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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee Certified


Many people find that their furry companions not only offer comfort and support but also serve as effective therapy for emotional disorders. Emotional Support Animals in Tennessee play a crucial role in helping individuals manage symptoms related to PTSD, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, dipolar disorder, and ADHD. Recognizing the valuable health benefits these animals provide is essential.

Securing accommodation in Tennessee that permits support animals, such as rental housing, requires time and patience. Typically, a substantial deposit is demanded from animal owners due to landlords implementing strict pet policies to prevent property damage. Tenants with undocumented support animals may face legal consequences and the associated expenses of court proceedings.

Under the federal Fair Housing Act, individuals with ESAs have the right to keep their animals in their homes. Landlords in Tennessee are legally barred from charging a pet deposit or other fees to those with an ESA. However, possessing a valid approval letter is a prerequisite. 

American Service Pets helps renters obtain the necessary authorization for their qualified animals. Determine if you meet the criteria for a Tennessee ESA letter today with our simple quiz.

How Emotional Support Animals Can Benefit Their Humans

While dogs are the most common Emotional Support Animals due to their ease of training compatibility, ESAs can be almost any species that provides comfort. These animals offer assistance to individuals who may struggle to cope during hectic days.

Being in the presence of ESAs is calming and can be beneficial in moments of panic, anxiety, and emotional strain. Additionally, they come with other physical and psychological benefits, including:

Mental & Emotional Health Boost

Caring for an animal you love provides a natural emotional boost due to an increase in the mood lifters dopamine and serotonin. The outside stimulus of a pet can also help break through the mental fog of people struggling with depression. Pets make us smile and keep us from feeling lonely.

Holistic Treatment

More and more Americans are looking for drug-free methods of staying healthy. Emotional Support Animals can be this natural treatment for conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression. Caring for a beloved pet also promotes outdoor activity, which can help ease depressive symptoms as well.

Providing Comfort

Issues in our personal lives, such as financial troubles, relationships, and health concerns, can build up to the point of being overwhelming. Simply cuddling with a furry friend can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and 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 Tennessee. Find out if you qualify in just a few short minutes. 

Laws Related to Your Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee

Emotional Support Animals come in diverse shapes and sizes, each with unique personalities and benefits for their owners. However, there are certain tasks that only trained service dogs, such a Psychiatric Service Animals, are able to perform. These tasks include sensing seizures or panic attacks, retrieving medications, and assisting the visually impaired.

The distinctions in their roles grant separate legal privileges to the owners of these animals. Here are some fundamental laws that apply to your Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee:

Housing Laws

The federal Fair Housing Act explicitly prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who possess a valid Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee. Landlords are also not permitted to impose a pet deposit or additional fees on any tenant with an ESA.

Landlords can lawfully charge for repairs resulting from an ESA, and they are also entitles to request the official ESA letter for further context on the necessity for the animal. They also retain the right to reject an ESA that is not housebroken or is deemed aggressive or destructive.


Misrepresentation of a Psychiatric Service or Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee is considered a class B misdemeanor. If a tenant knowingly misrepresents their animal, they can face a termination of their lease and fees in addition to the misdemeanor charge.


Public Access

Emotional Support Animals in Tennessee are granted different public access rights under state and federal laws than Psychiatric Service Animals due to the difference in training. At the end of the day, the venue owner has the final say when it comes to your ESA. If you are unsure of the policies in a location, you should call ahead to see if you should bring your ESA before leaving the house.

Workplace Laws

Although Tennessee law does not require employers to permit Emotional Support Animals in the workplace, it does stipulate that employers need to provide accommodations to employees with disabilities. Possessing a valid letter for your Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee can play a crucial role in persuading a compassionate employer to grant access for the 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 Tennessee for owners needing the support of their pets.

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), Tennessee has its own public accommodations and service animal laws.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

A service animal is defined as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Examples include hearing dogs, guide dogs, psychiatric service animals, and seizure or allergen alert animals.

What is considered a disability in the state?

Tennessee defers to the ADA definition of disability, which is considered a physical or mental impairment that sustantially limits one or more major life activities.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Service animals are traditionally dogs, but the ADA also provides protection for miniature horses in some cases.

