Can You Live With Your Emotional Support Animal
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons people begin looking up information and learning more about getting an emotional support animal is so they can have the animal in a housing situation that does not generally allow pets. The number one thing to recognize is that ESAs are not pets. They are there to support you.
Each state may have different laws on what an ESA can do, but they are generally protected in housing situations. While properties might vary what they allow, having a letter from your mental health professional might be able to help you have the animal in your home even if youre not allowed to have pets.
Even though laws may vary by state, in general, a landlord cannot require you to remove your emotional support animal or pay a pet deposit on the animal since it is not a pet. As long as you have proof of your animal being an emotional support animal, you should be protected under reasonable accommodation laws.
Therapists And Esa Letters
A licensed therapist is one who assists patients in developing cognitive skills to manage symptoms. Therapists are also able to provide the necessary emotional support animal documentation. Quite a few health care professionals can assist, including psychiatrists, clinical social workers, mental health counselors, and psychologists. The professional does need to hold a license. Otherwise, the letter will be invalid and not accepted. Ensure the mental health professional you are scheduling with is licensed to prescribe an emotional support animal letter before starting a session.
If you currently see a therapist, bring this up with them and see if it is a valid option for your treatment plan. If you do not, do some research online to find a therapist in your area. You can also consider telehealth counseling and contact a therapist through the Internet for a virtual session. As always, sites that guarantee an ESA prescription automatically are not valid and should be avoided.
College Residence Halls And Dormitories
On April 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent notice to its regional offices that public universities are required to comply with the Fair Housing Act, which includes allowing emotional support animals into college dormitories and residence halls. As of 2015, colleges in the United States such as St. Mary’s College of Maryland were trying to accommodate students with a documented need for emotional support animals.
If The Animal Becomes Disruptive
Even though the animal is an emotional support animal, it does not mean that it does not have to follow any rules. It cannot interfere with the other tenants quiet enjoyment of the premises.
If the animal becomes disruptive, you still have the right to request that the animal gets training or obedience lessons, or you can ban the animal from certain common areas of the residence. If the bad behavior continues, you may have to take steps to evict the tenant.
Emotional support animals that cause injury or harm to another tenant or individual can be reported to animal control, although state laws will differ. In addition, if the animal causes damage in the tenants unit or in the property, the tenant is responsible for paying for this damage.
Why Work With Pettable To Get An Esa Letter
At Pettable, we are committed to helping people overcome the hurdles that landlords, airlines, and others can raise when you need an emotional support animal in your life.
Our combination of highly qualified mental health professionals, affordable fees, and our guarantee that the letter you obtain through Pettable will work for you gives you great value and peace of mind.
We canât wait to help you. Get started today by taking our quick quiz.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Test Anxiety
Flying With Emotional Support Animals
Previously, ESAs were allowed to fly in the cabins of airplanes, per federal law. However, the Air Carrier Access Act was updated, and as of January 11, 2021, ESAs are no longer recognized as service animals and therefore are not granted cabin access. Because of this, each airline is allowed to set its own policy for emotional support animals, with many charging fees to allow them to fly in the cabin with you. Before any flight, be sure to check with the airline to see what their policy is.
Acquiring A Service Dog For Anxiety
There are significant benefits to having a service dog if you suffer from anxiety. If you are looking for a way to feel a bit more independent, a service dog is a major step in the right direction. Additionally, service dogs can perform vital tasks such as retrieving items, alerting others in the event of an emergency, and perhaps most importantly, providing companionship and emotional support.
That said, not everyone who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder will qualify for a service dog. You will first need to consult with a physician who is familiar with your condition to determine if a service dog is the right treatment option for you. If not, you might also consider an emotional support animal, as they can provide similar assistance, without the high costs and training process.
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Have Such Bad Anxiety In The Morning
A Licensed Mental Health Professional Needs To Evaluate You For A Mental Health Disability
This can sound intimidating, but many people can qualify as various issues fall under mental health disabilities.
