American Service Pets Logo

How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in New York

emotional support animal in New York

Emotional Support Animals offer immeasurable rewards to people suffering from various psychological illnesses, such as PTSD and chronic depression. They are necessary for many people to maintain a healthy mental state.

Using an Emotional Support Animal is not permitted everywhere in New York, despite their documented benefits. Rental housing poses the most problems for ESA owners, but there are also occasional travel and public access issues. You can face eviction, fees, court costs, and more as the owner of an Emotional Support Animal without proper documentation, for example. State and federal laws protect ESA owner’s rights, but they must attain a certification letter. Landlords and owners of public facilities must adhere to these laws or face penalties. 

American Service Pets helps people get certification for an Emotional Support Animal. Never worry about pet deposits and extraneous fees ever again.
Qualify for your animal with a New York ESA certification letter now.

The Benefits of an Emotional Support Animal

Emotional Support Animals are most often dogs, but they can be any type of animal. They are certified as therapeutic animals that help their owners through symptoms of psychological and emotional trauma. An ESA bestows important mental health benefits such as:

Natural Medicine

Western medicine treats depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health disorders with various drug prescriptions. According to the World Health Organization, 60-80% of the world’s population uses some form of natural medicine. Emotional Support Animals are a form of natural medicine that is proven beneficial in treating mental disorders.

Relief From Loneliness

Emotional Support Animals are essentially friends. The simple act of owning a pet boosts mood and decreases loneliness significantly. They also combat loneliness by being wonderful conversation starters at the beach, park, or on a walking trail.

Relief From Emotional Symptoms

People need Emotional Support Animals for relief from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other emotional issues that come with mental illness. Animals have an innate ability to calm and comfort without training. 

Rehabilitation Support

ESAs provide a lot of comfort, which is helpful to rehabilitation. People recovering from addiction and physical problems like a stroke or surgery can find the healing process less dismal with an Emotional Support Animal sharing their life.

American Service Pets helps people who have difficulty functioning without their pet get certified. Find out if you qualify for an ESA certification letter in New York today.

New York Emotional Support Animal Laws

Emotional Support Animals are not trained. They cannot save someone’s life or helping a disabled person function through their daily life. The animals that perform those types of jobs are service animals, which differ from support animals. The laws governing the two animals differ. 

Service animals are allowed more privileges and rights than comfort animals in New York. Emotional Support Animals, including Psychiatric Service Animals, may not be allowed in some public places. New York law states that business owners make their own decisions in this matter.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights holds that New York ESA owners must have:

New York only accepts certification letters from state-licensed mental health professionals. An official certification letter is accepted anywhere you go in the U.S., but state laws are different, so always check anywhere you plan to travel. Here are the other New York Laws that apply:

Housing Laws

A landlord in New York may not legally evict, charge a pet deposit, or impose any additional fees on a tenant for owning an Emotional Support Animal, regardless of any pet policies. Landlords may ask to see the ESA certification letter. New York state requires only one letter per pet. An ESA can still get a tenant turned down for housing if it is deemed unsanitary or too big for the property.

What is a PSD

Public Access Laws

ESAs have no right to be in any public place in New York that does not allow pets. This includes:

The decision lands with the business owner. New York allows them to make the final decision about ESA’s in their business. State parks and municipalities do not allow ESAs but do allow service dogs.

Workplace Laws

New York employers are not required to allow comfort animals in the workplace, even with a certification letter. The laws in New York do not strictly forbid animals in the workplace unless they pose a safety hazard. It is worth a try if you can provide a valid ESA certification letter.

person holding brown and white short coated dog scopio c0685494 0b22 49ae 9fb0 659984f33d26 scaled
Summer Safety Tips for Dog Owners

Travel Laws

Most national airlines have banned ESAs from traveling in the main cabin due to The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) updated travel laws policy. This right is now reserved for Psychiatric Service Animals (PSA). However, your ESA can still travel in the pet holding compartment on the plane. New York state does not allow ESAs on public transit, including buses, trains, rails, and subways. Ride-sharing app drivers may make their own decisions, so we recommend checking with the provider to learn their policies. Pet owners can apply for a PSA certification in New York for better travel privileges. To get started, take our pet owner survey to learn if you qualify.

New York does not afford many rights or privileges to these animals, but keeping them at home is most important to most owners. American Service Pets is happy to offer a simple three-step process to provide certification letters to New York residents to confirm their animal’s legal status as an Emotional Support Animal or a Psychiatric Service Animal.

The Basics

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

Yes, New York has some of its own laws in addition to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The laws differ in some ways, but public accommodations must comply with both sets of laws. As a service animal handler, you are entitled to rely on whichever law provides the most protections.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

Under New York law, a service dog is a dog that has been or is being trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability (including psychiatric disabilities). New York’s service animal law only applies to dogs. While the ADA defines a service animal similarly, it sometimes allows a miniature horse to qualify as a service animal.

What is considered a disability in the state?

