100% legitimate ESA letter in Colorado.
At CertaPet, residents of Colorado can be matched with an experienced healthcare professional with expertise in dealing with clients who own or are looking to own an ESA.
Do I Have to Tell My Landlord I Have an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado?
Yes, based on emotional support animal Colorado rules you should inform the landlord in you have an emotional support animal.
This is especially necessary if the building has any pet policies. You should inform your landlord that you have an emotional support animal to avoid any future conflicts or extra costs in the form of pet deposits.
You should provide your landlord with your emotional support animal letter, and although not necessary, you can purchase vests that identify your pet as an ESA.
Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado?
No, according to emotional support animal Colorado regulations a landlord cannot deny an emotional support animal in Colorado.
The Fair Housing Act prevents landlords from discriminating against anyone with a disability. This ensures that everyone with an emotional support animal has equal access to housing in Colorado.
All ESAs are eligible for” reasonable accommodations” from the building provider, meaning that they should be exempt from any pet policies a building may have (provided the animal is not a threat and will not cause an excessive financial burden to the landlord).
Emotional support animals are also exempt from breed and size restrictions concerning housing.
Can You Have Multiple Emotional Support Animals in Colorado?
Yes, you can have multiple emotional support animals in Colorado. There are no emotional support animal Oregon regulations restricting the number of ESA per owner.
You can get multiple emotional support animals through the same process used when getting one support animal. Please note that having an excessive number of support animals in a building can possibly inconvenience you, the other tenants, and the building provider.