Denver and Colorado ranked high in the most dog-friendly cities and states last year. Dog parks and doggie boutiques and emotional support animals are consistently growing. WalletHub study snubbed almost every Colorado city as one of the top dog-friendly U.S. cities: Colorado Springs, Denver, Aurora.
Colorado state respects the rights of emotional support animals. So, in this article, you will find Colorado Service Dog Laws, the difference between ESA and service animals, Emotional Support Animals Colorado Laws and ways how to register your dog as an emotional support animal.
What is an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado?
An emotional support animal is not a specially trained pet that helps people with mental or emotional disorders such as PTSD, stress, anxiety, ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. Any domestic pet may be an emotional support animal, but usually, they are cats and dogs.
Colorado is a perfect state for pet owners. It has a beautiful landscape, including arid deserts, river valleys, and mountains. Thus, Colorado provides incredible efforts to live with any emotional support animal. An Emotional Support Dog in Colorado has become more popular.
However, more and more Americans have a mental disorder. And licensed mental health professionals show proof that ESA pet helps people to reduce stress, anxiety, and feel better. Thus, doctors recommend people with mental health conditions to get an emotional support letter to register your dog or cat as emotional support.
Colorado Emotional Support Animal Laws
It’s right for you having an emotional support animal. It gives you support to live better with your mental health disability in Colorado. Getting an emotional support animal in Colorado doesn’t take a lot of time. You don’t need to register your dog at any specific website or buy some emotional support animal certifications on Amazon. It will not make your pet as an emotional support dog. Keep in mind! It’s a scam. You will not be protected under the Fair Housing Act or the Air Carrier Access Act.
One proper way to get your animal registering as an emotional support animal in Colorado is getting an emotional support letter by a licensed mental health professional.
Travel Laws for Emotional Support Animals in Colorado
The Air Carriers Access Act in Colorado defends anyone with a disability and their emotional support animals.
You can travel with an ESA pet. All airlines require an ESA letter as proof of your mental needs in an emotional support animal. Even if the airline doesn’t allow pets into the cabin of the plane, emotional support animals will be allowed.
Be careful with online websites that offer you unlimited ESA letter. It’s a scam. You should update your letter every year because it’s a part of your treatment.
Before your flight, you should check the info to the airline about an emotional support animal. Perhaps, you need to fill some documents, and you should notify them of the emotional support animal that will be traveling with you.
Housing Laws for Emotional Support Pets in Colorado
The Fair of Housing Act protects people with mental disorders that have an emotional support animal. The act tells that landlords can’t discriminate people with a disability and gives access to housing for their animals.
A landlord can request an ESA Letter before moving to accommodation. Also, they can request your ESA Letter every year to update the info about your mental health.
University campus housing is covered under the Fair Housing Act. It allows students to have an emotional support animal while they study.
If your pet misbehaves or uncontrol, a landlord has the right to refuse entry.
If someone claims their animal as an emotional support animal when it isn’t, they can encounter to 90 days in jail.
If your landlord is asking for ESA Registration, it means that they are not aware of the Emotional support animal laws in Colorado. ESA Registration on websites are not legally and doesn’t qualify your animal as an ESA pet. So, my suggestion is not looking for emotional support registrations in Colorado. The proper way is getting an ESA Letter.
Employment Laws for Emotional Support Animals Owners in Colorado
The Americans with Disability Act protect employment rights as well. It tells that employers cannot discriminate against people with a disability, but emotional support animals are not included in it.
If you have an ESA Letter to provide your employers in Colorado that your animal helps you to feel better, you may be allowed to bring them into the office. It depends on your employer.
How to Register an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado?
As I mentioned above, ESA Registration is not legal and required for emotional support animals in Colorado.
The Emotional Support Animal Letter is one proper way to have an emotional support dog or cat. You should keep in mind three main criteria for ESA Letter in Colorado:
- It is written on a mental health professional’s letterhead.
- It includes his/her name, license number, date of issue, date of expiring, state it was issued.
- Signature of an LMHP.
An ESA in Colorado is valid for one year from the issued date. You should update your letter every year.
So, a licensed mental health professional can qualify you for an Emotional Support Animal Letter in Colorado. A doctor will determine your eligibility through the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 4 or 5. There are mentioned mental conditions that emotional support animals may reduce like Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Hoarding Disorder, Substance Use Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, etc.
You have two option on how to connect with a therapist:
- Offline. If you have your therapist, it’s easy to ask about an ESA Letter. Your doctor can’t charge an additional fee for emotional support animal letters in Colorado. Because an ESA Letter is like a prescription. If he/she believes that you feel better with your pet, you will get it. If you don’t have a therapist that you visit regularly, you should find a mental health professional in your area. You have to visit an LMHP several times before a doctor may conclude your needs for an ESA. It takes a few months to get an ESA letter.
