Home » Dallas Mavericks Became The First NBA Team To Have An Emotional Support Animal.

Dallas Mavericks Became The First NBA Team To Have An Emotional Support Animal.

Published on April 12, 2024 by Darren Jorgensen

Stories of how emotional support animals are an essential part of their individual lives and bring a positive change in them have been coming daily. However, recent news shocked everyone when The Dallas Mavericks made NBA history by welcoming a team emotional support animal, Bailey. Bailey is a 2-year-old mini-Berna doodle. Since her arrival in April 2022, she has become the team’s beloved companion.

Dallas Mavericks Became The First NBA Team To Have An Emotional Support Animal.


Assistant athletic trainer Heather Mau led the Mavericks’ initiative, and it highlighted the importance of mental well-being among players, staff, and coaches. Mau emphasized the positive changes that the young pup brings to the organization. Mau stated, “She provides me so much joy. You bring a cute little dog in this building. All these men here will melt.”

Bailey has played an essential role in helping keep the team’s stress levels down as they make a playoff push. She offers a comforting and joyful distraction from the rigorous demands of professional basketball. This innovative approach has enhanced team morale and spotlighted the Mavericks as leaders in promoting mental health within the sports industry.

Players like Dwight Powell, Tim Hardaway, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber have openly embraced Bailey, treating her as an integral part of the team. Moreover, Dwight Powell explained how she can help players. “I think it lightens a mood in a way that’s not taking away from the seriousness of what we do,” said Powell.

Bailey’s influence has sparked discussions concerning the advantages of emotional support animals in work environments. Evidence suggests that spending time with pets can dramatically lower stress levels, ease anxiety, and enhance well-being. The Mavericks’ decision to incorporate Bailey into their team highlights the increasing acceptance of holistic approaches that consider emotional and physical factors.

As the Mavericks continue to break new ground with Bailey’s inclusion, they hope to inspire other organizations to consider similar measures. The team’s commitment to mental health and the universal appeal of a friendly, furry companion sets a compelling example of how professional sports teams can foster a supportive and inclusive environment.

Where Can Emotional Support Animals Go?

If you are taking assistance from an emotional support animal, you’re federally protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The FHA provides equal rights to persons with mental or emotional health disabilities to live on any rental property they choose. Under this Act, housing providers or landlords cannot discriminate against ESA owners and cannot charge any extra amount for an ESA. You can also live on a property prohibiting pets because your emotional support animal is considered a part of your mental health treatment and not a normal pet.

Since ESA are not protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act ADA, they are not allowed to enter public places like restaurants, theatres, government buildings, shopping complexes, etc. Emotional support animals can also enter college dorms with their owners. The federal Fair Housing Act allows ESA to live on college premises. This rule requires universities and campuses to make accommodations for students who are diagnosed with mental disabilities and want to live with their emotional support animals.

Posted in: News

About the Author

Patricia Thompson
Darren Jorgensen
Darren M. Jorgensen has a fondness for all animals, though dogs especially, have a huge home in his heart. He enjoys quilting, making handcrafted soap and bodyworks and anything that produces practical products. Jorgensen lives with his own service dog who doubles as an Emotional Support Animal. He gets it.


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