Emotional support animals (ESAs) are becoming more common than ever. These animals provide support to their owners and/or help them with their medical conditions. These animals can also simply provide companionship to the owner. Someone may benefit from owning an emotional support animal if they have a mental or physical disability.
In this article, we will look at the rights of emotional support animals and how many ESAs you can have.
What is an ESA?
An ESA is a pet that provides emotional support for its owner. These animals are also not required to be trained or certified by any specific organization, but many owners put their ESAs through specific training anyway. The emotional support animal must be assigned with a letter from a licensed mental health professional that states that the person needs the animal as an emotional support animal.
Some individuals may feel more comfortable with an ESA because they provide more companionship than their own pets, and these animals can provide unconditional love and support to their owners in any way possible. This may make them feel safer when they are out and about in public areas such as airports or shopping malls.
How Many ESAs Can You Have at Once?
Sometimes, one emotional support animal may not be enough. Perhaps you also have a child who needs an ESA and both of you need to have the animal with you at all times. This could be a problem if you want to travel with your ESA, and your first emotional support animal is too big to fit in a plane.
Fortunately, you are allowed to have more than one emotional support animal. In fact, there is no limit as to how many ESAs you can have. All three of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act, and the Air Carrier Access Act acknowledge that sometimes people may need to have more than one ESA.
What to Keep in Mind
There are certain rules that you still must follow when you are deciding to have more than one ESA. First, the person who has their ESA must have a letter from a licensed mental health professional that states that they need the animal as an emotional support animal.
Second, both public and private spaces can deny your emotional support animal access if it’s not possible for them to properly accommodate you. For example, you can’t expect a landlord to let your emotional support horse stay in your cramped apartment. Similarly, if your emotional support animal proves a possible danger to the general public, such as a dog that attacks other animals, the people are allowed to ask your emotional support animal to vacate the premises.
Furthermore, for your animal to be considered legally as an ESA, you need to have an ESA letter. An ESA letter can only be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). They will assess the need for the ESA, and will determine if your ESA is safe for you to have in public.