Difference Between Service, Emotional Support Animals And Pets In Menifee, CA

Difference Between Service, Emotional Support Animals And Pets In Menifee, CA

Weighing the pros and cons of allowing pets is a difficult decision for any landlord. Do you accept the risk to fill a vacancy?

There are also types of animals you can't deny. They're not pets because they help with disabilities.

Read on to learn how service and emotional support animals differ from pets and what to do about them.

Service Animals

Service animals are trained to perform a specific service for those with disabilities. This could include:

  • Helping the blind or deaf with seeing or hearing
  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Providing physical support for those with mobility issues
  • Altering owners to seizures
  • Retrieving objects
  • Reminding owners to take medications

They must receive months of training and may wear blue vests to show they're working.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals offer a different kind of support. Their companionship eases the symptoms of at least 40 qualifying psychiatric disorders, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • ADHD or attention deficit disorder
  • Chronic stress
  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia

They should be prescribed by a qualified mental health professional such as a therapist or psychiatrist. They can provide a legally enforceable ESA or emotional support animal letter.

Differences Between Emotional Support vs. Service Animal Classifications

Only dogs or miniature horses can be service animals. They're trained to perform specific tasks. Emotional support animals can be any species and require no training.

Recent laws say only dogs are allowed on planes, but service animals can go in more public places than emotional support animals.

Service and Emotional Support Animal Laws

Service animals and emotional support animals aren't pets under the Americans with Disabilities Act. They're allowed in buildings with no-pet policies and exempt from pet fees or rent.

The Fair Housing Act says that you must let in service and emotional support animals into your rentals unless they pose a direct risk to the safety of others.

Talk to the owner about their animal as part of the screening process, just like if they had a pet. You can't deny them because of the animal or ask for specific details about their disability. You can ask for documentation of their disability and need for a service animal. There is no official service or emotional support animal registration, but you can ask for documents such as ESA letters.

California's Support Animal Law AB 468 seeks to further clarify the difference between service vs. emotional support animals. It also fights the rise of fake credentials.

Owners passing off pets as service animals or businesses selling fake ESA letters will be fined up to $2,500 for multiple offenses. Mental health professionals providing credentials for emotional support animals must be certified in California, have a relationship with the patient for at least 30 days, and clarify that it's not a service animal.

Where to Get Help With Difficult Property Management Decisions

Deciding whether to allow pets on your property is only the first step. Knowing the differences and laws between service and emotional support animals helps you avoid legal issues and keep tenants happy.

PMI Warranted is a property management company with a portfolio of over 3500 units and a team with over 17 years of experience. Contact us for help maximizing your investment today.