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Indiana Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Laws in 2024
In Indiana, there are no state-specific laws concerning emotional support animals. If you reside in Indiana, it's essential to be aware of the federal laws that govern emotional support animals, namely the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, determining their eligibility for housing and air travel.
What is an emotional support animal? An emotional support animal provides companionship to a person struggling with mental health concerns or emotional disabilities.
Have ESAs considered pets in Indiana? You don't need to have a specially trained animal for it to serve you as an emotional support animal. Any pet you currently have can be considered an ESA.
How do I get an ESA letter in Indiana? You'll need several steps to get an ESA letter in Indiana. First, you'll need to find a reputable establishment to take an assessment regarding your concerns. Then you'll speak with a licensed mental health professional.
Do landlords in Indiana have to accept ESAs? Landlords cannot discriminate against ESAs and must accommodate them unless the emotional support animals create a threat to other tenants or the home.
There are many reasons why you may feel that you'd benefit from the presence of an emotional support animal. Some common reasons include loneliness, anxiety, stress, or similar conditions. Whatever your specific reason, it's best to stay informed about federal, state, and local laws centered on emotional support animals. There are federal laws in place that protect emotional support animals, but many laws vary with state or local laws. If you feel you would benefit from the presence and companionship of an emotional support animal, continue reading to learn more about ESA laws in Indiana for 2023.
ESA Laws Indiana
Indiana's laws allow for the use of emotional support animals (ESAs) in housing and transportation settings. However, ESAs are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and therefore do not have the same rights and protections. It's important to understand the specific ESA laws in Indiana before bringing your animal along.
Emotional Support Animal Laws in Indiana
There are some essential things to keep in mind regarding emotional support animal laws in Indiana. State laws may differ from federal laws, so it's best to know what is relevant in your particular state. Here is some more information about ESA laws in Indiana regarding housing, employment, travel, and public access.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) protects you and your emotional support animal from discrimination. A landlord or housing provider must provide reasonable accommodation to you and your support animal under the Fair Housing Act. Emotional support animal owners must be accommodated in most situations, but if your pet poses a threat to other tenants or the home you're renting, the landlord could refuse to house you. You will need to show your landlord a copy of your official emotional support animal letter, and they may request a copy that they can keep on file. You do not have to provide any personal information regarding your conditions, but you will need to share your letter with them. Federal laws protect emotional support animals because landlords cannot charge you extra fees, pet deposits, or pet fees. Any housing providers attempting to charge you extra fees, because you have emotional support animals, violates your rights as an emotional support animal owner.
Indiana ESA Laws for Employment
The laws for employment can vary from state to state as there is no federal law in place, like the Fair Housing Act, that offers protection to ESA owners and their support animals. No place of employment is legally required to allow you to bring your emotional support animals into your workplace. Still, an employer cannot discriminate against you for having a mental or emotional disability. Even though employers don't need to accommodate your emotional support animal, you can always speak with them to see if they'll allow your ESA in the workplace. This will vary from place to place and employer to employer. An employer may be more likely to allow an emotional support animal in the workplace if you show them a copy of your official emotional support animal letter. Still, they're not required to do so. While ESAs don't need individual training, an employer may prefer that your animal be trained and well-behaved to avoid disrupting the workplace.
Indiana ESA Laws for Travel
Indiana ESA laws for travel only have one federal law in place: the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). This law requires that airlines allow people with disabilities to bring assistance animals or service animals on planes. Still, an airline may or may not let your emotional support animals fly with you despite the Air Carrier Access Act. Service dogs and assistance dogs are allowed on airplanes, but airlines can choose to deny emotional support animals. This is because some airlines label emotional support animals as only pets and do not accommodate them, but it varies from airline to airline. It's best to call ahead and let your airline know you have a pet you'd like to fly with you. They might accommodate you but despite the Air Carrier Access Act may have breed restrictions and would likely want to see your ESA letter.
If you plan on using different modes of public transportation like taxis, trains, or buses, you will need to double-check their rules before bringing your emotional support animals along. Some types of public transport will have laws similar to the Air Carrier Access Act that will allow you to bring a small animal you can carry, but it varies.
Indiana ESA Public Access Laws
There are no laws protecting ESAs in public places, either. If you want to go out to a restaurant, store, or other public places, you'll need to plan and call to make sure you can bring your pet along. You will likely need to show someone at each public place your official ESA letter to let them know you need your pet to be with you. They may allow you to bring your emotional support animals along with you, but they are not under any legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodation for your support pet. Even though your animal is meant to provide emotional support, some public places may choose to deny your emotional support animals. You may consider finding places you enjoy that have outdoor spaces so you can enjoy your time in public spaces with your support pet by your side. Whatever the policies may be for individual public establishments, it's always best to keep a copy of your legitimate ESA letter with you.
How to Get a Legitimate ESA Letter in Indiana
If you feel that you would benefit from the companionship of emotional support animals, there are a few steps you must go through to get a legitimate ESA letter in Indiana.
