An emotional support animal is a type of pet that provides emotional support to people with mental disorders, conditions, and/or disabilities. Emotional support animals are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as it states that people with a mental disability must be allowed to have equal rights and provided with reasonable accommodations for a better life.
People can benefit from the support of an emotional support animal. They provide comfort and companionship to people with a mental disability. Emotional support animals do not provide medical assistance, but they are still necessary for their owners to be able to function better in society.
Do You Need to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certified?
If you are planning to get an emotional support animal, you may be wondering if you need to get your animal certified. The short answer is no. Unlike what many may think, emotional support animals do not need to be certified.
It’s important to remember that emotional support animals are not the same as service animals. Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks that help their owners with disabilities. They may be trained, for example, to pull a wheelchair or to alert their owners of specific sounds. Meanwhile, emotional support animals are pets that provide companionship and comfort to their owners.
This means they don’t need to go through the same training and process of certification that service animals do. Instead, emotional support animals can simply be recognized as such, so long as they give their owner emotional comfort and support. However, you do need to get an ESA letter written up by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP).
What You Need: An ESA Letter
An ESA letter is a document that is written by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). It outlines the type of assistance that your emotional support animal provides to you. The letter will outline how your animal has helped you and why you need to have it in your home.
Not everyone will qualify for an ESA letter. You need to have a mental disability and also need your animal to provide emotional support. Your chosen LMHP will need to evaluate your condition and determine if your animal can provide the type of assistance you need.
This process can be done by physically visiting the office of your chosen professional, but there are many sites offering such a service online, as well. The important thing to remember is to do ample research and make sure you choose a qualified professional to write your ESA letter. There are lots of websites out there offering this service for free, but many of them are scams. Here are some choices for organizations and companies offering an ESA letter qualification online:
- ESA Certificate
Once you have your ESA letter, you will be able to get an emotional support animal and bring it home with you. You can take the letter with you when applying for an apartment complex or going aboard a plane, among other needs.
KimKim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.
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