This can include stress, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, depression, bipolar, other mood disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and various other symptoms.
The standard medical professionals will look for to determine whether or not you qualify is that it needs to make your standard of living generally harder as a result .
As a result, if you experience any kind of mental health challenge, it’s worth considering whether or not you’d benefit from an emotional support animal.
Determining Which Dog Breeds Could Help With Anxiety
If you already have a dog you love, you can get it training to possibly provide some or all of the extra mental health assistance you might need.
But if youre looking to get a new pet, you might want to consider finding a dog with characteristics that would make them more likely to help you with anxiety.
When Cattet goes to a shelter to pick out potential PSDs, she looks for the following traits:
- Confidence. PSDs need to be able to work in all sorts of places and not get worried.
- Sociability. The best PSDs are easygoing, happy-go-lucky pooches who love being around people and other animals.
- Trainability. Cattet and her team train each dog for 30 different behaviors.
These three characteristics can potentially be found in certain breeds, including mutts.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Of Anxiety
A Dog As An Emotional Support Animal
Dogs are used more often as emotional support animals because of their calming effects. They are capable of providing comfort and care for those they love. Almost all psychological disorders can be eliminated to one degree or another through constant contact with the dog. During contact with animals, emotional discharge occurs, and the brain is distracted from any problems.
In fact, most dog breeds can be ESAs. However, some breeds are considered more suitable for this role. For example, the Golden Retriever is considered to be the best partner in the fight against depression and anxiety. They often have a strong emotional bond with their owner, which makes them ideal pets and emotional support dogs.
Another breed that is perfect for an emotional support animal role is the poodle. These dogs are naturally highly intelligent, which makes them perfectly trainable. In addition, they are insanely cute, active, and love to spend time with their owners. Poodles are very executive, social, and easily adapt to the new atmosphere.
Also, the Great Danes and Newfoundlands dogs often become emotional support animals. These breeds are friendly, calm, patient, reliable, and loyal. Furthermore, Newfoundlands like to hug and cuddle with their owner, which guarantees additional tactile support to get rid of depression. The Great Dane, among other things, is also distinguished by its guard qualities, therefore, next to such a dog, a human with a mental disability will feel safe.
What Makes An Esa Letter Legitimate
You need to keep in mind a few key criteria to ensure that your emotional support animal letter meets the criteria laid out by federal law.
Licensed Mental Health Professionals
- You need to speak with a mental health professional licensed in your state to get your pet certified as an emotional support animal.
Live Consultations Over The Phone
That mental health professional needs to evaluate you, typically over a phone call, video call, or in person, and determine you have a mental health disability and that your symptoms benefit from having a pet.
Letters Meet HUD Criteria
If you get approved, youâll get an ESA letter from your licensed mental health professional, and it must contain all the following criteria:
- License information from your mental health professional
- Business & contact info
- Official letterhead
- Specifically, note that you have been determined to have a mental health disability that benefits from having an emotional support animal
There are many not entirely reputable websites out there, so it’s paramount you work with a compliant service.
Recommended Reading: How To Get A Job When You Have Social Anxiety
Dog Breeds Better Not To Use As An Esa
In most cases, the ability of an animal to render psychological prop to its owner depends more directly on the dog than on its breed. In theory, if you already have a pet, you can register it as an emotional support animal as well. However, some dog breeds are unlikely to be suitable for this role.
One of these breeds is the Shar-Pei. This dog is distinguished by its loyalty to its handler, but at the same time, it is not always ready to show care and affection towards others. The Pekingese and Shiba-Inu also belong to this group. These dog breeds are quite independent and often dont need interactions with other animals or people to feel happy. They will not seek your attention, just as they will not give it to someone without their own desire. Therefore, they are not the best contenders for the role of ESA.
How To Get An Emotional Support Dog
If youâre ESA-approved and still donât own a dog, you have a few choices. You can find a friend whose dog has had puppies, buy from a puppy farm, or rescue one from a dog shelter.
