Florence, MS asked in Animal / Dog Law for Mississippi

Q: Are emotional support animals protected under the same laws as service animals? What do I need to certify the animal?

My landlord has a no pet policy, but I have been wanting to get an emotional support animal. I want to know if I need to have some sort of letter stating that the animal is of service and I want to be sure that the landlord cannot kick me out of the home or charge a pet fee over the cat.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: No, service animals are protected under the ADA; emotional support animals are protected under the FHA.

For an ESA, you need proof of your underlying disability and an opinion from a qualified healthcare professional that your cat provides therapeutic benefit to you in connection with your underlying disability.

Remember that the mechanism for the special treatment of any such animal is a lawsuit for disability discrimination against you based on your disability.

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