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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Emotional Support Animal Certification

There are laws protecting Emotional Support Animals (ESA) in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean everyone is on board. Thousands of Americans depend on the emotional support of their animal companions to make it through life’s many hurdles, for example, but bringing an uncertified animal onto a rental property is grounds for eviction — which can trigger significant fees, fines, and penalties. 

Landlords must adhere to state and federal laws about these animals, however, or face penalties and fees of their own. These pets do not enjoy the same rights as Psychiatric Service Animals (PSAs), but they are protected from rental property discrimination by federal Fair Housing Act laws.

American Service Pets provides the certification pet owners need to rent a home, travel, and have public access with their support animals. You no longer have to worry about pet deposits or extra fees. See whether you qualify for a Wisconsin ESA letter with our simple quiz.

The Role of Emotional Support Animals

State and federal governments endorse Emotional Support Animals as a right for people who struggle with psychological trauma. These animals can be any type that brings you comfort and support, from turtles to birds and reptiles. Psychiatric Service Animals, on the other hand, are almost always dogs because they are highly trainable.

Many people would struggle to function in life without their Emotional Support Animal. They provide psychological and physical rewards to their owners that include:

Emotional Health Boost

Caring for something you love gives us an emotional boost. Levels of the natural mood lifters serotonin and dopamine rise when we interact with animals we love. The outside stimulus of a pet also breaks negative thought chains in people struggling with depression. Pets make us smile and feel less alone. 

Natural Medicine

More and more Americans are searching out natural ways to stay healthy and treat common illnesses to avoid the dangers of drugs. Certified Emotional Support Animals are a form of holistic treatment for anxiety, stress, and depression. They also promote outdoor activity, which is another natural way to fight depression-related symptoms. 

Genuine Comfort

Personal problems like relationships, financial matters, and health concerns can make life overwhelming. Simply cuddling and playing with an animal you love reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and stress. 

Many people rely heavily on their Emotional Support Animal. American Service Pets offers Wisconsin Emotional Support Animal letters for pet owners in the state. Find out if you qualify in just a few short minutes. 

Laws Governing Emotional Support Animals in Wisconsin

Emotional Support Animals are friends and traveling companions, but they cannot perform life saving tasks or assist disabled people the way Psychiatric Service Animals can. Emotional Support Animals and PSAs serve similar but different purposes and are afforded similar but different rights by state and federal governments.

Official ESAs have some protection under these laws, but there are no rights for uncertified animals in Wisconsin. Official letters must have the approval of a licensed Wisconsin doctor and can be used all over the country. Different states can have varying stipulations, however, so be sure to check before doing any traveling. Here are relevant laws for Wisconsin ESAs:

Housing Laws

Wisconsin ESA laws dictate that landlords can’t turn down anyone for having an Emotional Support Animal. This includes apartments, houses, public housing units, and condos. Landlords can’t apply pet rent increases or deposits and must allow these animals in their rentals unless they cause an “undue financial burden.” 

Undue financial burden can mean several things in Wisconsin, including:

  • Property damage
  • Threat to any other tenants
  • Homeowner allergies
Wisconsin ESA Housing Laws

Landlords in Wisconsin have the right to see your ESA letter. Renters without a valid Wisconsin ESA letter, or those who present fraudulent documents, are subject to prosecution. Misrepresenting an Emotional Support Animal in Wisconsin leads to a minimum $550 fine.

Wisconsin Public Access Laws for ESAs

Public Access

Wisconsin ESA laws do not provide any assurances of public access for Emotional Support Animals. The venue owner has the final decision. We are fortunate to have many dog parks and several restaurants and public events here that permit animals. Call ahead to ensure you can bring your ESA before you leave.

Workplace Laws

Wisconsin employers are under no legal obligation to allow Emotional Support Animals in their facility. An ESA Wisconsin letter could sway a lenient employer to allow your ESA to accompany you to work if the animal is quiet, well-behaved, and potty-trained.

Workplace Laws for Wisconsin ESAs
Wisconsin ESA Travel Laws

Travel Laws

Emotional Support Animals are no longer allowed in the cabin during air travel. Public transportation services such as buses, trains, and railways are under no legal obligation to board ESAs. Some rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have less stringent policies, but you have to check ahead of time. 

American Service Pets proudly offers a simple three-step process to provide ESA letters in Wisconsin for owners needing the support of their pets.

The Basics

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

Yes, Wisconsin has its own equal rights laws in addition to complying with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Definition of a "Service Animal"

A service animal is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. This definition aligns with the ADA’s definition of a service animal.

What is considered a disability in the state?

To be considered disabled, an individual must have some kind of disability or impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. There are a wide range of conditions that can qualify as disabilities under Wisconsin law, including autism, deafness, blindness, emotional behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities, orthopedic impairments, significant developmental delays, speech or language impairments, traumatic brain injuries, and intellectual disabilities.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Under the ADA, only dogs and miniature horses are considered qualified service animals. However, in the state of Wisconsin, any animal trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability can be a service animal, meaning people are not limited to dogs and horses.

