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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal in Montana Certified

Montana-ESA

Montana has both state and federal laws that safeguard the use of Emotional Support Animals, though not everyone may fully embrace them. For numerous Americans, a furry companion serves as an invaluable source of emotional support to navigate the challenges life presents. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that bringing an uncertified animal into a rental property in Montana can result in eviction, fees, and penalties.

Landlords are obligated to adhere to both state and federal regulations concerning support animals. Non-compliance by a landlord can lead to legal and financial consequences. These pets don’t possess the same rights as Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs), but they are protected against discrimination in rental properties by the federal Fair Housing Act.

American Service Pets can assist those with an Emotional Support Animal in Montana with obtaining the necessary certification, enabling them to lease a home, travel, and enjoy public access with their support animals. Say goodbye to concerns about pet deposits and additional charges. Determine if you qualify for a certified Emotional Support Animal in Montana by taking our straightforward quiz.

The Benefits Emotional Support Animals Provide Their Humans

Emotional Support Animals are recognized as a right by both state and federal governments, offering crucial support for individuals grappling with psychological trauma. These animals can take various forms, providing comfort and support, whether they are birds, reptiles, or amphibians. Conversely, Psychiatric Service Animals are predominantly dogs due to their exceptional trainability.

Many individuals rely on their Emotional Support Animals to assist them in navigating daily life. These furry companions offer both physical and psychological benefits to their owners, such as:

Mood Booster

Caring for a beloved animal naturally enhances your emotional well-being by triggering the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. The presence of a pet can be an external stimulus that effectively disrupts negative thought patterns in individuals grappling with depression. Pets have the ability to bring smiles and alleviate feelings of loneliness.

Homeopathic Remedy

There is a growing trend among Americans to explore holistic approaches for maintaining good health. Certified Emotional Support Animals represent a drug-free and natural form of treatment for anxiety, stress, and depression. Additionally, caring for a cherished pet encourages outdoor activities, contributing to the natural alleviation of symptoms associated with depression.

A Source of Comfort

The challenges we face in our personal lives, including financial issues, relationship troubles, and health worries, can become quite overwhelming. Simply engaging in the act of cuddling and playing with your furry companion has the potential to lower heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and alleviate stress.

So many people rely on their Emotional Support Animal. American Service Pets offers the ability to secure paperwork for those with an Emotional Support Animal in Montana. See if you qualify for certification in just a few minutes. 

Laws Surrounding Emotional Support Animals in Montana

Emotional Support Animals play crucial roles as essential companions in the lives and travels of their owners. However, it’s important to note that they cannot perform life-saving tasks or provide assistance to disabled individuals in the same manner as Psychiatric Service Animals. Consequently, state and federal governments grant slightly different rights to ESAs and PSAs. 

Official Emotional Support Animals enjoy legal protection, but uncertified animals in Montana have no specific rights. For an ESA to be officially recognized, documentation must include approval from a licensed doctor in Montana, generally valid nationwide. Nevertheless, regulations may vary between states, so it’s recommended to check the specific requirements before embarking on any travel. Below are the laws pertaining to Emotional Support Animals in Montana:

Housing Laws

In Montana, landlords are prohibited from refusing individuals with Emotional Support Animals. This policy is applicable in various residential settings, including apartments, houses, public housing units, and condos. Furthermore, landlords are not allowed impose additional charges for “pet rent,” and they are obligated to permit ESAs unless there is a genuine risk of the animals causing “undue financial burden.”

The meaning of undue financial burden varies in Montana, but it can include:

  • Property damage
  • Threat to any other tenants
  • Homeowner allergies
Montana-ESA

Landlords in Montana possess the authority to ask for documentation pertaining to your Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Renters lacking a legitimate ESA letter or providing falsified documents may face legal action. In Montana, misrepresentation of a pet as a service or support animal is considered a misdemeanor. 

A person who commits this fraud may be fined varying amounts based on whether it is a first, second, third, or subsequent offense. The guilty party may also be required to perform community service on behalf of an organization that advocates for people with disabilities.

Montana-ESA

Public Access

Emotional Support Animals do not have equivalent rights to Psychiatric Service Animals, as outlined by state and federal regulations. The determination of whether an ESA is allowed in a specific venue lies with the venue’s owner. While some parks and public facilities may welcome animals, it is advisable to call ahead before leaving your residence to confirm whether your ESA is permitted if you are uncertain.

Workplace Laws

Employers in Montana are not legally obligated to accommodate Emotional Support Animals on their premises. However, sharing an ESA letter with your employer may influence them to consider permitting your animal in the workplace, as along as it is well-behaved and housebroken.

Montana-ESA
Montana-ESA

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 stringent policies, but you have to check ahead of time. 

American Service Pets is proud to provide a simple three-step process to ESA letters in Montana for owners who are in need of support from a furry companion.

FAQ
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), Montana has its own set of human rights laws protecting individuals with disabilities. Public accommodations and housing in Montana must still comply with both state and federal laws.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

Montana law defines a service animal as a dog or other animal that is individually trained to provide assistance to someone with a disability. They assist these individuals through specific task training. Under the ADA, examples of service dogs include hearing dogs, guide dogs for the visually impaired, psychiatric service animals, and seizure and allergen alert animals.