- Online. It’s an excellent opportunity for people who don’t have their psychologist or mental health therapist because you will get a letter faster than visiting an offline therapist.
The flow for connecting with a mental health professional for an ESA Letter online in Colorado:
- Fill out an application form on the websites. You should answer questions regarding your mental health, feelings, thoughts, taking any drugs, etc.
- A Doctor will check your form. If he/she may have some questions for you, they will call you to clarify the info.
- Receive an ESA Letter in 48 hours. If a therapist approves you for an emotional support letter, you will get it in email, then a mail.
- Register your emotional support dog in Colorado or an emotional support cat. It doesn’t matter what kind of animal you want to register. If you get an ESA Letter in Colorado, your pet is automatically an emotional support pet in Colorado. You don’t need to get any specific registrations, certifications, etc.
So, there are only two proper ways for Colorado Emotional Support Dog Registration.
How To Get an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado?
You don’t need to do any other registrations, buying additional certifications for getting an emotional support animal in Colorado. If you get a letter, your pet is automatically ESA Colorado Pet.
If you want to get emotional support dog registration in Denver, you may contact a therapist in the city or visit a website that provides the help of mental health professionals online.
Be careful with websites that allow you to register emotional support dogs for free. It’s a scam. You can’t use any rights of emotional support animals in Colorado.
Also, if you want to get a dog certified as an emotional support animal by buying a certificate on Amazon – it won’t work for you. It’s a scam as well.
Getting an emotional support animal in Colorado is a proper way via a mental health professional online or offline.
4 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA in Colorado
Fact 1. Only a Licensed Mental Health Profession can provide an emotional support animal letter. It means that they have a valid license to work in Colorado, and they treat you.
Fact 2. Service animals in Colorado and emotional support animals have different rights. They are not the same thing.
Colorado law and the Americans with Disabilities Act consider a service animal as a dog that is trained to perform tasks to do or help a person with a physical or mental disability.
Only dogs and in some cases, a miniature horse may be a service animal. Under the ADA and Colorado Law, service dogs in Colorado can visit any “no-pets” public accommodations. It includes:
- Lodging establishments;
- Public Transportation and terminals;
- Restaurants and places that serve food and drink;
- Sales and Rental Establishments;
- Service Establishments;
- Bowling Alleys;
- Recreational facilities (zoos or parks);
- Educational institutions;
- Social Service Centers: senior centers, homeless shelters, food banks.
Emotional Support Animals are not allowed visiting these places.
Colorado Service Dog Requirements are:
- A dog is individually trained to perform specific tasks;
- A Pet Owner is unable to live a healthy life without the help of a service dog.
Service dog in Colorado is one of the popular pets there.
Fact 3. Therapy Dog is not an Emotional Support Dog in Colorado.
If you consider getting a therapy dog certification in Colorado, you should keep in mind that a therapy dog assists the community in overcoming disasters by providing comfort during times of extreme loss, depression, and anxiety. They have the same goal as emotional support animals, but service dogs in Colorado should be trained by working with a lot of people. They provide their help to a lot of people. Colorado Comfort Canines has the training to train dogs to get a therapy dog certification in Colorado. And you may use their service if you need some help.
Fact 4. Emotional Support Animal in Colorado is legal only if you get an ESA letter from an LMHP.
Please, don’t purchase any certifications on Amazon. It’s a scam.
Don’t register your dog for free or on any resources where you pay money for the registration. It’s a scam.
Where to Take an Emotional Support Animal in Colorado?
TOP 3 Restaurants in Colorado Springs that allow visiting with emotional support animals:
- Pub Dog Colorado
- Mountain Shadows Restaurant
- Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
TOP 3 Restaurants Dog-Friendly in Denver:
- Lowdown Brewery
- Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House
- Recess Beer Garden
TOP 3 Restaurants you can visit with ESA in Fort Collins:
- Rainbow Restaurant Breakfast/ Lunch Fort Collins
- The Colorado Room in Fort Collins
- The Gold Lead Collective in Fort Collings
TOP 5 Resorts, fitness, and SPAs in Colorado that you can visit with Emotional Support Animal:
- Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Colorado Springs, CO
- The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO
- Gateway Canyons Resort, Gateway, CO
- The Village Hotel, Breckenridge, CO
- Glenwood Springs Hotel, Glenwood Springs, CO
I believe that people with emotional support animals reduce their mental health disorders and feel happy. All types of animals, like therapy dogs, service dogs, and emotional support animals, have their benefits. But you should choose one of the standards and check all the requirements to get specific rights. Keep in mind that if you want to register your animal as an emotional support animal, you should get an ESA letter. After that, you can use the Colorado Laws for emotional support animals.