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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in Ohio

Emotional Support Animal in Ohio

Psychological trauma makes life more challenging in many ways, and one of them is finding a cooperative landlord when you have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Federal and Ohio state laws provide rights to pet owners who certify their pets as Emotional Support Animals in Ohio, including equal access to rental housing.

Emotional Support Animals don’t enjoy the same rights as Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs), which can perform life-saving tasks, but they do have some rights under Federal Fair Housing laws regarding rental property. ESA owners need to understand their state’s laws and federal regulations covering housing, public access and travel. 

American Service Pets helps people get the ESA letter they need for rental housing, public access, and traveling with their ESA. Find out if you qualify for an ESA or PSA letter with our simple test. It’s all you need to enjoy the rights provided for Emotional Support Animals in Ohio.

How Emotional Support Animals Benefit Their Owners

ESAs provide their owners with the support they need to get through some of the day’s most stressful moments. They can be any animal you feel a connection with or who helps you cope when life gets hard. PSAs are almost always dogs, however. 

Ohio state law respects the need for Emotional Support Animals for people with emotional trauma. It protects the owners’ rights to have these animals live in a rental property with them. 

ESAs and PSAs are sometimes the only way to have a normally functioning life for people who need emotional support. Here are some of their greatest benefits:

Naturopathic Therapy

Having a pet in your life has unique rewards that offer many of the same effects as depression medicines. Animals are a natural approach to managing ailments that avoids risks associated with drugs. Emotional Support Animals are a natural treatment for PTSD, panic attacks, depression, and anxiety. 

Genuine Comfort

Living with emotional trauma is exhausting, and adding it to everyday stressors can leave anyone needing help. Being with an animal you love reduces stress and lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Feeling loved always makes a difference.

Happiness Booster

Levels of serotonin and dopamine, natural mood enhancers, get a boost when you care for an animal you love. Pets make you feel good and provide comfort when you need it most.

The burdens of emotional disorders are hard to navigate without an Emotional Support Animal. American Service Pets provides a fast, easy way for pet owners to get certification in less than half an hour in most cases.

Take the test to see if you qualify for an Ohio ESA letter now. 

Laws Covering an Emotional Support Animal in Ohio

Ohio laws acknowledge ESAs as companions who provide support and comfort. They do not possess the training or skills that Psychological Service Animals have, such as saving lives, helping the disabled, or recognizing the signs of a mental disorder. They both serve different purposes and are afforded different legal rights. 

Emotional Support Animals have legal protections, but only if their owners have an authentic ESA letter from a licensed Ohio medical professional. Official letters are accepted all over the country, but specific stipulations vary across states. 

Housing Laws

Landlords may not turn down a tenant for housing, evict them, or levy a pet deposit or other extraneous fee in Ohio. Size and breed restrictions are also prohibited for ESAs. They do have the right to ask for an ESA letter when applicants request accommodations for their pet, according to the Fair Housing Act. An ESA cannot be required to wear a special vest or any identifiers, but a landlord can ask for proof of current immunizations.

Housing Laws for Emotional Support Animals in Ohio
ESA Rights in Public Places in Ohio

Public Places

Emotional Support Animals have no right to public access in Ohio. PSAs are allowed in public places, but only if there is no health or safety risk involved. This covers all public places, including restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, and malls. 

Workplace Laws

Ohio does not provide any workplace rights to owners of ESAs. The Americans With Disabilities Act protects the rights of the disabled to use a Psychiatric Service Animal at work, but Ohio does not support the use of Emotional Support Animals under this act. Obtaining an ESA letter could help change an employer’s mind, however.

Ohio Workplace Laws for ESAs
Ohio Travel Laws for Emotional Support Animals

Travel Laws

Only PSAs, not ESAs, are protected by the Air Carrier Access Act. That means Emotional Support Animals are not guaranteed access to public transportation in Ohio, including buses, trains, and ride-share services. Businesses may grant these permissions at their discretion.

American Service Pets is proud to offer an easy three-step process to provide a letter to certify your Emotional Support Animal in Ohio.

The Basics

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

Yes, in addition to following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Ohio has its own set of laws in relation to service animals, including the Ohio Revised Code’s dog laws and the Ohio Administrative Code.

Definition of a "Service Animal"

Under the Ohio Revised Code, assistance dogs are guide dogs, hearing dogs, or service dogs that have been trained by a nonprofit special agency. Service dogs are specifically defined as dogs who have been or actively training to assist a person with a mobility impairment. Psychiatric Service Animals are not covered by the Ohio Revised Code, but the Ohio Administrative Code and federal ADA law widen the definition of service animal to include animals that assist individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

What is considered a disability in the state?

