City of Jacksonville's Emotional Support Animal Legislation
Reducing Emotional Support Animal Fraud and Abuse
With nearly unanimous support from the City Council, Jacksonville has enacted Ordinance 2020-614-E.
The ordinance provides much needed clarifications related to public accommodations for those with emotional support animals - public accommodations includes waiving the pet rent fee or allowing an emotional support animal to reside on a "pet free property." It also codifies the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal.
While the presence of emotional support animals provides proven benefits to individuals, their growing popularity has given rise to unqualified providers that offer fraudulent "documentation" for a fee.
The City of Jacksonville's decision to follow the State Legislature's earlier example (SB 1084) and establish disability verification guidelines is a positive step in reducing emotional support animal fraud and abuse.