Emotional support animals (ESAs) are a type of animal that is a dog or a cat, though it’s not uncommon for people to have other sorts of pets as their emotional support animal. By definition, they are animals that provide comfort and support to people with emotional and mental disorders. They do this by providing the human with emotional support.
People can get emotional support from animals for a variety of reasons, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. ESAs are often dogs or cats, but can also be rabbits, hedgehogs, ferrets, and more. People who have an ESA may feel that they need it because they’re depressed or anxious and they want the animal’s company.
The role of an ESA is different from service animals, which are dogs and other pets that have been trained to perform specific tasks. Service animals assist people with disabilities by, for example, guiding them or pulling a wheelchair. Meanwhile, emotional support animals are not trained to perform specific tasks. They also do not require specific certifications to be recognized as one.
The Costs of Getting an Emotional Support Animal
You may be wondering how affordable it is to own an emotional support animal. Would you have to pay for extra training, special care, or medication?
Well, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Emotional support animals are not subject to the same rules as service animals. This means that they are not subject to specific training requirements, and they do not need a medical certification. Instead, their costs are restricted to the following:
1. Adoption Costs
Firstly, you would of course need to adopt the animal from a shelter or a rescue group. However, you can also adopt an emotional support animal from your own local veterinarian. You would need to visit your vet and tell them that you are looking for an emotional support animal. You would then need to discuss what sort of animal you are looking for, as well as the training that it needs.
2. ESA Letter Costs
Though emotional support animals do not require certification or registration, you do need to have an ESA letter. This letter would state that you have a disability and that your animal provides emotional support. The letter would also state that your animal is a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This letter can cost anywhere between $100 and $200, depending on the organization or company.
3. Pet Care Costs
Finally, you would need to pay for pet care. This includes food, water, grooming, and other expenses. You may also need to pay for your emotional support animal’s vaccinations or other health-related things. This cost will vary wildly depending on what emotional support animal you own.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal
The process for getting an emotional support animal is different from the process for getting a service animal. If you are looking to get an emotional support animal, you will simply need to get a letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP).
KyokoKyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!
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