Itâs best to avoid getting a dog from a puppy farm, as these tend to treat their animals quite poorly. This can sometimes lead to anxiety or even aggression in the puppies. In addition, buying from a puppy farm only gives them money to help keep them in business, and also tends to be much more expensive than caring for one thatâs been rescued from a shelter.
You May Like: Can Anxiety Cause Physical Pain
Emotional Support Animals Can Be Of Great Help To People Suffering From Mental Illness Including Anxiety Disorders And Depression
A pet can help keep a person grounded during a panic attack, give someone a sense of purpose, reduce social anxiety, and provide comfort. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about emotional support animals, and many people confuse them for service animals.
Emotional support animals are classified as a different type of assistance animal than service animals. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals arent automatically allowed into stores, restaurants, and other public places.
The only legal benefits granted to an emotional support animal are the right to bring the animal into the cabin of an airplane and protection from housing discrimination. A landlord cant deny someones application because of an emotional support animal, even if the housing doesnt normally allow pets. The pets owner must be legally disabled and have a prescription from a doctor before it can be certified as an emotional support animal.
Service animals, on the other hand, are granted extra rights and cant be asked to leave of any areas open to the public. Only dogs can be registered as service animals. While a service animal could be used for mental illness, there are strict requirements. The dog must be able to help their owner with specific tasks, such as reminding a patient to take medication.
Support Animal Or Service Dog
In 2014, the New Yorkers Patricia Marx gallivanted freely around the city with five successive fake ESA creatures, including a snake, an alpaca, and a pig named Daphne, demonstrating how easy it is to trick bewildered staff into letting random animals into their shops, museums, and restaurants.
While no governing body keeps track of the figure, a study from the University of California at Davis determined the number of ESAs registered by animal control facilities in the state increased 1,000% between 2002 and 2012. By 2015, the National Service Animal Registry, one of several sites that sell ESA certificates, had registered more than 65,000 assistance animals. In the four years since, that number increased 200%.
While not all spurious ESAs wreak havoc, some do with serious consequences. In 2018, Delta Air reported an 84% surge in animal incidents since 2016, including urination, defecation and biting. Recent media reports of emotional support peacocks causing pandemonium in airports, comfort hamsters getting flushed in a frenzy, and dogs storming the stage during Cats have further contributed to the sense that ESAs are an epidemic, part of a zoo where entitlement, biting, pooping, and pretty much anything else goes.
For people who do have genuine disabilities, the situation is becoming untenable.
Despite having a federally protected service animal, Honick is often denied rides from rideshare drivers he films these exchanges and keeps a running thread of them on his .
Also Check: How To Calm Nerves And Anxiety
Frequently Asked Questions About Emotional Support Animals
What is an Emotional Support Animal Certification? Do I need to get my ESA certified?
No, you do not need to get your Emotional Support Animal certified. Frankly, its not possible.
Like the misconception of registering your ESA into some database online, Emotional Support Animal certification is just a piece of paper with no real use.
To be a real Emotional Support Animal owner, you must have an ESA letter awarded by a therapist after you have taken an assessment of your qualification to own one.
Many sites, as well as people, claim they sell official Emotional Support Dog certification or offer legitimate Emotional Support Animal registration, but remember all you need is an ESA letter from a LMHP.
Are Emotional Support Animal Registration Sites Legitimate?
Were often asked if ESA registration sites are real.
The answer is NO.
If you see a site claiming to be a national service animal registry, emotional support dog registration, official service dog registry, US emotional support dog registry, or a US service dog registry theyre handing out false information and only wanting you to pay for a fake document.
Do emotional support animals require training?
Unlike service animals, HUD does not require any special training for ESAs. However, we strongly encourage you make sure your pet understands basic commands, behaves well in public setting and is trained for travelling if you chose take it on a flight.
Yes! Just that!