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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification Letter
in Colorado

emotional support animal in Colorado

Finding a place to rent in Colorado with an Emotional Support Animal can be trying, despite laws protecting them. They have become essential to daily living for thousands of Americans, but there are still a few hurdles to jump in Colorado.

Bringing an uncertified Emotional Support Animal into a rental property is grounds for eviction, which can include fees and court costs. Landlords must obey state and federal laws about them, however. They do not enjoy the same rights as service animals (including Psychiatric Service Animals), but they have protection from rental property pet rules under the federal Fair Housing Laws.

American Service Pets helps tenants get the certification they need for rental housing and public access. Pet deposits and extraneous fees no longer apply.

See whether you qualify for a Colorado ESA certification letter with our quick test.

The Value of Emotional Support Animals

The state certifies Emotional Support Animals as a necessary presence for many people battling emotional and psychological trauma. They may be any animal that helps the individual cope with the mentally stressful parts of life, unlike service animals, which are primarily dogs. These animals are an essential part of a normally functioning life for many people. They provide a slew of rewards, both physically and psychologically, including:

Genuine Comfort

Our chaotic world is full of things to be worried about. Add in personal problems like finances and romance, and you might find yourself needing a hug. The simple act of holding an animal you love lowers heart rate and reduces stress.

Holistic Medicine

Many Americans prefer a natural approach to health ailments to avoid risks associated with medications. Certified Emotional Support Animals are natural medicine for depression, stress, and anxiety. Animals also encourage outdoor play, another health boost.

Mood Booster

Emotional Support Animals are some of the best mood boosters on the planet. Caring for a beloved animal raises levels of serotonin and dopamine, natural mood boosters. They make you laugh, ease loneliness, and provide comfort. People going through a hard time often need outside stimulus, like a pet to care for, to break the negative thought chain.

Emotional Support Animals provide a service that many people struggle without. American Service Pets provides pet owners with certification to have one in Colorado. Find out if you qualify for a Colorado ESA certification letter today.

Emotional Support Animal Laws in Colorado

Emotional Support Animals are considered companions, but they don’t perform life saving duties or help disabled people function through life’s daily chores, as service animals do.

Service animals and Emotional Support Animals serve different purposes and are afforded different rights under state and federal law. Emotional support animals have protection under federal and state law, provided they possess the required certification letter from a licensed Colorado medical professional. Official letters are accepted all over the country, but specific stipulations vary from state to state.

Housing Laws

The Fair Housing Act ensures that anyone with an Emotional Support Animal has equal access to housing. No one in Colorado may be turned down for housing, asked to pay a deposit, or evicted from a rental property for having one. Landlords have the right to view any animal’s ESA certification. Tenants who are not certified or present fraudulent certification letters can face prosecution in Colorado. 

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Public Places

Public access is not ensured for Emotional Support Animals in Colorado. Even service animals are denied entrance if they misbehave. Colorado allows only trained service animals public access.

Workplace Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the rights of the disabled to use a service dog in their place of employment. Colorado does not support the use of Emotional Support Animals under this act. Obtaining an ESL certification for your animal could be the defining factor you need. Many employers have a change of heart, especially if the animal is unobtrusive and well-behaved.

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Travel Laws

Emotional Support Animals are not ensured access to public transportation in Colorado, including buses, trains, and ride-share cars like Uber and Lyft. Most airlines have banned Emotional Support Animals on board airplanes as of 2020 in accordance with The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new travel laws policy. Pet owners will need to check with their airline to learn their policies. Or you can apply for a Psychiatric Service Animal (PSA) certification letter. Take our easy, three-step pet owner survey to see if you qualify!

American Service Pets is proud to offer an easy three-step process to provide Emotional Support Animal and Psychiatric Service Animal certification letters to Colorado residents. 

The Basics

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

Colorado generally complies with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It also has state civil rights laws, but Colorado’s state laws are generally pretty similar to the ADA.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

The ADA and Colorado law define a service animal as a “dog that’s individually trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability.”

What is considered a disability in the state?

Under the ADA and related laws, the term disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

The laws mainly refer to dogs, but in some circumstances, a trained miniature horse can also qualify as a service animal.

