Emotional support animals (ESAs) are becoming more and more popular. This is largely due to the spreading knowledge that ESAs provide emotional support to their owners. For people who suffer from intense bouts of anxiety, as well as people who have physical disabilities, ESAs are able to help improve their quality of life.
Many people assume that emotional support animals and service animals are interchangeable. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Service animals assist their owners in tasks such as guiding the blind, pulling wheelchairs, and alerting those with seizures. These tasks are all extremely difficult to perform without assistance, and the animals also need to be trained thoroughly to perform them. ESAs, on the other hand, do not perform any tasks for their owners. Instead, they provide companionship and comfort. They also don’t need any training.
ESAs can provide their owners with much-needed comfort. Many people find that they are able to work better when they have an ESA by their side. People who suffer from severe anxiety disorders often use ESAs to reduce or eliminate their symptoms. They do, however, still need some form of certification.
In order to certify that an ESA is allowed in a particular state, the owner must provide proof that the ESA can behave appropriately in public and that it does not cause harm to people or animals. To become certified, you and the ESA must be evaluated by a licensed professional.
Understanding Emotional Support Animal Certification in South Carolina
South Carolina offers some protection for ESAs. If you are interested in obtaining certification for your ESA, you will need to research your specific state’s laws and regulations. In South Carolina, these laws are set in place to ensure that no random regular pet owner can simply claim their pet is an emotional support animal to get all the perks that come with the status.
You can prove you and your pet’s status by obtaining an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). This LMHP will examine your diagnosis and decide whether or not it is debilitating enough to require an ESA. In addition, the letter will state proof that your emotional support animal can significantly improve your quality of life.
Fortunately, getting this letter is a fairly quick process. You can expect the process to take a day or two, and you can do so by visiting an LMHP’s office or by contacting them online. However, keep in mind that one letter is only valid for use for twelve months, so you’d need to apply for a new letter after that time period.
After you’ve obtained this letter, you will be able to bring your emotional support animal along with you on public transportation, in your place of work, and even into your school. Even so, you still need to abide by other laws in these public areas. Particularly, you should take care that your pet doesn’t cause disruptions or pose harm to others. Otherwise, you may still be expected to leave the premises with your ESA.
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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