Fact checked

Arizona Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Laws in 2024

In Arizona, where there are no specific state laws regarding emotional support animals, residents should be aware of federal regulations. The Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act take precedence, determining the eligibility of emotional support animals in housing and air travel, respectively.

Susana Bradford
April 2, 2024
April 25, 2023
7 minute read
Updated By
Grant Fiddes
April 2, 2024
Expert Reviewed By:
Marvy BeckmanMarvy Beckman
Sunstar Clinical
April 25, 2023
August 18, 2021
7 minute read
April 2, 2024
Gain insights into ESA laws in Arizona, where an emotional support animal can become an integral part of your daily life. Click here for more information.

The Bottom Line 

  • What is an emotional support animal? — An emotional support animal provides comfort and relief to people who are struggling with mental health illnesses or a disability related to mental health. ESA owners experience a sense of relief because of the presence of their emotional support pet.
  • Are ESAs considered pets in Arizona? — Emotional support animals can be pets you already have or pets you get to help you cope with mental or emotional struggles that you’re having. 
  • How do I get an ESA letter in Arizona? — First, you’ll need to talk with a mental health professional licensed in Arizona to discuss your mental health struggles or needs. If they think an emotional support animal can help you, they will write and sign an ESA letter for you.
  • Do landlords in Arizona have to accept ESAs? — Housing providers can't refuse housing or charge pet fees to ESA owners and must provide reasonable accommodation. Landlords cannot refuse you or your ESA unless your emotional support pet causes damage or harm to the property or other residents.

An emotional support animal, or ESA, is an essential part of life for many people who struggle with mental health conditions. It can be hard to know what the ESA laws are in your state, especially if you’ve recently moved or if you’re a new ESA owner. If you live in Arizona and feel that you would benefit from the presence of an emotional support animal, keep reading for a complete guide on Arizona emotional support animal laws.

Emotional Support Animal Arizona

Arizona recognizes emotional support animals as a reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. To qualify, a person must have a diagnosed disability and a recommendation from a licensed mental health professional. Emotional support animals provide comfort and support to their owners, but they do not have the same legal rights as service animals.

Emotional Support Animal Laws in Arizona

Regardless of what state you live in, there are laws everywhere regarding emotional support animals. While a federal law regarding ESAs can differ from state or local laws, there may be some overlapping rules. If you live in Arizona and you think you’d benefit from the presence of an emotional support animal, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding state laws for emotional support animals.

Arizona ESA Housing Laws

If you have an emotional support animal and you live in Arizona, you should familiarize yourself with Arizona ESA Housing Laws. Arizona ESA Housing Laws state that you and your emotional support pet are protected under the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits landlords from discriminating against people with emotional support pets who are renting or buying a home, or any other house-related activities. Under the Fair Housing Act, you and your emotional support pet cannot be treated differently than other tenants. Landlords cannot charge you more than other tenants because of your emotional support pet. In some instances, you could use your emotional support animal letter from a doctor to waive pet deposits. Also, landlords cannot refuse to accommodate a person just because they have an emotional support animal. If your animal is too large for the space or could harm the property or other tenants, then they may refuse to accommodate you. 

Arizona ESA Laws for Employment

While the Fair Housing Act protects your rights as an owner of an emotional support animal and your pet, the American Disabilities Act does not provide the same protection for ESAs in the workplace. Each workplace will be different, and some may let you bring your emotional support pet with you to work if you’ve got an ESA letter. Some workplaces may not allow it, and they’re not required to allow ESAs in the workplace. If your pet is well trained and you have an emotional support animal letter stating your need for your pet, you might be able to talk with your employer about letting you bring in your pet. If you can discuss with your employer that your pet helps you cope with mental health struggles and won’t be a distraction for others, they might allow you to bring them in. Again, this varies from place to place and depends on each workplace’s policies.

Arizona ESA Laws for Travel

Similar to the laws in Arizona regarding emotional support pets in the workplace, the American Disability Act does not protect emotional support animals when it comes to public transportation. Because emotional support pets aren’t covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can’t assume that any public transportation will allow your pet. Sometimes small pets will be accommodated, especially if they’re small enough for you to carry, but it’s best to always call ahead and double-check before bringing your pet along with you when you leave your home. If you call ahead to make sure you and your support pet will be accommodated, you’ll save yourself time and stress. Airplanes, buses, and other modes of public transportation in Arizona can refuse entry for you and your emotional support pet, so it’s always best to check before leaving home with them. This also goes for any restaurants or public places you go to.

Arizona ESA Public Access Laws

Restaurants, stores, and other public places are not required to accommodate emotional support pets, and these establishments may deny you and your pet entry. There isn’t a law in place to protect emotional support pets in the way that the Fair Housing Act protects them. That said, some places might allow you to bring in your emotional support pet, but it depends on the place. If you need to bring your emotional support pet with you on an outing, whether you’re going to a restaurant, store, or other public place, you should call and check with the specific establishment first.

They’ll let you know what their policy is, but it’s also a good idea to get the name of the person who lets you know it’s okay. There can sometimes be a lack of communication between workers, and one might tell you an ESA is okay to bring in while another might try and stop you at the door. Because there is no emotional support animal law protecting emotional support pets in public places, you should be prepared for situations like this. You should also consider carrying either a paper copy or an electronic copy of your letter with you wherever you go. Establishments may be more likely to accommodate you after seeing your legitimate ESA letter.

An example graphic of an ESA letter with the clinicians information clearly written.

How to Get a Legitimate ESA Letter in Arizona

If you feel you would benefit from the companionship offered by an emotional support pet, follow these steps below to help you get your official ESA letter. This letter will show others that your pet gives you emotional support that is beneficial to your mental health.

1. Complete Our Assessment

The first step in the process is to complete a quick assessment so you can be matched with a doctor that’s right for you. The assessment will help determine what your situation is and whether you would benefit from the companionship of an emotional support pet. Then you’ll have to select which type of letter you’re interested in getting. You can get a letter for housing, travel, or a combination of the two.

 2. Consult With a Therapist

Then you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your concerns in a consultation with a therapist or licensed mental health professional. You will need to first fill out some privacy and consent forms. These forms will let the clinicians know that they are authorized to work with you. Finally, you’ll be matched with a licensed mental health professional. You’ll receive a link to book a live consultation with them. In your consultation with this mental health professional, they’ll determine if you qualify for an ESA. 

3. Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter

During your consultation with a licensed mental health professional, they will determine whether an emotional support pet is right for you. A licensed mental health professional will need to determine that an emotional support animal is essential to your care and well-being. If they find this to be the case with you, they’ll write a legally recognized emotional support animal letter for you. You will likely get an electronic copy of your letter first in your email. 

Your satisfaction is important to us. In the unlikely event that your ESA letter does not work for you, we will provide a 100% refund. 

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal helps people with mental health struggles, a mental disability, or mental impairment. Emotional support pets provide emotional support to their owners by creating a calming presence in their owners’ lives. Emotional support animal owners experience relaxation, lowered anxiety, reduced stress, normalized heart rate and blood pressure, and more. Emotional support pets are companion animals for those in need of emotional relief from an emotional or mental disability. An emotional support pet has an important job, just like a service animal does. However, service animals and emotional support animals differ in a few ways.

What is a Service Animal?

A service animal helps people who struggle with a physical or mental impairment that may restrict the way a person functions day-to-day. You might hear people call a service animal an assistance animal as well. A service animal assists people with disabilities so they may live more independent lives. A guide dog helps people who are unable to see well because of their vision. A hearing dog helps people who cannot hear well. A psychiatric service dog helps people who are struggling with mental health struggles that have severe negative impacts on their lives. Service dogs are all highly trained to help their owners live more independent lives. The level of training that service dogs go through is the main difference between emotional support pets and service animals.

If you have a mental disability and wish to acquire a psychiatric service dog, you may opt to train one yourself, however, it is important to bear in mind that training a PSD can be a difficult task without the right knowledge and resources. Pettable has created an expert-guided, on-demand PSD training program that can equip you with the right tools to train your own psychiatric service dog. The online video-based program will walk you through how to train your dog to complete specific tasks to aid you with your mental disability and temper your dog to behave obediently in public, essential skills for ensuring your pet can appropriately tend to your mental health needs and increase your quality of life.

Difference Between Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals

While both ESAs and service animals help people cope with daily activities and major life activities, there is still a major difference between the two. Because service animals help people with disabilities live a more independent and safe life, service animals are individually trained to help with specific tasks. An emotional support animal does not require any special training to help people with emotional disabilities or mental disabilities. Service animals are trained to perform tasks for their owners that can include guiding the blind, alerting the deaf to noises, retrieving items, alerting their owners to take their medications, pulling a wheelchair, and more. You might train your emotional support animal to sit or remain calm, but ESAs don’t require specialized training to help you. An emotional support pet helps you by providing companionship that provides benefits to your mental health. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Arizona ESA Laws

Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding emotional support pets.

Do I have to tell my landlord I have an ESA in Arizona?

It’s best to tell your landlord about your ESA and share your ESA letter with them. This will help you avoid any confusion in the future. You don’t need to disclose any personal information about why you have an ESA. 

Can a landlord deny an emotional support animal in Arizona? 

A landlord can’t deny an emotional support animal unless the animal poses a threat to others or could cause damage to the home. For example, a miniature horse likely cannot live in a top-floor studio apartment with you.

When do I tell my landlord about my ESA in Arizona?

You can tell your landlord that you have an ESA before or after signing a lease.

Can a landlord in Arizona charge a fee for an emotional support animal?

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits a housing provider from discriminating against tenants with emotional support animals. A landlord must accommodate your reasonable accommodation request and they cannot ask you to pay a fee for an emotional support animal.

Can you have more than one ESA in Arizona?

Yes, you can have more than one emotional support pet, and your landlord will need to provide reasonable accommodations for them. You will need to have a letter for each pet that is an emotional support pet.

What restrictions can my landlord place on my emotional support animal in Arizona?

Emotional support pets and their owners have equal rights to accommodation without prejudice under the Fair Housing Act. A landlord cannot charge additional fees or refuse to rent to you because of your ESA.

04/02/2024 Update: Article was reviewed for accuracy by Marvy Beckman LCSW.

Meet the author:
Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.

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