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

Since 2016, state laws have created class 2 petty offenses for intentional misrepresentation of entitlement to a service or assistance animal. A first offense of misrepresentation is punishable by a fine of $45. A second offense is punishable by a fine of between $50 and $200, and third and subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of between $100 and $500.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

In Colorado, a service animal in training and its trainer enjoy the same privileges as a trained service animal.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

Due to the fact that emotional support animals do not have to be task-trained, emotional support animals are not covered by the ADA or Colorado’s public accommodations law.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Both the ADA and Colorado law are very broad when defining what qualifies as a public accommodation. Public accommodations provisions include all of the following: hotels and lodging establishments, public transportation, restaurants/places that serve food and drink, stores and dealerships, service establishments, any place of public gatheringsm entertainment, or exercise/recreation, recreational facilities such as zoos and parks, libraries or museums, educational institutions, and social service centers like senior centers, homeless shelters, and food banks. Privately owned businesses that are open to the public are covered under these laws.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

The only questions that a public accommodation can ask are 1) Is this a service animal? and 2) What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

Service animals that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others can be excluded from public accommodations. This includes animals that have not been housebroken or are out of control (and the handler can’t or won’t take steps to control it).

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

State law says public accommodations include public streets, highways, walkways, or any public transportation services.

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

No, the ADA protects service animal owners from being interrogated, challenged, or required to show certification or other proof of their animal’s training or status.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Employers may not refuse to permit an employee with a disability who is accompanied by a service dog. The employer must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee or applicant with a service dog unless they can show that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on their buiness.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Service animals are allowed in areas open to the public, such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, they can be excluded from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

According to Colorado law, any person or entity that interferes with access to public accommodations is guilty of a misdemeanor. They can be punished by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than sixty days (or both).

Colorado 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?

Both federal and Colorado laws bar housing discrimination against handlers of service animals. Individuals in need of service animals may not be prohibited from full and equal access to all housing facilities, and they cannot be charged extra for having a service animal.

Are there any additional caveats to housing allowances?

If a person’s disability is not readily apparent, a housing provider may ask the person for documentation of the disability and their disability-related need for a service or assistance animal. The documentation may come from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional. This does NOT mean that the housing provider may ask for access to the individual’s medical records.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes, the person responsible for the service animal or service animal in training is liable for any damages caused by the animal.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

The FHA extends protections to both service dogs and emotional support animals if having an ESA is necessary for someone with a disability to have an equal opportunity to enjoy and use the home.

Discrimination Complaints

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

Contact the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) for additional information and assistance. If you believe your employer has discriminated against you and your service animal, you can contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at their Denver Field Office.

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 a request for a reasonable housing accommodation has been denied, you can file a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The deadline for filing a housing discrimination complaint with the CCRD or HUD is one year from the instance of discrimination. You can also file a private lawsuit in state or federal court without having to go through any administrative complaint process, provided that you file within two years of the incident.

How to Get Certified for an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado

American Service Pets delivers a quick and easy process to get certified for an Emotional Support Animal. It involves only three simple steps:

Fill Out the Questionnaire

You can answer the American Service Pets questionnaire to determine if you’re eligible for an emotional support animal certification letter in just a few minutes. 

Get a Doctor’s Approval

American Service Pets lets you choose to submit your file to a licensed doctor for approval and authorization or find your own. There are doctors available 24/7. Most requests are approved within a minute or two and sent to your email address. 

Add Your Pet to the International Directory

Adding your pet to the international directory provided by American Service Pets is a critical part of the process. It provides an online profile that shows your pet’s status and certification letter.

Approximately 95% of applicants qualify for Emotional Support Animal certifications. Get certified today with American Service Pets.

Advantages of American Service Pets

American Service Pets has helped more than 45,000 owners validate the status of their emotional support animals. Here’s why we are the service you need:

Colorado ESA Certification Letter

Our easy certification can end any worries about being separated from your Emotional Support Animal or penalized for having one. Take our 10-question test today to get started.

Nationwide Experts in Emotional Support Animal Certification

You no longer have to endure hassles from those who don’t understand the health benefits of this vital life connection. American Service Pets helps pet owners set aside worries about such issues as rental housing or extra fees for having an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado. Take our test today, and you can get certified for an Emotional Support Animal in less than half an hour. If you have additional questions and would like to speak to a real person, call us at (720) 464-2099.

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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