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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in Georgia

How To Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter in Georgia

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) helps its handler through mentally stressful moments by providing comfort, support, and a sense of security when symptoms of emotional or sensory issues appear. Federal laws protect them in some instances, but opposition exists. That’s why recognizing these animals for their therapeutic rewards is so vital.

One of the hardest things about living in Georgia is finding rental housing and other establishments that are pet friendly. Landlords, public transport officials, and business owners can be sticklers on pet regulations, despite their documented therapeutic traits. Renters could face eviction and related expenses without proper credentials for their qualified animals, and business owners can also refuse entry. 

The Federal Fair Housing Act allows people with emotional disorders to legally keep an official ESA in their rental home if they have an official Georgia ESA letter. American Service Pets helps handlers get the approval they need for an Emotional Support Animal. Find out if you qualify for a Georgia ESA letter now

The Additional Perks of Emotional Support Animals

Most qualified ESAs are dogs, but they can be any animal, even a miniature horse, that elicits a feeling of safety in problematic situations. Many people coping with mental distress rely on them. ESAs also provide a few added rewards:

Authentic Comfort & Support

Qualified support animals offer a sense of safety that helps many people make it through awkward moments. Mingling with animals of any kind can help alleviate stress from routine issues. It can be even more beneficial when it’s an animal you love.

Relief From Lonliness

Support animals make great best friends. They excel at combating loneliness because they increase happiness hormones, according to the National Institutes of Health. They are also reliable conversation starters to help you meet new people. 

Natural Medicine

Prescription drugs are the typical treatment for symptoms of emotional disorders such as panic attacks, but Emotional Support Animals are another valuable treatment. ESAs work as a natural medicine by boosting feel-good hormones, providing comfort, and relieving loneliness without drugs. 

Physical Rehabilitation

People recovering from physical ailments such as heart attacks, addiction, or a severe injury like a broken bone can find a loyal support system in their qualified animal during the healing process. They simultaneously keep you entertained and boost morale.

It’s so much harder to concentrate when the world around you is chaotic. Many people coping with mental health disorders have trouble functioning regularly at stressful times without their qualified animal. 

American Service Pets helps pet owners coping with emotional issues register for theirs. Find out if you qualify for a Georgia ESA letter today. 

Georgia ESA Laws

ESAs provide security, comfort, and friendship but cannot perform lifesaving duties, such as sensing a dip in blood sugar levels or the onset of a panic attack. Only official Psychiatric Service Animals are professionally trained to deliver these specialized services. 

The different responsibilities of these animals provide their handlers separate legal freedoms. Here are some fundamental laws in Georgia that apply:

Housing Laws

The Federal Fair Housing Act and Georgia state housing laws forbid landlords from evicting a renter for owning an Emotional Support Animal.  They can’t demand an extra deposit or impose any extra charges upon any renter with an ESA. 

Landlords can legally ask to see the formal ESA letter and medical documentation of the disability. They also have the right to refuse renters if their animal is destructive, not house trained, or could cause an undue financial burden.

Housing Laws for ESAs in Georgia
Public Access Laws for ESAs in Georgia

Public Access

Georgia business owners can legally decide whether to allow ESAs in their shops. There’s no law requiring these animals access as there is for rental housing. Support animals are allowed access to any public business that permits pets in Georgia. This can include:

  • Beaches
  • Malls
  • Theaters
  • Tourist attractions
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores


It’s a good idea to call ahead to anywhere you plan to visit with your ESA so you know what to expect. 

Employment Laws

Employers in Georgia are not legally required to allow a qualified support animal in their establishment. Having an authentic Georgia ESA letter approved by a licensed professional could be the defining factor to sway a compassionate employer.

Employment Laws for ESAs in Georgia
Travel Laws for ESAs in Georgia

Travel Laws

The Department of Transportation’s formal travel guidelines stopped support for comfort animals in-cabin in 2020. Airlines make their own regulations regarding in-cabin Emotional Support Animals; most only board them under regular pet rules. It’s a good idea to check with the airline before you book to avoid stressful problems.

Georgie doesn’t grant public transportation access to support animals, including:

  • Buses
  • Subways
  • Ride-share apps
  • Railcars
  • Trams

It’s best to check with any source of transportation to check their rules before making your travel plans. 

Georgia Emotional Support Animals enjoy the right to stay in their homes with their owners. American Service Pets is excited to offer Georgians an opportunity to validate the status of their ESA.

