Have you ever considered getting an emotional support animal to help you cope with a disability? For those who are suffering from anxiety, depression, or PTSD, having an emotional support animal can make a world of difference.
While this is not a cure-all for your condition, it can certainly provide you with the comfort and support that you need to live your life more freely. And since emotional support animals are allowed in public places like restaurants and hotels, it can be a great solution for many people.
But there is still one question that many people have: how do you make sure your pet is eligible to become an emotional support animal (ESA)?
What Animals Qualify as an ESA?
First of all, what qualifies as an emotional support animal? Well, there are a few different categories that your pet can fall into. The first category is emotional support animals. These animals are simply those capable of providing comfort and support to people who are dealing with mental health issues. This category includes dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and others.
Next up is service animals. These animals are trained to perform specific tasks for their owners like guiding the blind or pulling wheelchairs. Service animals must be trained and certified by a professional organization like the American Kennel Club (AKC). You can’t just have any old pet and call it a service animal!
So, unlike service animals, an emotional support animal can actually be any type of pet. This includes other animals that can provide comfort and support like rabbits, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, and more. Essentially, any domesticated animal can be turned into an emotional support animal.
How to Ensure Your ESA’s Eligibility
The process of obtaining an emotional support animal is fairly simple. If you’re interested in getting an ESA, all you have to do is get an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). This letter should be signed by the LMHP and will list the type of symptoms and conditions and why an emotional support animal can help.
You need to first sign up for a screen test with an LMHP of your choice. In this test, the LMHP will evaluate your pet and determine if it qualifies as an ESA. This evaluation can take place in the LMHP’s office or simply online.
If your pet passes the screen test, then you will be able to receive an ESA letter. The letter will include your LMHP’s full name, signature, and license number, among other details. However, this letter only remains valid for a year or twelve months. This means that you will have to do a new ESA letter every year or twelve months.
You can find many sources offering an ESA letter online. Here are some websites that offer an evaluation and screen test to get yourself an ESA letter. These sites guarantee that, if all goes well, you would get your ESA letter within 24 to 48 hours:
- ESA Certificate
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