Are Emotional Support Animals Allowed In Hotels?
The importance of emotional support animals (ESAs) is slowly, but surely being recognized by society as a whole. Up to a point, there was a general element of confusion in terms of the role ESAs play in their owners’ lives. Most people who do not own ESAs presume that they are same as service dogs who are trained to assist their owners in getting through their day to day lives. However, this is not the case, as ESAs are meant to offer emotional support and companionship to people dealing with emotional and mental health issues.
The lack of clear distinction between the different purposes for which doctors prescribe pets for their patients led to a great deal of confusion. According to the law, you can keep an ESA with you in any accommodation, regardless of the consent of the owner. Some building owners do not allow pets but the law mandates that they allow ESAs. The same goes for public spaces where pets are not allowed, including airplanes. People are now allowed to take their ESA with them. In fact, recently, there was an instance of a person taking his ESA duck along on a flight.
Can You Take Your ESA to a Hotel?
Even though the situation has changed regarding housing rights for emotional support animals, they are still not allowed in hotels. The issue that hotel management raises is that the animals are not serving any tangible purpose, and hence, they shouldn’t be allowed because they pose a risk. However, the rule is not set in stone. This is thanks to the growing popularity of ESAs. A number of hotels have introduced pet-friendly policies, and now allow animals into their premises, particularly for guests who need ESAs and service dogs.
That being said, it is at the owner’s discretion to allow or prohibit ESAs and other pet animals in the hotel. The main reason for the discrepancy in the law is that the guidelines for ESAs give them housing rights. Hotels and motels are a means of temporary lodging and hence, do not count as housing facilities. Therefore, you need to take a few precautions and put in some extra effort to find the right hotel for your needs.
How to Find an ESA-Friendly Hotel
Luckily for you, now is the best time to own a pet. Hotels and other public places are more welcoming for pets and animals than ever before. Therefore, you won’t have a hard time looking for a pet-friendly hotel. You can go online and make a list of hotels that allow pets. Then, review their policies carefully and ensure that you can take your ESA with you. This will save you further hassle down the line. The main concern in this regard is that you might have to pay an extra fee for checking in with your ESA. However, most pet-friendly hotels don’t charge any extra amount for pet accommodation.
In addition to conducting thorough research, you should have the necessary documentation with you. Always carry your ESA letter. Make sure the letter includes all the relevant information about your doctor and the reasons why he/she prescribed you an ESA. The letter should also mention the license details and the state in which the license was issued. ESA letters are valid for a year, so make sure you renew it before presenting it to any hotel or building owner for verification.
So, the bottom-line is that you can take your ESA to a hotel, provided the hotel allows it. The number of pet-friendly hotels is on the rise so finding one will not be a problem.