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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in Indiana

How to get an Emotional Support Animal Certification in Indiana

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a great comfort to anyone coping with emotional or psychological maladies. Their comfort animals boost happiness hormones and relief from loneliness, along with a potent form of natural health care that successfully manages symptoms of emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Recognition of the vast array of health benefits these animals provide is vital.

The search for rental housing or public establishments that accept pets in Indiana can be challenging. Landlords can be sticklers for pet rules. Tenants can find themselves facing time-consuming court proceedings and the hefty fees that accompany them if they don’t have proper documentation for their support animal.

Laws empower tenants to live with an ESA in their rental unit in Indiana if they have legal approval. American Service Pets assists tenants in obtaining authorization for their animal. See if you qualify for an Indiana ESA letter today below.

Top 4 Benefits of an ESA

Qualified Emotional Support Animals are any animal that provides comfort during times of emotional stress. Most are dogs, but there are plenty of comfort animals: cats, hamsters, birds, and even fish. They are helpful to people who sometimes have trouble getting through their day due to emotional overload. They also provide some additional benefits, such as:

Authentic Love & Care

Emotional Support Animals provide buckets of love and loyalty that help owners through emotional troubles. Just hanging out with an ESA can help alleviate everyday stressors.

Relief From Loneliness

Social relationships have a significant impact on mental health. Support animals do their best work as loyal companions. Sharing your life with one can make you feel less lonely and more connected to your outside environment. 

Natural Healthcare

An ESA can have a calming effect when you’re dealing with everyday pressure and help keep emotions under control during high-stress situations. It’s a rewarding option for anyone who prefers to steer clear of prescription drugs to treat stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional troubles.

Physical Rehabilitation

The recovery process is a little easier when you have an ESA by your side. People recovering from broken bones, stroke, and addiction can find comfort and support in their animals. Comfort animals boost your spirits and morale when you’re feeling low.

Life is stressful for everyone at times. American Service Pets helps pet owners coping with emotional challenges register for their ESA.  

Find out if you qualify for an Indiana ESA certification letter today. 

Indiana ESA Laws

Emotional Support Animals come in all sorts and sizes with myriad benefits, from health to comedic relief. They can’t, however, save lives, deliver medicine, or sense a panic attack coming. Only Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs) are professionally trained to perform those types of jobs. 

The differences in their capabilities afford their owners separate legal privileges. Here are some key laws in Indiana that apply:

Housing Laws

Landlords in Indiana cannot legally evict anyone for owning an approved Emotional Support Animal, under the federal Fair Housing Act. They may not charge a pet deposit or levy additional fees upon any tenant with an ESA. Landlords have the right to view the authorized ESA letter and know the nature of the disability and how it necessitates a need for a comfort animal. Landlords also have the right to turn away tenants if their ESA is too big, untrained, destructive, or not house-trained.

Housing Laws for ESAs in Indiana
Public Access Laws for ESAs in Indiana

Public Places

Indiana state law leaves the decision to allow access to support animals up to the establishment’s owner. ESAs are allowed access to any establishment that accepts pets in Indiana. This can include:Beaches

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

It’s a good idea to call ahead to any establishment you plan to visit with your ESA. Learning their rules ahead of time can prevent any embarrassing situations.

Employment Laws

Indiana law doesn’t require employers to allow an Emotional Support Animal in their establishment. State legislation does, however, state that employers cannot discriminate and must fully accommodate employees with disabilities. Having an official Indiana ESA letter can go a long way in convincing a compassionate employer to allow access.

Workplace Laws for ESAs in Indiana
Travel Laws for Indiana ESAs

Travel Laws

The Department of Transportation updated the formal travel guidelines in 2020. Airlines are now able to make their own decisions regarding in-cabin support animals. Most have banned this practice and only allow an ESA under regular pet rules. 

Indiana doesn’t permit ESA access to public transportation, which includes:

  • Buses
  • Subways
  • Railcars
  • Trams

It helps to check with any transportation provider while you’re planning a trip, so you know what to expect.

Indiana Emotional Support Animals don’t have as many privileges as in California, for example, but keeping them at home is the most important thing for most people. American Service Pets is excited to offer Hoosiers an opportunity to validate the status of their ESA.

