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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in Connecticut


There are important laws that exist to protect the ability to have an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut. For so many Americans, having a furry friend by their side provides invaluable emotional support to overcome life’s various challenges. However, it’s essential to be realize that bringing an uncertified animal into a rental property can lead to eviction, along with substantial fees and penalties.

Landlords must follow both state and federal regulations related to ESAs, as non-compliance can result in civil and legal penalties. It is worth noting that while these animals aren’t entitled to the same rights as Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs), they are still protected against discrimination in rental properties under the federal Fair Housing Act.

At American Service Pets, we’re here to provide pet owners with the necessary certification to have an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut, allowing them to rent a home, travel, and enjoy public access with these companions. Say goodbye to concerns about “pet rent” and additional charges, and discover if you meet the criteria for Connecticut ESA letter by taking our simple quiz.

The Importance of Emotional Support Animals

Both state and federal governments recognize Emotional Support Animals as a right for individuals grappling with psychological trauma. These animals can be virtually any type that brings you support and comfort, ranging from turtles to birds to reptiles. In contrast, Psychiatric Service Animals are predominantly dogs due to their high trainability.

For many individuals, life would be significantly more difficult without their Emotional Support Animals. They provide psychological and physical benefits to their owners, including:

Emotional Benefit

When you care for something you love, you naturally get an emotional boost due to a flood of dopamine and serotonin. Having the outside stimulus of a pet can also break through the negative thoughts of people struggling with depression. At the end of the day, pets make us smile and feel less alone.

Homeopathic Remedy

Americans are increasingly searching for ways to stay naturally healthy and treat illnesses without involving drugs. Emotional Support Animals can serve as this form of holistic treatment for conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression. Additionally, ESAs promote outdoor activity, which is also a way to fight depression-related symptoms.

A Source of Comfort

Issues in daily life, such as relationships, financial troubles, and health concerns can feel overwhelming. Simply cuddling and playing with a furry companion reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and stress.

There are many people who rely on their Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut. That’s why American Service Pets is here to offer ESA letters for those who qualify. Find out if you qualify in just a few minutes.

Laws Governing Emotional Support Animals in Connecticut

While Emotional Support Animals serve as friends and travel companions, they lack the training to perform life-saving tasks or assist disabled individuals in the same way Psychiatric Service Animals can. Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals share similar but distinct purposes and are granted comparable but not identical rights by state and federal governments.

Official Emotional support animals enjoy some protection under these laws, but uncertified animals in Connecticut have no inherent rights. Valid letters must receive approval from a licensed Connecticut doctor and hold validity across the country. It’s important to note that different states may have different regulations with regards to ESAs, so it’s advisable to check regulations before embarking on any travel. Here are some relevant laws for an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut:

Housing Laws

Landlords are prohibited from turning down potential tenants for simply having an Emotional Support Animal. This is true in apartments, houses, public housing units, and condos. Landlords also cannot apply pet rent increases or deposits, and they must allow these animals in rental units unless they cause an “undue financial burden.”

The meaning of undue financial burden can vary in Connecticut, but it can include:

  • Property damage
  • Threat to any other tenants
  • Homeowner allergies

Landlords in Connecticut have the right to request an ESA letter. Renters without a valid ESA letter, or those who present fraudulent documents, are subject to prosecution. While there is not currently a law on the books related to misrepresenting an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut, this practice is still highly unethical.


Public Access

An Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut is not granted the same access to public accommodations that a Psychiatric Service Animal is. At the end of the day, the venue owner has the final decision. Thankfully there are many parks, restaurants, and event spaces out there that do allow dogs, but nevertheless it is a good idea to call ahead and ensure you are able to bring your ESA.

Workplace Laws

Employers in Connecticut are not legally required to allow Emotional Support Animals in their facilities. Presenting an ESA letter could convince a lenient employer to allow your ESA, provided that the animal is quiet, well-behaved, and potty-trained.


Travel Laws

Emotional Support Animals are no longer allowed in the cabin during air travel. Public transportation services such as buses, trains, and railways are under no legal obligation to board ESAs. Some rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have less strict policies, but it is always best practice to check ahead of time.

American Service Pets proudly offers a simple three-step process to provide letters for those in need of an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut.

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), Connecticut has its own state laws. Connecticut laws are more limited than the regulations set forth by the ADA, but public accommodations in Connecticut must follow both state and federal law.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

According to state law, a service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Connecticut law often refers only to guide or assistance dogs that help with physical disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, or mobility issues, but service animals also include seizure and allergen alert animals and psychiatric service animals.

What is considered a disability in the state?