What is considered a disability in the state?

According to Montana law, a person with a disability means an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as writing, seeing, hearing, speaking, or mobility, and that limits the individual’s ability to obtain, retain, or advance in employment.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Under the ADA, a service animal can be a dog or in some cases a miniature horse.

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

Misrepresentation of a ervice animal is a misdemeanor in the state of Montana. A person who commits this service animal fraud will be fined $50 for the first offense, $75-$200 for the second offense, and anywhere from $100-$1000 for the third or subsequent offense. The guilty party may also be required to perform community service for an organization that advocates on behalf of people with disabilities.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Yes, Montana’s state code says that “a person who is training a service animal is entitled to the same rights and assumes the same responsibilities granted to a person with a disability.” However, the service animal in training must wear a leash, collar, cape, harness, or backpack that identifies in writing that the animal is in training. The written identification must be visible and legible from a distance of at least 20 feet.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

Neither the ADA nor Montana state laws cover emotional support animals, as they are not trained in the same way service animals are.

FAQ
Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Montana’s Human Rights Code states that disabled individuals have the same rights of access to streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places. Examples include hotels, inns, trailer parks and campgrounds, restaurants, ice cream parlors, cafes, bars, barbershops and salons, swimming pools, skating rinks, golf courses and resorts, bathrooms and rest houses, theaters, and hospitals. The ADA has a similarly broad list of places that qualify as public accommodations.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

A person may only be aksed whether the animal is a service animal required because of a disability and what task(s) the animal is trained to perform.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

If a service animal is not housebroken, is out of control, or is posing a threat to the health and safety of other patrons in the establishment, it may be removed or denied access. If a service animal is barred from an establishment, its handler may still enter the establishment without the animal.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Transportation is covered under the umbrella of public accommodations, meaning service animals are allowed on all public carriers and forms of transportation.

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

All service animals and service animals in training must be under the control of their handler. However, service animals in training must also wear some form of leash, collar, cape, harness, or backpack that identifies in writing that the animal is in training. The written identification must be visible and legible from a distance of at least 20 feet.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

The ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled people in employment situations. These individuals are allowed to request the use of a service animal as a reasonable accommodation in their workplace environment. As with any accommodation request, the employer must consider allowing with use of a service animal at work unless doing so poses an undue hardship or disruption to the workplace environment.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Generally yes, service animals are allowed to access areas in healthcare facilities where the general public can go, such as waiting areas and examination rooms. Service animals may be barred from areas where they could compromise sterility, such as operating rooms or burn units.

Montana 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.

FAQ
Housing Law

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

Montana defers to the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) when it comes to housing access. Individuals with disabilities who have service animals are entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations without being required to pay extra for the use of a service animal. As a result, those in need of a service animal have the right to request the use of the animal as a reasonable accommodation from their housing provider.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes. While you cannot be required to pay additional fees for a service animal, you are liable for any damage done to the premises by a service animal.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Yes, ESAs are considered qualified reasonable accommodations in housing situations under the FHA.

FAQ
Discrimination Complaints

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

The Montana Human Rights Bureau deals with complaints related to discrimination of all forms, including public accommodations discrimination. If you have experienced discrimination, you should contact the Bureau by calling 406-444-2884 (toll-free: 1-800-542-0807), emailing kcobos@mt.gov, or visiting the office in Helena. If you decide to file a formal complaint, you must do so within 180 days of the discriminatory incident. For employment discrimination, complaints may be filed dually with the Human Rights Bureau and the Equal Employement Opportunity Commission, meaning both federal and state laws will apply.

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 believe you have been discriminated against in a housing situation, you can contact the Montana Human Rights Bureau by calling 406-444-2884 (toll-free: 1-800-542-0807), emailing kcobos@mt.gov, or visiting the office in Helena. If you would like to file a complaint, you must do so within 180 days under Montana law.

How to Get Certified for an Emotional Support Animal in Montana

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

Determine Whether You Qualify

Complete the brief American Service Pets questionnaire to determine if you qualify for an ESA letter. This step stakes only minutes!

Get a Doctor's Approval

Through American Service Pets, you have the flexibility to decide whether you prefer to file with your personal doctor or with a healthcare professional within our network for approval and authorization. Our network of doctors is accessible around the clock. Typically requests are granted approval within minutes, and the confirmation is promptly sent to you via email.

Have Your Pet Added to the National Directory

By adding your pet to the national directory of Emotional Support Animals, you’ll create an online profile showing your pet’s status and ESA letter. This is a very important part of the certification process.

95% of our applicants qualify for an ESA letter. You can get yours with American Service Pets today.

The American Service Pets Advantage

Over 45,000 people have trusted American Service Pets to help them certify their pet as an ESA or PSA. Here’s why you should choose us:

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

Our simple process alleviates worries about being separated from your animal or being punished for having one. Get started by taking our short online test.

Nationwide Experts in Emotional Support Animal Certification

You shouldn’t have to deal with hassling from individuals who don’t understand the bond you have with your ESA. That’s exactly why American Service Pets is there to assist you with registering your Emotional Support Animal in Montana. Set aside worries about rental accommodations or fees associated with having an ESA. If you meet the criteria, you can obtain certification 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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