With increasing pressure every day, people are in search of a way to release their stress, anxiety, and depression. These are some of the most common mental health problems found these days.
Animals are considered to be a great companion for many ages. In light of the mental health problem of today’s age, animals are serving the purpose of more than just pets. In-state of anxiety, people crave the assistance of a furry friend.
Emotional support animals serve a greater purpose than ordinary pets. People who suffer from different mental state conditions have found their safe space in the company of their emotional support animal.
The presence of a loving and caring animal, whether it is a dog or cat, helps in releasing stress and finding the way out through the state of feeling low. Your emotional support animal helps in reducing the visible emotional symptoms and replacing it with the release of happy hormones like endorphins.
The love and care showered by an emotional support animal help in restoring your confidence and sets you on the path of recovery from your emotional problem.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ESA does not come under the category of service animals. However, they enjoy the same privilege as service animals to some extent. The owner can take their ESA on flights and is allowed to keep their animal in the house regardless of any restrictions about pets by the owner.
How to find the best Emotional Support Animal?
You can easily get an emotional support animal from animal shelters and rescue centers. Since there is no restriction on the breed of the animal, you can get the animal whom you consider would be the perfect partner at times when you are feeling low.
Unlike service animals, the emotional support animal does not require any specific training to qualify. You can get your furry friend from a well-recognized breeder or rescue shelter.
Where most of the animals are well suited to be an emotional support animal, go for the one that is calm and peaceful. The emotional support animal you choose should be easy to manage and friendly.
Choose an animal that has a calming effect on your health condition. Make your decision by considering all the factors. For example, if you live in a small apartment, a tiny animal-like chihuahua will be easy for you to handle.
Now that you have understood the importance of an emotional support animal and where you can get it to let look into how you can certify your furry little friend.
How do I certify my emotional support animal?
You can get your emotional animal certified with an ESA letter. The ESA letter, however, cannot be written by anyone and has to be made by a mental health professional possessing a license.
Many people, like the landlords, think that the process requires a proper certificate or registration form, which is a misconception. The ESA letter does the work of a certificate as it is the only legal document you need to carry your emotional support animal around.
Once you have gotten the letter, you are not required to register your animal anywhere.
How to get an ESA letter?
You can get your ESA letter easily through online process. Or you can visit your certified therapist and he will provide you with the letter. The doctor will first recognize your need for an emotional support animal.
You can let your therapist know about how your pet is a great source of comfort for you, and the emotional support animal lifts your mood improving your overall condition.
He will then provide with the ESA letter which must contain the following information:
- Licensed number of your certified therapist/psychologist
- ESA letter should be written on the letterhead of your therapist
- The signature of your therapist
- The date on which the ESA letter has been assigned
The other details that can be included in the ESA letter should give further insight into the mental condition that you are:
- The patient of the therapist on whose letterhead the ESA letter is made
- Suffering from a certain mental condition
- In need of an emotional support animal who helps in improving your overall health state
That’s all, and you are now free to take your pet around with you.
The other way of getting an ESA letter is online certification. This is contrary to the thinking of many people who believe that you cannot get an ESA letter online. You can easily begin your online certification once you are connected with a licensed health professional.
When you can easily get your food, a ride, or shop online, then getting an ESA certificate should not be a hassle too. People look for alternate options on the internet, giving it preference over stepping out of their house.
The internet saves us on a lot of time and effort where you can get things done in minutes online. You can avail many services which were formerly bounded to the outside. For people who are all about taking maximum advantage from the digital age then online ESA certification is a suitable alternative for them.
Due to the advancements in technology, you can easily be connected to a therapist online who will analyze your situation. The therapist will understand your requirement and also recommend which emotional support animal will best suit you.
Legal rights with an ESA letter
With an ESA letter in your possession, you and your animal can avail several facilities that are not available for normal people. The following are the two main rights that you have with an ESA letter:
- If you live in an area or apartment where there is a “no housing rule”, your ESA letter will give you the exemption to keep the pet. You would be free to keep your emotional support animal regardless of the breed, size or species. You would not have to pay any extra charges to the landlord for keeping the emotional support animal with you.
- With an ESA letter, you can take it around easily with you even on the go. This means that you can take your emotional support animal on flights with you without having to pay any additional charges or pet fee. So, whether you are travelling abroad for work or a vacation, your emotional support animal would accompany you.
Does my ESA need any registration?
Once you have the ESA letter for your animal in hand, you will not be required to show any other documents. ESA registration is not necessary. It is not considered as a valid approval for the emotional support animal; therefore, it is better to get the ESA letter.
If your landlord asks you to show any registration certificate, you can let them know about the registration not being mandatory. Instead, the only document that has significant importance for carrying a pet around is the ESA letter.
Emotional support animals are often seen at restaurants and public places if there are no restrictions. However, in flights and residencies, you may need to show an ESA letter. Under the Air Carrier Access Act and Fair Housing Act, the pets are limited to houses and air travel only.
The rules surrounding emotional support animals are very limited, and since there is no official registration, an ESA letter does the job. The intention behind the ESA letter might have been to allow therapists to serve their needs better.
However, technological developments have also allowed new businesses to expand. Multiple companies are now providing ESA certification online, so you are saved from the hassle of going out and visiting your therapist.
Through online registration, you are provided with a detailed questionnaire analyzing your mental condition. After you pay a certain amount, the ESA letter reaches you within a few days, and you are ready to take your next flight with your emotional support animal.
It might be easier for you to get an ESA letter online than through an actual therapist because online services provide the ESA letter without meeting the patient.
To sum it up, you don’t have to worry about whether you would be able to your emotional support animal with you or not. The only question left behind is which animal you want to get. After that, with an ESA letter in hand, you can easily travel around and stay in your house with your emotional support animal without any restrictions.