Emotional support animals (ESAs) are animals that provide emotional support to people with a disability. They are a type of assistance animals meant to assist individuals with a disability by providing them with comfort, support, and emotional support. Usually, people who may require an emotional support animal are those with anxiety, depression, PTSD, autism, or other mental health disorders. If you often get panic attacks, for one, or have a high level of anxiety, you may be in need of an ESA.
ESAs are different from service animals. Service animals are trained to perform tasks that assist the person with a disability. They can be a guide dog, for example, or a seeing eye dog. Service animals can also be a hearing dog, or a service animal that can detect the onset of seizures. Emotional support animals, on the other hand, do not have to perform any tasks for their owners or be trained rigorously. Instead, they provide emotional support and comfort to their owners. They are usually dogs or cats, though they can be many other pets, as well.
In order to be legally allowed to have an ESA in the state of Oregon, a person must be diagnosed with a disability by a licensed mental health professional. Furthermore, an ESA certification is an important part of helping to ensure that ESAs are provided the appropriate care and protection under the law.
Understanding Emotional Support Animal Certification in Oregon
Owning an emotional support animal is not as simple as deciding one day that your regular pet is an emotional support animal. ESAs and their owners are granted a certain level of protection by the state and federal laws. To make sure that no random regular pet owner can take advantage of these perks, anyone looking to own an emotional support animal must get themselves an ESA letter.
An ESA letter can be made by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). This can be a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professionals. The letter will be valid for a period of one year and must be renewed annually. A person can only have one ESA at a time.
This will be the only proof of ESA legibility you need. Unlike what most people think, you do not need to register your pet as an emotional support animal to the state of Oregon. All you’d need to have is the aforementioned letter.
Your chosen LMHP will assess the extent of your disabilities and conditions to decide if you are in need of an ESA. If your disability or condition is not severe enough to be classified as a mental health condition that hinders your functions, you will not be granted an ESA letter.
If you qualify, however, you can expect to get your letter within a day or two. You will then be able to use this letter to confirm that your pet is an ESA when you enter any public or private establishments that ask for it. Note that you still need to keep your pet under control and not cause disruptions, or else they may still ask you to leave.
JulieJulie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.
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