As a renter in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, it’s critical to know your rights, especially if you find yourself suffering from various mental health ailments such as depression, loneliness, anxiety, PTSD, bereavement, or other issues. If you are, you might qualify for keeping an emotional support animal or ESA with you while you are renting. Your right to have an emotional support animal in Dallas/Ft. Worth is federally protected by the ADA (Americans for Disability Act), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and the FHA (Fair Housing Act). And Dallas/Ft. Worth landlords, by law, cannot refuse to let you house an emotional support animal, assuming you have a letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). As an LMHP, I start with an evaluation process and provide a letter to your landlord as well as any follow-up communications to prevent any discrimination from occurring with your ESA.
I also help with psychiatric service dog letters, if your landlord asks for one. Usually, they will do this if your mental health disability is not obvious. The specific requirements to qualify for this, however, are different from emotional support animals (see below).
Part of helping people with an ESA letter or Service Dog letter in Texas is understanding Texas laws and rules. Laws in Texas may vary from other states because there are federal, state, and local guidelines to follow. I also practice in other Texas cities, which some Texas landlords require. I see people with other mental health needs at my counseling practice., and I am easy to get a hold of personally via email, call or text.
My address is
Emotional Support Animals of Texas
Attn: Miki Tesh, PhD, LCSW, LMHP
10228 E Northwest Hwy, #283, Dallas, TX 75238
640 Taylor St., Ste 1200, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Know The Difference Between ESAs and Service Dogs in Dallas/Ft. Worth
A psychiatric service dog is specifically trained, by yourself or a professional, to complete a task or attend to a need related to a mental health disability. On the other hand, an emotional support animal or ESA does not have to be specially trained, can be any type of animal (cat, bird…), and a person can have more than one emotional support animal. In Dallas/Ft. Worth and the rest of Texas, the requirements for the two types are very different. Though, in each case, a landlord may require a letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), like us. If you do qualify for a psychiatric service dog (PSD) and have a dog that has been trained – see more PSD requirements here – you should be allowed to bring the dog into:
- Rental housing in Dallas/Ft. Worth
- Public places in Dallas/Ft. Worth, a right that’s covered under the ADA
- Dallas/Ft. Worth hotels, as service dogs are allowed to stay under ADA rules.
- Airlines that fly in and out of Dallas/Ft. Worth
By contrast, an emotional support animal letter, by law, only provides for fair housing in terms of rentals. Public places are not under the same FHA laws as housing, therefore don’t need to comply with ESAs. As for Dallas/Ft. Worth hotels, it’s also up to their discretion to allow an ESA. Also, only a few airlines will recognize an ESA.
In either case of an ESA or psychiatric service dog, it’s helpful to get a letter from an LMHP like me, as landlords, in particular, can require it if your mental health condition is not obvious. You can get started with either process here:
Dallas / Ft. Worth Animal Shelters: Where to Find an ESA
Any number of different types of animals might qualify as an ESA, but most typically Dallas/Ft. Worth area renters get emotional support from dogs, cats, or birds.
If you already have an animal – remember emotional support animals are not considered “pets” by law as they fall into a different category – they could become your ESA. If not, we always recommend supporting non-profit organizations or animal shelters in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, which always look to rehouse their animal populations.
Indeed, my passion is helping animal rescues. I support the following local animal shelters in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area:
- Dallas Pets Alive!: 214-444-9372.
- Lost Paws Rescue of Texas
- Operation Kindness (Carrollton, TX), 972-418-7297
- Humane Society of Dallas County, 214-350-7387
Things to Do With Dogs and Cats in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area
Whether you have an ESA or a service dog in the local area, it’s important to keep them happy as their owner. As the most common animals are dogs and cats, here are a few places you can take them in the local area. First, here is a list of great Dallas/Ft. Worth dog parks:
- Wagging Tail Dog Park: 5841 Keller Springs Rd, Dallas, TX 75248
- NorthBark Dog Park: 4899 Gramercy Oaks Dr, Dallas, TX 75287
- Redding Trail Dog Park: 14677 Midway Rd, Dallas, TX 75244
- Central Commons Community Dog Park: 4711 Westside Dr, Dallas, TX 75209
- Meadows Dog Park: 2917 Swiss Ave, Dallas, TX 75204
- My Best Friend’s Park: Klyde Warren Park, 2012, Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201
- Bark Park Central: 2530 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226
- Elmwoof Dog Park: Edgefield @ Berkley – N, NS, Dallas, TX 75224
- Central Bark Dog Park: 7445, 2222 W Warrior Trail, Grand Prairie, TX 75052
- Prairie Dog Park: 5060 Parker Henderson Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76119
- Rush Creek Dog Park: 1926 Valleywood Dr, Arlington, TX 76013
- Fort Woof Dog Park: 751 Beach St, Fort Worth, TX 76111
- Calhoun Dog Park: 405 E Annie St, Fort Worth, TX 76104
- Highland Park Dog Park: 1501 High Country Trail, Saginaw, TX 76131
- Dakota Dog Park: 3209 Dakota Trail, Lake Worth, TX 76135
- Cherry Lane Dog Park: 320 N Cherry Ln, White Settlement, TX 76108
- Z Bonz Dog Park: 6950 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76116
Next, here is a list of things you can do with your cats in the Dallas/Ft. Worth-area:
- Glamour Paws, 2412 Forest Park Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76110, an all-natural pet boutique, grooming salon, and pet photo studio.
- Cat Connection, 14233 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX. 75244, boarding and grooming services, plus cat toys and cat strollers!
- Odyssey Pets, 17194 Preston Rd. Suite 131, Dallas, TX 75248, pet grooming, pet products, and more.
My goal is to provide an affordable ESA letter and service dog letter to renters in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Start the process at any time or feel free to contact me with questions:
Other Texas Cities I Serve
I serve the entire state of Texas for my mental health practice but have locations in the following major cities: