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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas Certified


Arkansas offers legal safeguards for Emotional Support Animals, although not everyone may full embrace these regulations. Many people across the country consider their cherished furry friends as an invaluable source of emotional support when navigating various challenges in everyday life. However, it’s important to keep in mind that having an uncertified animal on a rental property can result in eviction, fines, and penalties.

Landlords in Arkansas are legally obligated to follow both state and federal regulations relating to these support animals. Failing to comply can lead to legal and financial repercussions. It’s important to note that while ESAs don’t possess the same rights as Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs), they are protected from discrimination in rental properties under the federal Fair Housing Act.

American Service Pets is committed to providing pet owners with the necessary documentation, allowing them to enjoy rental housing and public accommodations with their emotional support animals in Arkansas. Say goodbye to any concerns about additional “pet rent” and find out if you meet the criteria for a letter for an Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas by taking our simple quiz.

The Role of Emotional Support Animals

State and federal governments recognize Emotional Support Animals as a valuable tool and a right for people who struggle with psychological trauma. Emotional support animals can be virtually any type of animal that brings you comfort, be it a turtle, a bird, or a reptile. Psychiatric Service Animals, on the other hand, are almost always dogs because they are easily trainable.

Without their Emotional Support Animal, many people may struggle to function. ESAs provide a wide variety of benefits to their owners, including:

Mental Health Boost

When you care for an animal you love, you’ll get an emotional boost of serotonin and dopamine. Having a furry friend by your side can also break the negative thought cycle of people struggling with conditions like depression and anxiety.

Natural Remedy

Americans are increasingly searching for natural ways to stay healthy and treat common illnesses without medication. Emotional Support Animals can serve as this holistic treatment for stress, anxiety, and depression. Pets also promote outdoor activity, which is another natural way to fight depression-related symptoms.

Loyal Companionship

Just having an animal you love to cuddle with can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and stress. Having your pet by your side can also be a huge help when coping with personal problems such as financial matters, relationships, and health concerns.

We know how important Emotional Support Animals are for those who need them. That’s why American Service Pets offers ESA letters for owners of Emotional Support Animals in Arkansas. Find out if you qualify in just a few short minutes. 

Laws Related to Emotional Support Animals in Arkansas

Emotional Support Animals are companions and travel partners. However, it is important to understand that they cannot perform life-saving tasks that Psychiatric Service Animals can for people with disabilities. While both Emotional Support Animals and PSAs serve similar purposes, their protections vary under state and federal laws.

Official Emotional Support Animals enjoy certain legal protections under these laws, but uncertified animals in Arkansas do not have the same legal rights. In order to have official ESA status, you must obtain a letter from a licensed healthcare professional. This letter can be valid throughout the country, though it’s important to note that different states may have specific regulations surrounding ESAs (which is why it is advisable to check out relevant rules before traveling). Here are the relevant laws related to Emotional Support Animals in Arkansas:

Housing Laws

Landlords can not deny or charge tenants simply on the basis of having an Emotional Support Animal. This is true of apartments, houses, public housing units, and condos. Pet rent increases or deposits cannot be applied per fair housing laws, and landlords must consider the request for an ESA as a reasonable accommodation — unless the animal’s presence would cause undue financial burden or a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants.


Landlords in Arkansas have the right to request an ESA letter from a healthcare professional. Renters without a valid ESA letter, or those who present fraudulent documents, are subject to civil penalties. Misrepresenting an Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas leads to a minimum $250 fine.


Public Accommodations

Emotional Support Animals in Arkansas do not have the same public access rights as service animals due to the fact that they are not required to be trained in the same manner. The venue owner has the final say, so it’s a good idea to call ahead to ensure you can bring your ESA before you leave.

ESAs in the Workplace

Arkansas employers are not legally obligated to allow Emotional Support Animals in their facilities. However, presenting an ESA letter may convince an employer to allow your ESA in the workplace if the animal is quiet, well-behaved, and potty trained.


Travel Laws

Emotional Support Animals are no longer allowed in the cabin during air travel. Additionally, public transportation services such as buses, trains, and railways are not legally obligated to board ESAs. Some rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have less stringent policies, but you have to check ahead of time. 

American Service Pets is proud to provide a simple three-step process to obtain the necessary paperwork for your Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas.

The Basics

Does the state have its own laws in addition to federal legislature?

Yes. In addition to following the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Arkansas has its own state laws.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

A service animal is defined as a dog that is trained specifically to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of someone who lives with a disability. Arkansas law only specifically mentions people with visual, hearing, or other disabilities as being qualified to have service animals. However, the ADA also extends coverage to additional disabilities, as well as psychiatric and mental disabilities, meaning that other groups like allergen and seizure alert animals and psychiatric service animals are also covered by law.

What is considered a disability in the state?

A disability or impairment in the state of Arkansas is a condition that “grossly and chronically diminishes a person’s physical or mental ability to live independently or provide self-care as determined through observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.”

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Arkansas typically refers to service animals as dogs, but the ADA also provides coverage for trained miniature horses.

Are there penalties for falsly claiming or implying (such as with a service animal harness), that one's animal is a service animal?

As of April 2019, misrepresentation of a service animal is a crime subject to a civil penalty of $250 per violation.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Arkansas laws do cover service animals-in-training, meaning they are entitled to the same rights as fully trained service animals.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

No, state and federal laws do not cover emotional support animals because they are not trained the way service animals are.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

What counts as a "public accommodation" in the state? Ie. Where are service dogs allowed?

According to Arkansas law, the definition of public accommodations is very broad. It includes any street or highway; any sidewalk or walkway; any public transportation; any hotel, motel, or other place of lodging; any public building maintained by any unit or subdivision of government; any building to which the public is invited; any educational facility or college dormitory; any restaurant or other place where food is offered for sale to the public; or any other place of public accommodation, amusement, convenience, or resort to which the general public or any classification of persons from the general public is regularly, normally, or customarily invited within the state of Arkansas. The ADA definition of public accommodation is similarly broad.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

Generally public accommodations may only ask if the animal is a service animal required because of a disability and what task(s) the animal has been trained to perform.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

Religious organizations and private clubs are not included under the public accommodations umbrella (unless the private club regularly makes its facilities available to nonmembers). In terms of qualified public accommodations, the ADA allows service animals to be removed or excluded if they are not housebroken, are out of control, or are posing a direct threat to health and safety of other patrons. Individuals with disabilities are still entitled to enter the location even if their service animal is not allowed in.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Service animals and their handlers are allowed on “any common carrier, airplane, motor vehicle, railroad train, bus, streetcar, boat, or any other public conveyance or mode of transportation.”

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

The ADA allows for disabled employees to make requests for reasonable accommodations in the workplace, which includes a request for the use of a service animal. However, employers are not required to make accommodations that would cause them an undue hardship, a concept defined by the ADA as “an action requireing significant difficulty or expense.” Employers and employees should work together in determining how to proceed with a reasonable accommodation request on a case-by-case basis.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Generally service animals are allowed in areas of healthcare facilities that are open to the general public, such as patient rooms or waiting areas. They may, however, be barred from sterile areas, such as operating rooms or burn units.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

Yes. Businesses, individuals, or employers who discriminate against a disabled person can have civil action in court taken against them, which can result in compensatory and punitive damages.

Arkansas follows the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), which defines a service animal as a dog (regardless of breed or size) trained to do work or perform tasks to assist a qualified individual with a diability, and may include psychiatric service dogs. Minature horses are excluded in this definition.

How do airlines determine what qualifies as a service animal?

Airlines can require a passenger to provide a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) form attesting to the animal’s health, behavior, and training and a U.S. DOT form attesting that the animal can either not relieve itself or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner (if the animal will be on a flight that is 8 or more hours).

