A psychiatric service dog is often used to treat severe mental illnesses. However, if a human feels lonely and needs a companion and friend, an emotional support animal comes to the rescue. For the convenience of ESA owners, we recommend that you have an official confirmation using an ESA letter to show your pet’s status.
What are emotional support animals?
The use of animals in therapeutics and helping people with disabilities is now quite a familiar situation. Service animals, such as guide dogs, have long established themselves as reliable helpers for people with specific physical impairments. However, a service dog can help treat different mental health issues. For instance, psychiatric service dogs often are assigned to people who suffer from severe forms of depression or anxiety disorder.
There is one more type of animal helpers that is called an emotional support animal. ESA is more than just a pet. It is a companion and partner that encourage its owner under challenging situations. For humans, emotional support animals are a reliable psychological reliance that helps relieve many symptoms of mental disorders, gives self-confidence, and improves general well-being.
When to get an ESA
Most often, mental health professionals recommend getting emotional support animals for people who constantly feel lonely. Pets allow you to get rid of feelings of loneliness and obsessive thoughts, including suicidal ones that may be related to this.
Practice shows that the owners of emotional support animals become more open and sociable. Often, handlers talk to their pets and can tell them much more than even to psychologists. It helps to eliminate constraints and complexes that may occur because of a person’s mental health condition.
In addition, in conjunction with regular consultations with a therapist and taking medications, ESAs help to escape from many psychical maladies that worsen human living conditions.
The legal status of ESAs
The primary law governing the rights of individuals with inabilities and their pets is the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is the law that defines the fundamental rights and freedoms that service dogs can enjoy.
Yet, ADA does not think ESA and service animals are equal, so this law does not apply to ESAs and their owners. The only paper that states ESA’s freedoms is an ESA letter written by a therapist with expertise in emotional support animals.
What is an ESA letter?
An ESA letter is a specific document written by a licensed mental health professional, therapist, or social worker. This paper confirms the presence of a mental disorder and gives humans the right to have an emotional support animal.
A legitimate ESA letter contains all the necessary information about the specialist who has written the document. If a person has an ESA letter that meets all the requirements, the document gives the ESA and its owner the ability to enjoy some benefits that regular pets don’t offer.
How to get an ESA letter
There are two legal ways to qualify for an ESA. The first option is to visit a licensed medical professional. A specialist will estimate the psychological health state of the person and prescribe the required therapy.
It is essential to keep in mind that an emotional support animal is most often the auxiliary tool and only works in the case of taking medications and regular visits to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
If you don’t want to visit a specialist or talk about your mind in the order in person, you may use online services. They also may provide an individual with a legitimate emotional support animal letter. However, it is substantial to choose reliable websites for such purposes.
You can also qualify for an ESA online. To get an ESA letter online, you have to fill out a special questionnaire about the state of your mental health. Specialists then evaluate the questionnaires to determine the severity of your mental illness and determine whether an ESA will help.
Once approved, you will be emailed the ESA letter. To use the ESA letter to resolve controversial animals that pet owners may have with others, you can use an electronic version of the document.
An emotional support animal registration doesn’t take much time. There are no specific criteria for selecting pets for registration as an ESA. You can register as an ESA any animal that procures you with moral endorsement and improves your psychological and spiritual Sta.
Using an ESA
Federal and state law clearly distinguishes between ESA and assistance animals. Therefore, ESA’s rights and freedoms aren’t as broad as the rights of assistance animals. Yet, an emotional support animal still has some privileges.
One of the most important prerogatives of ESA owners is the right to demand reasonable accommodations for themselves and their pets. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot refuse to give somebody accommodation because of the animal. In addition, landlords can’t groundlessly evict tenants or take additional fees for the support animal.
Remember recent Air Carrier Access Act amendments limit which ESAs can fly in the cabin with their handlers. Therefore, for air travel with your pet, it is better to choose a pet-friendly airline.