FAQ
The Basics

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

Yes, Indiana has its own set of state laws in addition to complying with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Definition of a "Service Animal"

Indiana law includes guide animals, hearing animals, assistance animals, psychiatric assistance animals, mobility animals, seizure alert animals, and autism service animals under the umbrella of “service animal.” Essentially, any dog that has been trained to perform a task to benefit a person with a disability qualifies.

What is considered a disability in the state?

The definition of disability in Indiana involves an individual having a medically determinable physical or mental impairment “which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Typically “service animal” refers to dogs, but miniature horses may qualify in some cases under the ADA.

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

In Indiana, misrepresentation of an animal as an emotional support animal or a service animal is considered a Class A infraction.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

It does not appear that there are any additional provisions for service animals-in-training under Indiana law.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

No, ESAs are not trained to perform a specific task, so they do not qualify for coverage under state or federal law.

FAQ
Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Under Indiana law, a public accommodation is considered “any establishment that caters or offers its services or facilities or goods to the general public.” Most businesses, such as hotels, bars, restaurants, stores, and service centers fall under this definition, as do parks and recreational facilities. Only certain private clubs, social organizations, and religious entities are not included in this definition.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

The only questions that can be asked about a service animal are whether the service animal is required because of a disability and what task the animal has been trained to perform.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

If admitting service animals would fundamentally alter the nature of the accommodation, they may be able to refuse a service animal. Examples of this would be a college dorm reserved for students with allergies to dogs or a zoo where the animals on display are prey or predators of dogs. In restaurants, service animals may not eat from tables or be seated on chairs or benches (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if sitting on a chair is necessary for a dog’s service.) Out-of-control dogs or dogs that are not housebroken can also be excluded.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Public transportation and terminals, depots, and stations are included in public accommodations provisions for service animals and their handlers.

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

No, animals do not have to wear anything identifying them as a service dog. Individual cities may have voluntary registration programs for service animals and provide special tags. This is permitted under the ADA but cannot be a mandatory condition for service dog handlers.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Service animals are not specifically addressed in the law, but handlers of service animals are considered a protected class because they fall under the category of individuals with disabilities. Therefore a request for a service animal in the workplace must be considered the way any other reasonable accommodation request would be.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Service animals are generally allowed in doctor’s offices or areas of hospitals where the general public is permitted. They may, however, be prohibited from certain areas where they could compromise the sterility of an environment.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

Anyone who interferes with the actions of a service animal is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Indiana 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?

Indiana’s state statute only specifically mentions guide dogs that assist individuals with disabilities. However, the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) says that housing facilities must allow both service dogs and emotional support animals.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes. While service animal handlers or ESA owners cannot be charged additional “pet rent” fees, they may be liable for any damage caused by the animal.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Yes, the FHA provides provisions for ESAs.

FAQ
Discrimination Complaints

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

If you have been discriminated against at a public accommodation, you should contact the Indiana Civil Rights Commission by calling 317-232-2600 (or 800-628-2909 toll-free) or by visiting the ICRC’s website. You can file a discrimination complaint by phone, by mail, in person, or via online complaint form with the ICRC. You have 180 days from the time of the incident to file a complaint related to employment, public accommodations, credit, and education.

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)?

When it comes to housing discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, and they will send a copy to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). You can also file a complaint with HUD directly. Keep in mind that you have up to one year following the alleged incident to file.

How to Get an ESA Letter in Indiana

American Service Pets understands how crucial these animals are and the importance of their health benefits, so we’ve simplified the process to help even further. Here’s how to do it:

Fill Out the Questionnaire

It takes approximately 3 minutes to answer the American Service Pets questionnaire to determine your eligibility.

Get a Doctor’s Approval

American Service Pets allows you to submit your file to a licensed state-approved doctor for authorization. Doctors are always available, and they approve most requests within 3 to 5 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 legitimize their qualified animals. As many as 95% of applicants are eligible for ESA letters. See if you qualify in a few minutes.

Benefits of American Service Pets

American Service Pets works hard to help applicants get the qualification they need for their support system. Here are some things that make us a good choice for you:

American Service Pets Emotional Support Animal Certifications in Indiana

Now is your chance to secure your rights to the physical and psychological rewards of your ESA. An Indiana ESA letter will legally legitimize your special relationship.

Allow Us to Help Get Your ESA Approved

Finally getting legal approval for your ESA is a fantastic feeling, but not everyone is always on board. Persuade resistant landlords and others of 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 — usually on the same day — for an Emotional Support Animal in Indiana.

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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