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

Yes. Misrepresentation of a service animal or support animal is a Class B misdemeanor. If a tenant knowingly misrepresents their animal, their lease may be terminated along with associated fees in addition to the misdemeanor charge.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Yes, service animals in training and their handlers have the same public accommodations access rights as full-fledged service animals under both Tennessee and ADA law.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

No, due to the fact that ESAs are not trained the way service animals are, they do not have the same access rights in public accommodations.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Tennessee has a very broad definition of public accommodation, which includes hotels, restaurants, barber shops, stores, theaters, public transportation, public schools, elevators, and all other places of recreation an amusement open to the public. The ADA’s definition of public accommodations is equally broad.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

Public accommodations may not question a service animal beyond asking whether or not the animal is required because of a disability and what task(s) the animal is trained to perform.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

Service animals may be excluded or removed from qualified public accommodations if they are not housebroken, are out of control, or are threatening the health and safety of other patrons. If a service animal is removed, its handler must still be allowed the opportunity to reenter the establishment without it.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Both state and federal law include public transportation and its associated terminals, depots, and stations as qualified public accommodations.

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

Service animals must be under control of their handler. This control is typically maintained by some form of harness, leash, or tether. If the handler is unable to use these items, or if the use of such items would interfere with the animal’s ability to perform tasks, another form of control such as voice commands or signals may be used.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Under the ADA and equal opportunity employment laws, employees may request the use of a service animal in the workplace as a reasonable accommodation. Employers must consider the request the way they would any accommodation request unless allowing an animal would create undue hardship or change the fundamental nature of the business.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Generally yes, service animals are allowed in places where the public can go, such as waiting areas and clinics. However, they may be barred from areas where their presence could compromise sterility, such as operating rooms or burn units.

Tennessee 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?

Under Tennessee and federal law, tenants with disabilities may request the use of a service or support animal as a reasonable accommodation. A landlord who receives this request has the right to ask for reliable documentation from a healthcare professional that describes the disability-related need for the animal if such disability is not readily apparent.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes. While you cannot be charged additional fees or “pet rent” for a service animal, you may be held liable for any damage the animal causes to the property beyond normal wear and tear.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Yes, both service and support animals are covered when it comes to housing.

Discrimination Complaints

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

If you believe you and your service animal have been discriminated against, you can file a complaint with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) within 180 days of the alleged incident. You can contact the THRC at 800-251-3589 or fill out their online complaint form. If you miss the 180-day window and you are hoping to file an employment discrimination complaint, you may still file with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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)?

For incidents of housing discrimination, you can contact the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) within 180 days of the alleged incident. You can contact the agency at 800-251-3589 or fill out their online complaint form. For further assistance, you can also contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity within one year of the discriminatory act. Additionally, you can contact the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) for help as well.

How to Get Certified for an Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee

American Service Pets provides you with an easy process to certification for your Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee. Just follow these simple steps:

Find Out if You Qualify

Complete our brief American Service Pets questionnaire to determine whether you meet the criteria to qualify for an ESA letter. This step only takes a few minutes!

Get a Doctor's Approval

American Service Pets give you the power to choose whether you want to file with your own doctor of with a healthcare professional in our network for approval and authorization. Many times, requests are approved within just a few minutes, and the approval is emailed to you.

Get Your Pet Added to the Directory

Adding your pet to the national directory of Emotional Support Animals is an important part of the ESA process. It creates an online profile showing your pet’s status and ESA letter.

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

Why Choose American Service Pets?

American Service Pets has worked hard to get over 45,000 Americans secure the paperwork they need for their support animal. Here’s why we should be your choice for all your ESA or PSA needs:

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.

Experts in Emotional Support Animal Certification

Obtaining legal approval for your Emotional Support Animal can significantly alleviate tress, although not everyone may be convinced of its importance. Persuade resistant landlords and others by acquiring a Tennessee ESA letter. Answer the five questions on our questionnaire today, and you can typically secure same-day approval for your Emotional Support Animal in Tennessee.

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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