Emotional support animals are widespread but controversial both in the US and in the EU. People may be in doubt if they come across emotional support animals brought by their owner into the aircraft cabin or rented housing with a “no pets” policy if the animals are actually ESAs. Actually, whether or not everyone can have more than one ESA is a question for lots of people, including owners who have one emotional support animal. There are some important rules and regulations that you need to know. We will answer probable questions about the legal rights of ESAs and examine your options for owning several ESA animals.
Can you have more than one emotional support animal?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that a person with an emotional or mental disability can have more than one ESA pet. Besides allowing more than one emotional support animal, ADA sometimes supports the treatment with multiple animals as each animal could play different roles during treatment.
However, some problems still persist when owners apply for fair housing and fly in an airplane. For reasons of passenger safety, an airline will limit the number of assistance animals, including service animals and ESAs. Your application for a small apartment can be denied, unless you provide sufficient reasons why you need to live with several emotional support animals. Continue reading to avoid these issues.
Living with multiple emotional support animals
Since the American with Disabilities Act does not specify the number of ESAs and service animals that each individual can own, there is no precise decision about this. Plus, the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHA) varies in different states and counties. Furthermore, some landlords who have only a rudimentary knowledge of the law would kick out the emotional support animals and/or the tenant without any reason.
The best way to fend off questions about your multiple emotional support animals is to describe the importance of these animals to you, as outlined in the letter regarding your ESAs by a mental health professional. It is best to describe the tasks of each ESA in the description - how each animal provides you with emotional comfort and mental therapy. It is also wise to certify your ESAs in a reliable organization that can search your ESA’s document in the database, thus, according to ADA and FHA, you have a strong case against any landlord trying to refuse you accommodation.
Above all, however, you need to consider the living conditions of all animals and the effects of living with multiple animals in a shared building. A comfortable environment can reduce the potential of illness for you and your ESAs. Also, make sure you have enough time to take care of each one.
Traveling with emotional support animals
Most airlines have a one-pet-per passenger rule, you should, therefore, contact your chosen airline 48 hours before the flight. To make sure that there are no problems, you could carry an ESA letter and/or ESA certificates for each pet. In general, a majority of airlines in the US allow only dogs and miniature horses as service animals on the aircraft. However, they permit the entry of ESA cats and ESA dogs, sometimes including other animals.
Some passengers have already successfully traveled with a number of ESAs, probably because the airlines are afraid of discrimination lawsuits.
After getting approval from the airline, you should follow some rules for your ESAs during the flight. For example,
• Keep your ESA pets under control at all times.
• Leash your pets or place them in the crate on your lap or under the seat.
• Train your pets to be well-behaved and obedient