Are service animals in-training covered by this law?

The ACAA does not address service animals in-training, so airlines are not required to carry them as they do not meet the requirements of an ACAA-defined service animal. However, airlines can make their own individual policies.

Housing Law

What are the state's laws regarding housing and service animals?

Tenants or applicants have the right to request a reasonable accommodation for an assistance animal from their housing provider verbally or in writing (though submitting a written request is encouraged). Requests can be made at any point in the tenancy. Housing providers can in turn ask for reliable documentation of the individual’s disability or disability-related need for the assistance animal, such as a note from a healthcare provider. Providers also have the right to refuse a request if the specific animal requested poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial physical damage.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

If the housing provider has a policy of charging or withholding deposits from any tenant for damage, a tenant with an assistance animal can be held liable for any damage beyond normal wear and tear.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Under the FHA, service animals and ESAs should be treated equally under the law when it comes to housing. ESAs can be any small domesticated animal traditionally kept in the home, such as dogs, cats, small birds, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, other rodents, fish, or turtles. Reptiles other than turtles, barnyard animals, monkeys, kangaroos, and other non-domesticated animals are not considered common household animals. Tenants seeking to have these animals as ESAs will have a substantial burden to demonstrate a disability-related therapeutic need for the unique animal.

Discrimination Complaints

How can I file a complaint for not being allowed in a public accommodation with my service dog?

For incidents involving public accommodations discrimination, you may file a complaint directly with the ADA online, via mail, or via fax. For workplace-related complaints, it is recommended that you contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a complaint. The EEOC’s Memphis District Office and Little Rock Area Office serve Arkansas residents.

How can I file a complaint for not being allowed to have my service dog in housing (or for being forced to pay a fee to a landlord)?

You can file a housing complaint online through the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, an agency that works with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). If you have questions or need additional information, you can call the Commission at 501-682-3247 or toll free at 1-800-340-9108.

How to Get Certification for an Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas

American Service Pets provides you with a fast, simple process to certification for your Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas. Just follow these quick steps:

Complete the Questionnaire

Fill out the short American Service Pets questionnaire to determine if you meet the criteria for an Emotional Support Animal letter.

Get Approved by a Doctor

With American Service Pets, you have the ability to choose whether you want to submit your file to your own doctor or one in our network for approval and authorization. If you choose to connect with a doctor in our network, they are available 24/7. Most requests are approved in just a few minutes, and approval is emailed to you.

Add Your Pet to the National Directory

Having your pet added to the national ESA directory is an important part of the process due to the fact that it provides an online profile that shows your pet’s status and paperwork.

Nearly 95% of candidates meet the criteria for an ESA letter. Get yours with American Service Pets today. 

Advantages of American Service Pets

More than 45,000 pet owners have now certified their Emotional Support Animals, thanks to American Service Pets. Here’s why we’re the service you need:

How To Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter in Wisconsin with American Service Pets

Our easy process quickly ends any worries about being separated from your animal or being punished for having one. Take our short online test now to get started.

Nationwide Experts in Emotional Support Animal Certification

Don’t tolerate aggravations from people who don’t understand the benefits this vital connection can have on your mental and physical health. American Service Pets can help you register your pet as an Emotional Support Animal in Arkansas. Then you can push aside those concerns about rental housing or extra fees for having an ESA. 

Take our test now, and you can get your pet certified for an ESA letter in just a few minutes with American Service Pets. 

Disclaimer: We would like to emphasize that while the terms “certification” or “registration” may be used in relation to Emotional Support Animals, there is no official certification process for ESAs or any form of ESA registry as of this date. As such, the use of these terms should not be interpreted as legally recognized designations by government or regulatory authorities. Remember, ESAs can provide a valuable source of comfort and support, but their recognition relies on proper documentation from a healthcare professional and adherence to relevant laws and guidelines.

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