1. Complete Our Assessment
The first thing you'll need to do is complete a quick assessment that will help mental health professionals determine whether you'd benefit from the emotional support of an ESA. This quiz is a quick way for doctors to get a better understanding of your situation and your personal needs. Once you take the assessment you will be able to pick what type of letter you're looking for. You can choose from a housing letter, a travel letter, or a combination of the two.
2. Consult With a Therapist
Once you've taken your quiz and the team has had the opportunity to evaluate the results, they'll ask you to complete a few forms. You'll need to fill out some privacy and consent forms to authorize the clinicians to work with you. Once you complete the forms, you will be matched with a licensed mental health professional. Then you'll get an email with a link to book a live consultation. You will meet with a licensed mental health professional, and they'll determine whether you would benefit from the presence of an ESA or not.
3. Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter
After you meet with a licensed mental health professional, they'll let you know whether they feel you would benefit from an ESA or not. If they think an ESA is essential to your care and well-being, they will write and sign an official emotional support animal letter. This letter will likely be sent to the email you provided.
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.
If your ESA Letter is not approved, we will refund 100% of your payment.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal is a pet that offers emotional support to its owner through companionship. Emotional support animals are known to provide support by helping their owners achieve lower anxiety levels. ESAs also help normalize blood pressure and heart rate, ease stress, and much more. Emotional support animal owners can experience many benefits when they have emotional support animals by their side. Emotional support animals do not need to be specially trained to serve you as an ESA and an ESA can be a pet you already have.
What is a Service Animal?
A service animal, or assistance animal, is specially trained to help a person with a disability. A service animal helps its owner perform tasks so their owners can live more independent, happy, and safe lives. Service animals are many different types of assistant animals. Some service animals are guide dogs that help people who cannot see very well, and hearing dogs help people who cannot hear well. Psychiatric service animals help ease their owner's anxiety or panic attacks by applying pressure to their owner's chest with their paws. They can help their owners by alerting their owners to foods with allergens, reminding their owners to take their medications, and more. On another note, no one can require service animals to wear vests or other identifying materials.
Difference Between Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals
Emotional support animals and service animals are different in one primary way. While emotional support animals and service animals help their owners with day-to-day tasks and major life activities, service animals must be specially trained to help their owners. Emotional support animals may receive some basic training to be on their best behavior, but ESAs don't get any specialized training. A service dog is individually trained so they can help their owners live independent and safe lives. Only dogs can be considered service animals, while any animal can be considered emotional support animals. Some common ESAs include dogs, cats, and birds. A miniature horse can even be an ESA as long as it provides comfort and companionship to its owner.
Psychiatric service dogs can be trained by anyone to perform specific tasks that will benefit those struggling with mental health disorders. The most cost-effective method of training is typically by leading your dog through an online PSD training program, such as the one offered by Pettable. Pettable’s PSD training program is entirely self-paced consisting of a series of video lessons guided by a professional PSD trainer. You will learn how to perform basic obedience training effectively to ensure your dog’s behavior as well as specific tasks that will qualify them as a psychiatric service animal. Learn more about Pettable's PSD training program by taking our brief 3-minute assessment.
There are many laws and rules surrounding emotional support animals. Here are a few common questions regarding emotional support animals and ESA laws in Indiana.
Do I need ESA registration in Indiana?
No, it is not necessary to register your emotional support animal in the state of Indiana. No official registry even exists in the United States for emotional support animals. An ESA letter is sufficient documentation for your ESA, and the only legally valid option.
Do I have to tell my landlord or housing providers that I have an ESA in Indiana?
It's best to be honest and upfront about your emotional support animal from the beginning to avoid any confusion with your landlord regarding your situation. Your landlord also has the right to request to see your official ESA letter.
Can a landlord deny an emotional support animal in Indiana?
A landlord can only deny an emotional support animal if the animal causes potential harm or poses a direct threat to other residents or the home. But usually, a landlord must honor your reasonable accommodation request.
When do I tell my landlord or housing providers about my ESA in Indiana?
You can tell your landlord about your ESA before or after you sign your lease, and you should show your landlord the official ESA letter for each of your emotional support animals.
Can a landlord in Indiana charge a fee for an emotional support animal?
A landlord cannot charge you any extra fees, pet fees, or pet deposits for your emotional support animal. You will need an official ESA letter to let your landlord know your pet's status.
Can you have more than one ESA in Indiana?
No emotional support animal law restricts how many ESAs you can have. You can have more than one emotional support animal. If you want more than one of your animals to be recognized as an assistance animal you will need to get a letter for each emotional support animal.
What restrictions can my landlord place on my emotional support animal in Indiana?
A landlord cannot place any restrictions on your assistance animal. They cannot ask you to pay extra pet fees, and they cannot ask you to put a vest, collar, or another identifying item on your animal.
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.