What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that provides therapeutic benefits to its owner. Emotional support animals are not pets per se, but they are also not service animals under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This is because the ESA does not meet the definition of a service animal, which is highly trained to do certain tasks. Service animals are also referred to as therapy animals, therapeutic pets, and companion animals.
However, emotional support animals are protected under the federal law. Therefore, it cannot be denied in housing under the Fair Housing Act.
The ESA cannot be denied in state public accommodations like hotels and restaurants if they have no policy against them. But if they do, you can’t stop them from getting evicted.
Benefits of Having Emotional Support Animals
Some of the tasks that an Emotional Support Animal can perform include:
- Having a support animal gives you extra security. It means that you will not be afraid to leave your home, go shopping or travel out of state because you will know that your ESA will keep you safe.
- Having an ESA can also provide additional protection for those who are alone at home. It means that if there is any intruder, your ESA will warn you before he gets to where you are and can help in your defense.
- Your ESA can also help in doing many other tasks such as picking up dropped items, keeping track of household items, sniffing out dangerous odors and even sleeping with you in bed if it feels uncomfortable for the person sleeping next to it.
The best thing about having an ESA is that it does not require much effort on your part as it provides its services on its own without any direction from you. This makes your life easier because you don’t need to put a lot of time into training them.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal Certification in Alaska?
There are several ways you can get an emotional support animal certification in Alaska. The first way is by submitting a written application form with proof of your disability and the nature of your disability to the local emotional support animal agency. It will take some time for your application to be processed, so you need to submit it well before you want your ESA certification in Alaska.
To expedite this process, you can also get a letter from your doctor confirming your disability and stating that you need an ESA.
You can also register with an online emotional support animal certification service, but you will have to pay a fee of around $150.
Do I Need a Veterinary Exam for My Emotional Support Animal Certification in Alaska?
Good news, certification is not necessary to bring your animal to Alaska. So, for people who have a service animal for their mental or physical disabilities, there is no need for a veterinary exam for their emotional support animal certification in Alaska.
In fact, it is against the Fair Housing Act to ask about the nature of your disability or the reason why you need an ESA. The only time when you might need a veterinary exam is if your emotional support animal has attacked someone without warning or signs of aggression.