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

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

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

Yes. Service animal trainers may bring animals-in-training into places of public accommodation if the animal is wearing a harness or special cape. The accommodation is within its rights to ask the trainer for documentation of the training school, but it may not ask a handler with a disability for documentation.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

No. Emotional support animals are not trained in the same manner that service dogs are, so they are not afforded the same protections when it comes to public accommodations.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

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

Wisconsin’s equal rights law has a wide range of places that qualify as public accommodations, including all places of business; all places of recreation; hotels and lodgins; taverns and restaurants; barbers, manicurists, cosmetologists, and other aestheticians; nursing homes; clinics and hospitals; cemetaries; and all other places that make goods, services, amusement, or other accommodations available, free or otherwise. The ADA is equally broad in its definition of public accommodations.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

Under state law, an establishment may only ask “Is the service animal required because of a disability?” Federal law allows for an additional question about what task(s) the animal has been trained to perform. This question is not permitted under state law though. If an animal is in training, an establishment may ask a trainer for certification of the training from a school for training service animals and can also require that the animal wear an identifying cape.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

Religious entities such as churches, synagogues, and mosques are not considered public accommodations under the ADA. Neither are private clubs. Under both Wisconsin and ADA law, private clubs that serve only members and their invited guests are not covered. In terms of qualified public accommodations, service animals can be denied or excluded if they are not housebroken, if they are out of control, or if they pose an immediate threat to other patrons.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Wisconsin does not go into detail about specific forms of public transportation, but generally service animals are permitted on all public carriers. The only exception would be service animal allowance on airplanes, which is regulated by the federal Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

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

No. There is no requirement for a vest, special harness, or documented certification unless the animal is a service animal in training.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Wisconsin law doesn’t specifically address service animals in the workplace, but the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) protects the rights of disabled workers. This includes the ability to request a reasonable accommodation for a service animal in a place of employment.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Generally service animals are allowed in any places in a healthcare facility that are open to the public, such as waiting areas or patient rooms. Service animals may be barred from areas where they could compromise sterility, such as in an operating room or burn unit.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

It is in Wisconsin’s criminal code that no one may interfere with the use of a service dog by obstructing or intimidating it or otherwise jeopardizing its safety or the safety of its user. This is a unique feature of Wisconsin law that further protects service animals in a way that federal law does not.

Wisconsin 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 state law and federal law under the Fair Housing Act specify that it is unlawful to discriminate against a buyer or renter because of a disability. Under federal law, a property owner may only ask if a person has a disability and if they have a disability-related need for that animal. If a disability is not apparent, a property owner may ask for documentation from a healthcare professional to affirm the disability-related need for the animal.

Are there any exceptions to housing allowances?

If granting a reasonable accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamentally change the services offered by the housing provider, the accommodation may be refused. The accommodation may be refused if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other occupants as well. Additionally, if the owner of a building occupies a building with four or fewer units and the owner or an immediate family member of the owner has an allergy to the animal, the request may be denied.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

A housing provider may not charge additional “pet rent” for a service animal, but you may be liable for any damages the animal causes beyond normal wear and tear.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

State law and the FHA protect the use of both service animals and ESAs if the buyer or renter has a disability-related need for the animal. These animals are not limited to solely dogs.

Discrimination Complaints

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

For discrimination related to employment or places of public accommodation or amusement, you can file a complaint through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. These forms can be completed online or via paper to be mailed. When it comes to a public accommodation complaint, you have a filing time limit of 300 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory incident.

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 your rights under the Fair Housing Law have been violated, you should file a complaint with the Equal Rights Division of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. You have 1 year from the date of the alleged discriminatory action to file this complaint.

How to Get Certification for an Emotional Support Animal in Wisconsin

American Service Pets provides you with a fast, simple process to certification for your Emotional Support Animal. Just follow these quick steps:

Fill Out the Questionnaire

Answer the American Service Pets questionnaire to determine if you meet the criteria for an ESA letter in under half an hour. 

Get a Doctor’s Approval

American Service Pets lets you choose to submit your file to your own doctor or one in our network for approval and authorization. We have doctors available 24/7. Most requests are approved within a minute or two, and approval is emailed to you. 

Add Your Pet to the National Directory

Adding your pet to the national directory is a critical part of the process. It provides an online profile that shows your pet’s status and ESA letter. 

Almost 95% of candidates meet the criteria for an ESA letter. Get yours with American Service Pets right now. 

Advantages of American Service Pets

More than 45,000 pet owners have now certified their Emotional Support Animals, thanks to American Service Pets. Here’s why we’re the service you need:

How To Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter in Wisconsin with American Service Pets

Our easy process quickly ends any worries about being separated from your animal or being punished for having one. Take our short online test now to get started.

Nationwide Experts in Emotional Support Animal Certification

Don’t tolerate aggravations from people who don’t understand the health benefits of this vital connection. American Service Pets helps pet owners register their animals as Emotional Support Animals in Wisconsin. Set aside concerns about rental housing or extra fees for having a Wisconsin ESA. 

Take our test now, and you can get your pet certified for a Wisconsin ESA letter in just a few minutes with American Service Pets. 

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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