Between the Ohio Revised and Administrative Codes, there are a number of disabilities cited, including blindness or vision deficiencies, deafness or hearing-impairedness, mobility impairments (which includes seizure disorders or diagnosed autism), and a variety of sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

An “animal assistant” in Ohio can technically be any animal. Service animals are typically dogs, but federal ADA law also includes provisions for miniature horses.

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

Currently there is no state law in Ohio that addresses penalties for service animal fraud.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Yes, the Ohio Revised Code includes a note that “service dog” means “a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a person with a mobility impairment.”

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

Neither Ohio law nor ADA law provides public accommodations protections for Emotional Support Animals. ESAs do have some rights under the law when it comes to housing though.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

The Ohio Administrative Code has an extremely broad definition fo public accommodations. It categorizes them as “any place that offers accommodations, facilities, or advantages to the public.” This includes but is not limited to hotels, restaurants, businesses, hospitals, and entertainment venues.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

The establishment may ask whether the animal is a service animal and if so, what task(s) it is trained to perform. Questions beyond that are not allowed. If the service or assistance animal becomes a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the establishment may ask that the animal be removed from the premises.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Public transportation is covered by both state and federal law. However, the Ohio Revised Code does place a few limitations on assistance dogs. It says that service animals are not allowed to use a seat on public transportation and that they should be leashed while traveling.

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

While not required, assistance dog owners in Ohio can apply to register their dog under the Ohio Revised Code. If the owner can show proof by certificate or other means that the animal is an assistance dog, they are exempt from any fees related to this registration. They will then receive a registration number and certificates and tags stamped with “Ohio Assistance Dog-Permanent Registration.” This registration is permanent and not subject to annual renewal as long as the dog serves as an assistance dog.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

A disabled employee with a service dog is entitled to a reasonable accommodation upon requesting one from their employer. In Ohio, employers can request medical documentation to express the need for the accommodation if the need is not otherwise apparent, as well as proof that the animal is appropriately trained and will not disrupt the workplace. Additionally, employers can also request proof of vaccination for the animal.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Yes, the Ohio Administrative Code does include access to hospitals for assistance animals. However, service dogs are not allowed in certain areas, such as places where medicine, food, or formula is prepared; operating and recovery rooms; hematology and oncology units; dialysis rooms; burn units; isolation rooms; or any place where the dog or medical equipment could be harmed, such as in MRI or radiation treatment rooms.

Ohio 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?

Even if a landlord has a “no pet” policy in place, both federal and state laws do not consider service or an assistance animals to be a pets, meaning they are exempt from this restriction. However, landlords may require written verification from a tenant’s healthcare provider that they are disabled (without asking for specifics about the disability) and/or copies of the animal’s health and vaccination records.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes, as a service animal handler, you may be liable for any damages caused by your animal to the property or to another person.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Yes, the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) extends protections to both service dogs and ESAs. To be eligible for this protection, the handler’s animal must perform tasks or services or alleviate the emotional effects of a disability.

Discrimination Complaints

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

From the Ohio Attorney General’s website: “If you feel that you have been discriminated against in a place of public accommodation in Ohio, contact the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to file a public accommodations charge of discrimination. For more information, contact the Ohio Civil Rights Commission at 888-278-7101.”

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 you have been discriminated against regarding housing, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. It is important to file as soon as possible following an alleged discriminatory act, as there may be time limits on filing. You can also contact the regional FHEO branch. Ohio is a part of Region V, headquartered in Chicago, IL. The Columbus Field Office can be contacted at 614-469-5737 or

How to Get Certified for an Emotional Support Animal in Ohio

American Service Pets offers you a quick and easy process to get certified for an Emotional Support Animal. It’s just three simple steps:

Fill Out the Questionnaire

Answer the questionnaire from American Service Pets in a few minutes to find out if you qualify for an ESA or PSA letter.

Get a Doctor’s Approval

American Service Pets lets you choose to submit your file to an Ohio state-licensed doctor or find your own. There are doctors available 24/7, and most requests for an ESA letter are approved within a minute or two and emailed to you.

Add Your Pet to the National Directory

Adding your Emotional Support Animal to the national database is a critical part of the process. It provides an online profile that shows your pet’s status and certification letter.

Get your ESA letter today from American Service Pets, which accepts approximately 95% of applicants within half an hour. Certification is emailed to you as soon as it’s completed. 

The American Service Pets Advantage

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

Get Your Official ESA Letter in Ohio with American Service Pets Today

Answer the quick yes or no questions to get your ESA or PSA letter today with American Service Pets. Get on the fast track to enjoying all your pet has to offer without the worry of ramifications.

Experts in Nationwide Support Animal Certification

Getting the official letter for your Emotional Support Animal in Ohio resolves rental housing issues and other instances when you are denied access to your furry support system. American Service Pets aids pet owners in getting the help they need to validate their ESA or PSA with an official letter and database registration. Take our survey today for certification in less than half an hour.

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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