Connecticut defers to the ADA’s definition of disability, which says that it is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A disability can be physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

State law specifically mentions dogs as service animals. However, on a federal level the ADA allows for trained miniature horses to be service animals as well.

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

Connecticut does not currently have a law on the books regarding service dog falsification.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Yes, Connecticut’s laws protect both individuals with disabilities who use guide or assistance dogs to help them, as well as people who train dogs for these purposes. Trainers of these dogs must be “employed by and authorized to engage in designated training activities by a guide dog organization or assistance dog organization that complies with the criteria for membership in a professional association of guide dog or assistance dog schools and who carries photographic identification indicating such employment and authorization.”

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

No. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals because they are not trained in the way service dogs are.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Connecticut’s definition of public accommodations is very broad, labeling them as any place that caters to, or offers goods, services, or facilities to the general public. This includes public buildings, commercial buildings and lots, hotels and ins, restaurants, and places of amusement or resort. The ADA’s definition is equally broad.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

Public accommodations may only ask if the dog 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?

Religous entities and private clubs are not included in the definition of public accommodations (unless the private club regularly makes its facilities available to nonmembers). At a qualified public accommodation, service animals can be removed or denied if they are not housebroken, out of control, or causing a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Connecticut’s public accommodations law gives people with disabilities the right to bring their service animals on all modes of public transportation, such as buses, trains, and ferries.

Are there any special measures you must take to have a service animal assisting you in public?

Connecticut law states that a guide or assistance dog should be wearing a harness or orange-colored leash and collar and be in direct custody of its handler. Service dogs are also subject to the same state licensing and tagging procedures as any other non-service dog would be in the state.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the use of service animals in the workplace falls under the category of a reasonable accommodation. Disabled individuals have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from their employer, and the employer must engage in an interactive process to determine if allowing a service dog would cause any undue hardship on the business.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Generally service animals are allows to go any place in a hospital where the general public is allowed. However, they may be restricted from sterile areas, such as operating rooms or burn units.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

Any person or business who violates Connecticut’s public accommodations law by denying access to a disabled individual with a service dog is guilty of a class D misdemeanor.

Connecticut 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?

Connecticut law prohibits housing discrimination against those with physical, mental, or learning disabilities. Landlords must allow tenants or applicants to request reasonable accommodations, which include service dogs. Per Connecticut’s government website, “Despite a no pet policy, if you have a disability, a landlord must allow you to keep a guide dog.”

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes. While you cannot be charged extra in “pet rent,” you may be liable for any damage caused by a service animal beyond normal wear and tear.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects the use of both service animals and ESAs. You may be asked to provide a letter from a healthcare professional demonstrating your disability-related need for the animal, but you are entitled to the reasonable accommodation of having the animal.

Discrimination Complaints

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

If you have been a victim of discrimination in a public accommodation or an employment setting, you should file a complaint with the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). The complaint inquiry form can be found online here. You may also fill out the complaint form by yourself or with an attorney by emailing, but the state recommends going through their site so their staff can assist with properly identifying legal issues. Regardless of how you choose to fill out your form, you must report any alleged discrimination with the Commission within 300 days of the event.

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)?

If you are the victim of housing-related discrimination, you should fill out the Housing Discrimination Unit Complaint Inquiry Form available for download on the Connecticut Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) website. This form can then be faxed or mailed to the CHRO. If you know someone who has been a victim of discrimination, you can fill out a Housing Discrimination Unit Complaint Referral Form on their behalf. Keep in mind that you have 180 days from the time of the alleged incident to fill out either of these forms.

How to Get Certification for an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut

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

Take the Test

American Service Pets brief questionnaire will allow you to determine if you meet the criteria for an ESA letter in less than half an hour.

Connect with a Doctor

With American Service Pets, you have the ability to choose to submit your file to your own doctor of one in our network for approval. Our doctors are available on a 24/7 basis. Most requests are approved within minutes, and your approval will be emailed to you.

Put Your Pet in the National Directory

Adding your pet to the national directory is an important part of the certification process. It sets up an online profile that shows your pet’s status and ESA letter.

95% of American Service Pets applicants meet the criteria for an ESA letter! See if you qualify today.

Why Trust American Service Pets

Over 45,000 pet owners have gone through the certification process with 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 simple process quickly ends any fears 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 put up with hassle from people who don’t understand the health benefits of Emotional Support Animals. At American Service Pets, we help individuals in need of an Emotional Support Animal in Connecticut register their furry friends.

Take our test today, and you could get certified for an ESA letter in just a few minutes, allowing you to set aside concerns about housing with your faithful companion.

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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