WHAT IS An Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
(ESA) is an animal that gives moral support to those with the problems like anxiety, depression, phobias, fears, or relationship problems. They are playing the role of a companion for people who need this and should not complete training by federal law. However, the animal has to be well-behaved at establishments for people. Different from service animals, Emotional Support Animals have to be registered. To do this, the handler has to obtain an emotional animal support letter from the therapist.
ESAs can be beneficial to individuals experiencing a range of mental health issues, such as:
- Depression and anxiety
- Certain learning disabilities
- Chronic stress
- Attention deficit disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- And more
To register your pet online and obtain an ESA ID card, you must have a licensed therapist's letter of recommendation that includes your specific diagnosis.
A therapist’s letter is a written recommendation from a licensed therapist or mental health professional, confirming that you require an emotional support dog or animal due to mental health concerns. This letter is necessary when traveling with your animal, living in rented housing (in accordance with the Fair Housing Act), and registering or obtaining an ID card or ESA certificate.
An emotional support animal letter should include the following elements:
- It must be written on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional.
- The letter should confirm that you have a disability and require emotional support.
- It should include a recommendation for a companion animal to help manage the symptoms of your mental illness or challenges.
- The mental health professional’s license number must be included.
- The ESA prescription letter should contain the therapist’s signature and the date.
If you’re uncertain about your eligibility you may schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me.
The primary purpose of an ESA is to provide comfort and moral support to its owner; thus, it doesn’t matter what type or breed of animal a person chooses as their emotional support pet. Cats, dogs, mini-pigs, and even lizards – anything can be your assistance animal.
Any animal or breed can qualify as an emotional support animal as long as it helps support an emotional condition and meets guidelines for legal support animals to have. Please note that if you have an exotic animal you should verify with the appropriate authorities such as Fish and Wildlife that your animal may be legally kept in a home.
It is a requirement that I see you for at least four sessions spread out over a one-month period (or longer) in order to get to know you and your needs with your pet before I can issue the letter. There is no cost to issue the letter, but my regular session cost applies to the four sessions.