Service and Emotional Support Animals

The City of Hobart recognizes service animals and emotional support animals (ESA) as part of the ADA code. Service animal standards were rewritten and updated on September 15, 2010. Beginning on March 15, 2011 only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA code.

A service animal is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Service animals are permitted, by law, to accompany people with disabilities in all places where members of the public are allowed to go. Under the ADA guidelines, service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered unless the individual’s disability prevents them from using these devices.

Emotional support animals (ESA) help individuals with emotional disabilities such as anxiety or depression by providing comfort and support.  You do not have to be physically disabled to have an ESA. A letter from a physician or other licensed medical professional stating that the ESA is an essential part of your treatment for your disability. Airlines, landlords and businesses could deny you and your ESA without one.

On December 02, 2020, a ruling from the U.S. Department of Transportation amended the Department's Air Carrier Access Act granting airlines the authority to classify emotional support animals as pets rather than service animals.  Under the new ruling, only dogs that meet specific training criteria are allowed as service animals for people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disabilities.

Only a dog can legally be an emotional support animal.  Airlines are changing their animal policies in light of the updated federal guidelines.  If you are flying, don't plan on boarding with your support pig, miniature horse or anything else except a dog.