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New Mexico Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Laws

New Mexico emotional support animal laws are fairly insignificant at the state level, the only laws you need to know about are the federal Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. These two laws dictate whether emotional support animals are allowed into private housing and on airlines.

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Matt Fleming
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May 29, 2024
December 5, 2023
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7 minute read
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December 5, 2023
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The laws surrounding emotional support animals can vary, depending on where you live. Read on for a full guide on ESAs in New Mexico and how to obtain an ESA letter to help you.

Millions of Americans live with mental and emotional challenges of a wide variety, and every individual has their own unique needs when it comes to therapy. Many animal lovers choose an emotional support animal (ESA) as one aspect of the treatment of their disorders, and for New Mexico residents, it’s incredibly important to know state-specific regulations for owning and living with an ESA. Let’s take a look at what New Mexico emotional support animal laws may protect in addition to federal laws. 

Emotional Support Animal New Mexico

In New Mexico, individuals can own an emotional support animal (ESA) with certain legal protections. ESAs are prescribed by mental health professionals to provide comfort to individuals with emotional or psychological disabilities. While ESAs are not granted the same public access rights as service animals, they may be allowed in housing and during air travel under the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act, respectively.

Emotional Support Animal Laws in New Mexico

Residents of the Land of Enchantment can rest assured that if they have a qualifying disorder, 

In 1969, the New Mexico Human Rights Act was enacted, further enshrining and fortifying the rights afforded in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA). However, when it comes to assistance animals, many of these laws protect service dogs (and miniature horses) but not emotional support animals — except for the FHA.

New Mexico ESA Housing Laws

Under the federal FHA, housing providers are prohibited from discriminating against disabled individuals and must provide reasonable accommodation for either a service dog or an emotional support animal. Not only must they let your ESA live with you, but they are not allowed to charge you any fees or extra rent.

However, there are some exceptions where a landlord can reject or evict a renter and their ESA. If the animal poses an immediate threat to another tenant or resident, causes damage to the property, or behaves excessively aggressively, your housing manager may deny you housing.

New Mexico ESA Laws for Employment

In New Mexico, there are no specific rules or regulations regarding ESAs in the workplace, but the ADA provides a sliver of hope. The law requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to employees with physical or mental health disabilities. That means your employer has to at least consider any request to bring your ESA to your workplace. If your HR department determines that they can’t accommodate your animal on the job, you can also request to work from home, if applicable to your job.

New Mexico ESA Laws for Travel

New Mexico doesn’t have any specific laws related to ESAs and travel, whether through public transit or air travel. Also, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) doesn’t recognize ESAs as service animals, so there are no federal protections either. However, some airlines make exceptions, so if you’re planning on flying soon, contact air carriers in advance to see if your ESA can be accommodated. 

New Mexico ESA Public Access Laws

Although service dogs and miniature horses are protected by the ADA, ESAs are not, and

the Land of Enchantment doesn’t have any laws to change that. Since ESAs can be almost any domesticated animal, some are just not fit for public spaces. If you want to be accompanied by an assistance animal at stores, restaurants, shopping centers, and other public places, consider switching to a psychiatric service dog. Your official service animal will likely be allowed to travel in the cabin of your airplane the next time you fly.

Church Rock in New Mexico

How to Get a Legitimate ESA Letter in New Mexico

If you’re a New Mexico resident who struggles with mental health challenges, whether you have been diagnosed or not, you’re entitled to support, and with an ESA letter, you can bring a support animal into your home. Pettable makes the entire process easy, just follow these steps.

Complete Our Assessment

Get started with our online ESA assessment, which will determine your eligibility for an ESA and give us a little information about your situation. With this, we can find the right mental health professional licensed in your specific state.

Consult with a Therapist

Next, our professionals will match you with the perfect licensed mental health professional (LMHP) for your needs. From there, you’ll have a virtual telehealth consultation, where you will get to know your LMHP and they can diagnose your mental health disorder. Once they have made their diagnosis, they can write you an official ESA letter in New Mexico.

Get Your Emotional Support Animal Letter

To ensure you have no issues bringing your ESA into your living situation, your LMHP will write your official ESA letter, complete with letterhead, diagnosis, license information, and signature. You can present this to your landlord or housing manager to verify your need for an ESA in your rental home.

A cluster of hot air balloons at balloon fiesta 2007 in New Mexico

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal, or ESA, is a pet of any domesticated breed that soothes, relieves, or otherwise helps your emotional or mental health disorder. Whether it’s just the comfort of their company or the healthy routine associated with caring for an animal, your ESA just needs to provide you with emotional support.

What is a Service Animal?

On the other hand, a service animal is a dog (or in some cases, a miniature horse) that has been trained to perform specific tasks related to your mental health disorder. These can range from fetching medication and performing deep pressure therapy (DPT) to epilepsy intervention and emergency response. Service animals are protected by the ADA, FHA, and ACAA to help disabled individuals live a better life.

Difference Between an Emotional Support Animal and a Service Animal

The big difference between an ESA and a service animal is that the latter is considered a working animal and is privileged to protections under federal laws. While service animals can accompany their owners in public, in housing, and on airflights, an ESA is only protected in housing.

Meet the author:
Matt Fleming
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at

Matt is a Midwestern-based writer and devoted dog dad, living with a sweet mixed-breed pup named Robin. A life-long dog lover, he had the pleasure of growing up with several German Shepherds, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Black Labrador. He is a full-time editor, as well as a musician and poet, who loves basketball, birdwatching and listening to The Cure and Nick Cave.

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