The Basics

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

Yes, Georgia does have its own set of laws, but it must also comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Definition of a "Service Animal"

Under Georgia law, "those who are blind or have a visual disability, are deaf, or have another physical disability may bring a guide dog or service dog into public accommodations. The dog must have been specially trained to provide assistance by a school for seeing-eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs. The law defines a physical disability as a physiological deficiency or defect that renders the person unable to move without aid, or limits the ability to walk, climb, ascend, sit, rise, or perform related functions."

What is considered a disability in the state?

Georgia law does not specifically include mental, developmental, or intellectual disabilities. This means psychiatric service animals are likely not covered by the law unless they assist someone who also has a disability that creates mobility or sensory restrictions covered under the law. Federal ADA provisions can still cover PSAs though.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Georgia law only includes coverage for dogs, but federal ADA law can cover miniature horses in some instances.

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

Georgia does not currently have a state-specific law on the books for service dog fraud.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Both Georgia state law and the ADA include coverage for service animals in training. Georgia law specifically notes that those serving as trainers for service animals must have proper credentials for an accredited school for service or guide dogs and must be wearing identification for the school.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

Neither Georgia nor the ADA's laws include public accommodation provisions for Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Georgia law allows people with disabilities to bring service animals on any form of public transportation, buses, airlines, hotels, and other lodging places, places of accommodation, amusement, or resort, and all other places to which the public is invited. The ADA provides more detail on places within each of these categories.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

The business may only ask if the animal is a service animal and what task(s) it has been trained to perform.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

There may be an exception if accommodating the animal would radically alter the operations of or service provided by the business. If the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, it may also be asked to leave. This can include service animals that aren't housebroken or are out of control.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Georgia law includes a provision saying that blind persons, persons with visual disabilities, persons with physical disabilities, and deaf persons are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges on all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats, or any other modes of transportation.

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

Requiring documentation is considered a "condition of entry" under the ADA and prohibited for public access rights. However, paperwork may be required for housing and employment. This paperwork may include a doctor's note indicating that the animal is needed without disclosing disability details.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

The ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled people in employment situations and requires the provision of an employee's reasonable accommodation request. The only potential exception would be is allowing the animal at work would cause undue hardship or disrupt the workplace environment in some manner.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Federal protections do extend to service dogs being allowed in hospitals. However, the animal cannot compromise a sterile environment within a healthcare facility.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

A person or business who denies an individual that qualifies for a service animal under Georgia law access to public accommodations is guilty of a misdemeanor. They are subject to fines of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both.

Georgia 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?

Individuals who qualify for service or guide dogs under Georgia law are entitled to rent, lease, or purchase housing accommodations without having to pay extra for their service animals.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes, handlers are liable for any damage done to the premises by their guide dog or service dog.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

While Emotional Support Animals are not automatically exempt from a housing provider's no-pet policies the way service dogs are, they are covered by the federal Fair Housing Act. The FHA puts the responsibility for accommodation on landlords, unless such accommodations would create undue financial or administrative burden (this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis).

Discrimination Complaints

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

If you feel that your rights have been violated as an individual with a disability in Georgia, you can contact the Disability Services Ombudsman to file a complaint.

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 housing discrimination, you can file a fair housing complaint with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity. In order for the commission to investigate, the complaint must be filed within 365 days from the initial discriminatory act.

How to Get an ESA Letter in Georgia

American Service Pets comprehends these animals’ wellness advantages and how crucial they are to their handlers, so we’ve simplified the process to offer more help. Here’s how to get rolling:

Fill Out the Questionnaire

It takes approximately three minutes to answer our questionnaire to determine your eligibility. 

Doctor’s Approval

American Service Pets allows you to submit your file to a licensed Georgia state-approved doctor for authorization. Doctors are always available, and they approve most requests within three to five minutes. Letters are emailed immediately.

Add Your Pet to the National Directory

Your pet gets an online pet profile on the national directory that shows its status and ESA letter for public view.

American Service Pets has helped over 45,000 pet owners nationwide authorize their qualified animals. Over 95% of hopefuls are eligible for Georgia ESA endorsement letters. See if you qualify in just a few minutes.

Benefits of American Service Pets

American Service Pets wants to support anyone who can benefit from an Emotional Support Animal. Here’s why we’re the best choice in Georgia:

Certify Your Pet As An ESA In Georgia with American Service Pets

Now’s your chance to secure your rights to your Emotional Support Animal. An official ESA letter will legalize your unique relationship.

Allow Us to Help Get Your ESA Approved

Getting legal approval for your ESA is like the weight of the world is lifted from your shoulders, but not everyone thinks it’s a good idea. Encourage tenacious landlords and others to accept this vital connection with an ESA letter. Answer the five questions on our questionnaire today and you’ll be on your way to getting qualified for an Emotional Support Animal in Georgia – usually the same day.

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