Emotional Support Animal Referendum (ESAR) Act
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As a Veteran who likes animals, I feel the current American Disability Act of 1990 doesn't give justice and protection to the Emotional Support Animals like they deserve. We would like to see this go national, but this could create jobs for humans and animals, homes for animals, companionship, funding for shelters and might save the life of a Veteran who wants to commit suicide, because he just needed a friend. Thank you for your time. I hope you will read below and see why this would be a great change to the ADA of 1990.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL REFERENDUM (ESAR) ACT
Purpose of Bill:
UPDATE OR CHANGE THE AMERICAN DISABILITY ACT OF 1990
ASSIST VETERANS WITH PTSD AND OTHER MENTAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES.
UPDATE THE LIST OF RECOGNIZED SERVICE ANIMAL ESA'S FROM PIG, MINIATURE HORSE AND MONKEY TO INCLUDE CATS AND OTHER ANIMALS REGISTERED BY QUALIFIED OFFICIALS.
PROVIDE HOMES FOR UNWANTED AND SHELTER ANIMALS.
PROVIDE VETERANS, DISABLED, ELDERLY AND MENTAL PATIENTS WITH EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS FROM SHELTERS TO HELP WITH RECOVERY.
PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES WITH EMOTIONAL SUPPORT.
SUPPLY SHELTERS WITH STATE AND FEDERAL GRANTS TO SHELTER AND PROVIDE FOR HOMELESS ANIMALS.
REOPEN MENTAL HOSPITALS AND ELDERLY FACILITIES AND CREATE JOBS IN VETTED MEDICAL FIELDS. PROVIDE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS FOR PATIENTS WHO QUALIFY TO ASSIST IN MENTAL HEALTH, SUBSTANCE, VERBAL, PHYSICAL, SEXUAL ABUSE AND HOMELESSNESS RECOVERY.
UPDATE OR CHANGE THE AMERICAN DISABILITY ACT TO GIVE ESA (EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS) WHO ARE REGISTERED IN THE NATIONAL SERVICE ANIMAL REGISTRY (DATABASE) THE SAME EQUAL RIGHTS AS SERVICE ANIMALS.
MUST BE REGISTERED BY VETERAN, COP, FIREFIGHTER, DOCTOR, PSYCHOLOGIST, NURSE OR CAREGIVER.
What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and how is it treated differently than a Service Animal? An emotional support animal (ESA) is an animal that belongs to a person who is emotionally or psychologically (psychiatrically) disabled. Some people refer to them as a "Comfort Animal", but that term isn't recognized in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The person's doctor (a licensed mental health professional or LMHP) has determined that the presence of the animal is necessary for the person's mental health and that they are considered disabled as a result. The LMHP must also write a letter of prescription stating the dog is necessary for the normal day to functioning of the disabled person. The letter must be very specifically written to be acceptable to property managers and airlines.
Under current ADA and Fair Housing laws, an ESA is ONLY protected as follows: An ESA may fly in the cabin of a commercial or private airline with their disabled handler, and the handler does not have to pay a pet or other fee. A very specific prescription letter from a licensed mental health profession is ALWAYS required by airlines, as well as advance notice in most cases that the passenger will be flying with an ESA.
Landlords and property managers must make reasonable accommodations for tenants or prospective tenants with ESAs, even if the apartment, house, college dorm, or other residence does not allow pets. Reasonable fees may be asked of the client, similar to a pet fee. Besides requiring a letter of prescription. Property managers/landlords may require that the (prospective) tenant's mental health professional complete and sign a Third Party Verification form.
What species of animal can be a Service Animal? The only animals allowed to serve as service animals are any breed of dog and, in some cases, miniature horses. With respect to Emotional Support Animals, there are no species or breed restrictions. Consequently, cats, rabbits, miniature pigs, ferrets, birds, etc. may be ESAs.
What species of animal can be an Emotional Support Animal? The Federal laws that protect Emotional Support Animals and their handlers (the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Air Carrier Access Act 49 U.S.C. 41705, and Dept. of Transportation 14 C.F.R. Part 382), neither specify nor exclude any animal species or breed. Common sense should prevail, however. For example, although property managers are required to make a reasonable exception to the rules to accommodate a person with an ESA, the justice system would side with the property manager who rejects a tenant who wishes to have a mule as an ESA living inside the apartment.
Similarly, airlines may require any animal that is too large to sit between the knees of the disabled passenger and the seat in front of him/her to be crated and transported elsewhere in the plane. Common ESAs include dogs, cats, birds, mice, rats, hedgehogs, rabbits, snakes, miniature pigs, monkeys, and more.
Examples of work or tasks that psychiatric service dogs perform include: providing safety checks or room searches for individuals with PTSD blocking persons in dissociative episodes from wandering into danger (for example, traffic), and preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors, such as self-mutilation. Studies have shown real health benefits for those living with pets, including: * lower cholesterol * lower blood pressure * lower triglyceride * reduced stress levels * reduced feelings of loneliness * better mental health * increased activity * more opportunities for exercise.
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