Emotional support animals (ESAs) are becoming more and more common. Many people can benefit from the companionship of an ESA. An emotional support animal can provide people with emotional support, as well as physical support. An ESA can help people who are going through major depression, for example. ESA’s can also be very beneficial for children with autism and other special needs. ESAs can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in their owners.
While emotional support animals count as a type of assistance animals, they are not the same as service animals. Service animals are trained to perform a specific task that a person with a disability needs. They can, for example, guide people who are blind or deaf.
Emotional support animals, on the other hand, are not trained to perform any tasks. As their name suggests, the task of an ESA is to simply provide emotional support. Because of this difference, they do not generally require the same level of training or certification as service animals. In fact, they do not require any training at all. However, you’d still need to have some proof of your pet’s status as an ESA.
Understanding Emotional Support Animal Certification in Vermont
Having an emotional support animal compared to a regular pet gives you certain perks in Vermont. You will not have to apply for a license or get any certification, but you will still have some benefits in being able to take your pets to areas that would normally be off-limits.
The good news is, emotional support animals are allowed in most public places in Vermont. This includes businesses, offices, stores, and even churches. However, there’s a trend of regular pet owners abusing the laws surrounding emotional support animals. They would often pretend to have an ESA to get access to places that are off-limits to other animals. To prevent this breach of laws, a pet owner must have an ESA letter for their pet to be acknowledged as an emotional support animal.
An ESA letter can be obtained from any licensed mental health professional (LMHP), such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker. The letter will in general describe the symptoms that the owner is suffering from and the type of help that their ESA provides. It essentially informs the reader that the patient has a condition that requires an emotional support animal, as well as assures that an ESA’s companionship can actually help the patient.
While state laws say that businesses cannot demand to see proof of your pet’s status as a service animal, the same is not extended towards emotional support animals. Therefore, it’s crucial that you have this letter on hand at all times. Some establishments may also ask for additional information. An airline, for example, will also need proof of your pet’s vaccination.
Thankfully, the process of getting this letter is quite easy. It can take as little as one to two days. The process can also be done either by visiting the office of an LMHP or by filling in an online form.
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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