At Emotional Support Animals of Texas, our primary goal is to help renters across the state and in San Antonio get affordable ESA and Service Dog letters from a licensed professional. As a renter in the San Antonio area, we recommend you know your rights in terms of housing animals that can support your mental health. For example, if you suffer from various mental health ailments such as depression, loneliness, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, PTSD, bereavement, or other issues, 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 San Antonio is federally protected by the ADA (Americans for Disability Act), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and the FHA (Fair Housing Act). And San Antonio 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) like us. ESAs are not considered “pets” and fall under a different classification in terms of rental housing protections in San Antonio.
As a locally-based LMHP in Texas, 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 a San Antonio landlord asks for one. (Sometimes they will require it if your disability is not obvious.) One thing to note about service dog letters is that there are also significantly more requirements to qualify and separate training and certification that are involved. (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 San Antonio address is:
Emotional Support Animals of Texas
Attn: Miki Tesh, PhD, LCSW, LMHP
9110 N Loop 1604 W., Suite 104
San Antonio TX 78249-3397
What’s the Difference Between ESAs and Service Dogs in San Antonio?
As mentioned earlier, there are differences between an emotional support animal and a psychiatric service dog (PSD) when it comes to renting in San Antonio. 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 San Antonio 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 San Antonio
- Public places in San Antonio, a right that’s covered under the ADA
- San Antonio-area hotels, as service dogs are allowed to stay under ADA rules.
- Airlines that fly in and out of San Antonio
By contrast, an emotional support animal letter, by law, only provides for fair housing in terms of rentals in Texas. Public places in San Antonio are not under the same FHA laws as housing, therefore don’t need to comply with ESA laws. As for San Antonio 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, if you’re renting in San Antonio and have a mental health affliction of some kind, it’s helpful to get a letter from an LMHP like me, as landlords, in particular, can require it. You can get started with either process here:
San Antonio Animal Shelters: Where to Find an ESA
Any number of different types of animals might qualify as an ESA in San Antonio. If you already have an animal in the local area – 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 San Antonio area which are looking to rehouse some animals. Indeed, my passion is helping animal rescues. I support the following local animal shelters in and around San Antonio:
- San Antonio Pets Alive!, 4710 Highway 151, San Antonio, Texas 78227
- San Antonio Humane Society, 4804 Fredericksburg Rd, San Antonio, TX 78229
- Animal Defense League of Texas: Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions, 210 Tuleta Dr, San Antonio, TX 78212, OR: 11300 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217
- City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, 4710 TX-151, San Antonio, TX 78227
- Cressie Animal Refuge and Enrichment, 1614 Doe Park, San Antonio, TX 78248
- Paws Ranch Rescue and Animal Sanctuary, 865 S Loop 1604 E, San Antonio, TX 78264
Things to Do With Dogs and Cats in the San Antonio Area
We always encourage owners to make sure to keep their ESAs or service dogs happy! As the most common animals in San Antonio are dogs and cats, here are a few places you can take them in the local area. First, here is a list of great San Antonio dog parks:
- McAllister Dog Park: 8418 Buckhorn Rd, San Antonio, TX 78247
- Madison Square Dog Park: 313 Dallas St, San Antonio, TX 78215
- Phil Hardberger Park: 13203 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216
- Pearsall Dog Park: 5414 Old Pearsall Rd #5346, San Antonio, TX 78242
- Lady Bird Johnson Dog Park: San Antonio, TX 78217
- Woodlawn Lake Dog Park: 115 Alexander Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201
- Maverick Dog Park: 310 E Jones Ave, San Antonio, TX 78215
- Hardberger Park (West): 11672-000-0100, San Antonio, TX 78231
- Panther Springs Dog Park: 22635 Wilderness Oak, San Antonio, TX 78260
- South Side Lions Park: 3303 Pecan Valley Dr, San Antonio, TX 78210
- Tom Slick Park: 7400 Texas 151 Access Rd, San Antonio, TX 78227
Next, here is a list of grooming/boarding services for cats in San Antonio:
- Pet Bath and Beyond, 12730 NW Military Hwy #104, San Antonio, TX 78231, grooming and bath services for cats (and dogs).
- Kriser’s Natural Pet, 427 N Loop 1604 W Acc Rd Suite 112, San Antonio, TX 78232, grooming, daycare, and mobile vet clinic for cats (and dogs).
- Texas Mobile Pet Spa, 1107 Custer Pass St, San Antonio, TX 78232, cat grooming and bathing/spa treatments.
- Groom & Bloom Pet Grooming, 7131 Glen Grove Dr, San Antonio, TX 78239, highly rated cat grooming services.
My goal is to provide an affordable ESA letter and service dog letter to renters in the San Antonio 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: