Does Ohio Allow Emotional Support Animals?
Yes, Ohio allows emotional support animals (ESA). Ohio state laws largely address service animals, but the state has laws protecting people with disabilities who own ESAs.
There are also emotional support animal Ohio federal laws protecting ESAs in most scenarios.
The Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) protect service dogs and ESAs in most cases involving housing, work, and travel.
What are the Emotional Support Animal Ohio Laws?
There are no specific emotional support animal Ohio laws.
However, there are laws protecting people with disabilities. Those protections extend to ESAs in most cases except for air travel and public transportation.
What are Ohio ESA Housing Laws?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Fair Housing Act require housing providers to allow ESAs and therapy animals in their buildings even if they have a no-pet policy.
They are required to make reasonable accommodations to allow ESAs and are not allowed to charge pet fees or require pet deposits.
Reasonable accommodation may be as simple as allowing an assistance dog to live with someone who requires assistance with specific tasks relevant to their disability, but the landlord is permitted to require an ESA letter as proof of the need for the animal.
What are Ohio ESA Employment Laws?
There are no emotional support animal Ohio laws regarding the workplace.
Employers are allowed to determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not to enable an employee to have an ESA at work with them.
What are Ohio ESA Travel Laws?
There are no specific emotional support animal Ohio laws addressing ESAs in travel.
The ACAA, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in air travel, only protects service animals such as guide dogs for blind persons.
The law was updated in 2021, however, to allow airlines the opportunity to choose whether or not to enable ESAs, and all of the major airlines in the United States have updated their animal policy to exclude ESAs from being recognized as service dogs.
Instead, they are recognized as assistance animals and considered pets, so owners of ESAs will need to understand what it takes to take a pet on a flight if they are trying to bring an ESA.
What are Ohio ESA Public Transportation Laws?
According to emotional support animal Ohio rules ESAs are not allowed on public transportation. Service animals are permitted, but ESAs are recognized more as animal assistants than service animals.
It is because of this that they are not allowed on public transportation and are not always required to be allowed in public places like service dogs are.
How do You Get an Emotional Support Animal in Ohio?
Wondering how to get an emotional support animal in Ohio? To get an ESA in Ohio, you must get an emotional support animal letter.
To do this, you need to be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) with a qualifying mental illness or emotional disability such as panic attacks, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
A diagnosis can be received through a psychiatric service or seeing a therapist who can evaluate your mental health condition and deem an ESA helpful for your specific impairment. The easiest way to do this is to use an online service that can match you with a therapist who can write you an ESA letter.
The letter will be written on professional letterhead containing the LMHP’s license number and contact information. It is essential to know there are scam sites out there that offer ESA letters but do not require a meeting with a therapist. These letters are not written by an LMHP and will not hold up in court, and are not valid proof of the need for an ESA.
Who can Write an Emotional Support Animal Letter in Ohio?
In the state of Ohio, the emotional support animal letter must be written by a health professional. This can include licensed social workers, nurse practitioners, physicians, or licensed mental health professionals.
To simplify the process of getting an ESA letter, you can use a telehealth service provider such as CertaPet.
Do I Have to Tell My Landlord I Have an Emotional Support Animal in Ohio?
Yes, you need to inform your landlord of your emotional support animal.
The landlord can require the ESA letter your LMHP had written for you beforehand as proof the animal is an ESA.
Without this, there may be legal ramifications for ESA owners who fail to inform their landlords of the emotional support animal.
Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal in Ohio?
Yes, based on emotional support animal Ohio regulations a landlord can deny an ESA but only in specific scenarios. If the animal poses a direct threat to the well-being and safety of others, a landlord is permitted to no longer allow the ESA in the building.
Also, if the reasonable accommodations would present a significant financial burden or if the accommodations would be too altering to the building, the landlord is permitted not to allow ESAs.
To ensure this does not happen to you, it is important to file an accommodation request in advance to allow time to determine if accommodations can be made.
Can You Have Multiple Emotional Support Animals in Ohio?
Yes, there are no emotional support animal Ohio regulations limiting the number of ESAs a person can have.
Each animal must serve a specific purpose and have an ESA letter from an LMHP. There are also no restrictions to the type of animal an ESA can be, but it must provide a therapeutic purpose and help with a disability-related need.