The term “disability” is defined as a physical, medical, mental, or psychological impairment by the state.

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

Yes. As of 2017, New York passed a law that makes it unlawful to knowingly apply false or improper identification to an animal designating it as a service dog. Violators will face a fine of up to $100, 15 days of jail time, or both.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Yes, the law covers dogs actively being trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, as well as the trainers of these animals.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

The definition of service animal doesn’t include emotional support animals (ESAs) under New York Law or the ADA, meaning that ESAs do not have all the same benefits as service animals do.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

New York service dog laws cover a variety of locations under the umbrella of “public accommodations,” including public and private housing and transportation, educational institutions, government buildings, theaters, places that sell food, and any other places where the public is invited or permitted, including places used for entertainment, business, resort, or convenience.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

Public places and facilities in New York can only ask two questions: “Is the service animal required because of a disability” and “What work or task does the service animal perform?” Service animals are not required to wear jackets or vests or have any kind of ID or documentation.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

A service animal and handler may be asked to leave if the service animal is not housebroken or the animal is out of control and the handler cannot take effective action to control it. In these circumstances, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal present.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

New York follows the Department of Transportation ADA regulations, which say that a transportation provider must accept the verbal assurance of a passenger about their disability and service animal status. Transportation in this case is considered any public or private transportation vehicle.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Barring a service animal from the workplace would be considered a discriminatory act by New York law and federal ADA law. The only potential exception would be if reasonably accommodating the service animal presents a problem for an employer or another employee.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Per the ADA, service animals are permitted in general hospital locations where the public and patients can go, such as patient rooms, the cafeteria, the blood lab, and the ER. Service dogs may not be allowed in sterile environments like operating rooms and burn units. Emotional support animals may be excluded from permission to be present in a hospital setting.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

Yes. According to New York law, any person who intentionally refuses a person’s accommodations because they are accompanied by a service animal is subject to a civil penalty of up to $200 for the first violation and up to $400 for each subsequent violation. Different localities around the state may offer additional penalties in cases against those found guilty of discrimination against a service animal or its handler (in some cases up to $100,000).

New York 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 disability and may include psychiatric service dogs. Miniature horses are excluded from 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?

The FHA requires that housing providers make “reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, but you must request the accommodation (in this case, your service dog). If your disability isn’t apparent, a housing provider can ask for documentation of your need for a service dog or emotional support animal, but the Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits landlords and homeowners’ associations from charging you extra to have an ESA or service dog in your home.

Are there any additional caveats to housing allowances?

If the animal is a dog, a housing provider may require the submission of proof of vaccination, as required under New York state law.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes, a housing provider may require a resident to pay for damage caused by a service or support animal.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Housing providers in New York are governed by the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), which protects the right to have an emotional support animal live with you as a home buyer or renter. The City of New York also offers protections under the NYC Human Rights Law, which codifies the right to have an ESA as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. The only caveat to this law is that it must be an animal that’s legal to own within the city.

Discrimination Complaints

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

You can file a complaint with the New York Division of Human Rights. The department has a general complaint portal, as well as forms for all different categories, including one for public accommodations. If you are specifically denied access in New York City, you can file a complaint by calling 311 and asking to be connected to the NYC Commission on Human Rights. Complaints filed with the City Commission on Human Rights or with the State Division of Human Rights must be made within one year of the alleged discriminatory act.

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)?

You can submit a housing complaint to the New York Division of Human Rights. Additionally, you can also contact your local municipality.

How to Obtain an Emotional Support Animal Certification Letter in New York

American Service Pets provides a simple process to get certification. It is three steps that take only a few minutes to complete: 

Fill Out the Questionnaire

Answer the American Service Pets questionnaire to determine your eligibility for a New York Emotional Support Animal certification letter. It’s only a few simple yes or no questions.

Medical Approval

American Service Pets allows you to submit your file to a licensed, state-approved doctor for authorization. Doctors are always available, and most requests gain approval within three to five minutes. Certifications are delivered immediately via email.

Add Your Pet to the International Directory

Add your pet to the international directory to get an online pet profile that shows your pet’s status and certification letter for public view, so anyone can view it whenever needed. 

Approximately 95% of applicants qualify for Emotional Support Animal certifications. See if you qualify today.

Benefits of American Service Pets

We have qualified more than 45,000 pet owners nationwide for their ESA certificate letter. Here’s why makes our services different:

Emotional Support Animal in New York State

Make sure the pet that brings you so much peace and comfort is never denied. Answer the five short questions on our questionnaire and start your journey as an ESA owner today. If you have additional questions and would like to speak to a real person before taking our Pet Owner Survey, call us at (518) 201-2685.

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.

American Service Pets Logo only

You're In!
Check your inbox for your 15% off code.

You've got 15% off waiting for you

Enter your email for your code, plus other offers & updates from American Service Pets

You're In!

Check your inbox for your discount code.

Please allow a few moments for delivery, and be sure to check your spam/junk folder if you don’t see it.