Do You Know What Emotional Support Animal Is?
You may have heard the term “Emotional Support Animal” or “ESA” in the news.
Many people confuse Emotional Support Animals with therapy animals. They are two different things. An Emotional Support Animal is a type of animal that provides emotional support to a person with a disability. They are trained to be there for you when you need them most, but not for any other reason. A therapy animal, on the other hand, is an animal that is used by people who are disabled as part of their treatment plan. Therapy animals do not provide emotional support; they simply help to soothe and heal their handlers’ emotional and mental well-being.
For those who have a mental or emotional disability, an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) can be a very helpful animal. However, they are not covered under any of the federal legislation except in housing and are not legally allowed to fly in the cabin of an airplane unless meeting specific requirements.
For this reason, Arizona law provides protection for those who require emotional support animals. In addition, the law provides that you can take your ESA with you when you travel outside of Arizona, but only if it is properly licensed and has been trained by professionals.
The Arizona ESA Certification Process
In order to be certified as an Emotional Support Animal in Arizona, there are several steps that must be followed:
- You must provide proof that your animal is licensed by medical professionals
- You must provide evidence that your animal is trained to perform specific tasks for you
- You must provide proof that your animal is well-mannered and does not bite or scratch
- You must submit an application form and fees to obtain a certification letter
- You must provide a letter from your doctor certifying that the animal will benefit you
Getting an emotional support animal certification is expensive. Online services usually charge around $100 to $200 per animal. The good news is, you don’t actually need that certification to bring your animal into a “no pet” housing facility. As long as you can provide a letter from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist, you can be free from pet fee or pet deposit.
Emotional Support Animal Registration in Arizona
Just like acquiring certification is not necessary, getting your animal registered in the government database is also not required. With an ESA letter, you can do what you are allowed to do under federal law with your emotional support animal.
How to Use an Emotional Support Animal in Arizona
As mentioned earlier, it is very important that you follow the Emotional Support Animal rules in Arizona. It is also important that you inform other people who might have an issue with your ESA.
For example, you cannot take your animal into any restaurant where there are no pets allowed. Also, you cannot take your animal into a movie theater or any other public place where pets are not allowed. If there is no way to avoid these situations, it is best to stay away from them altogether.