By applying for an emotional support animal registration, you're one step closer to better mental health. If you love your pet and your pet loves you, consider if they might be able to help you more than they already do. Right now, you might not have your pet by your side in public places when you need them the most. So, get the letter that you need that can help you bring them to the places that you need them. Here's a guide to better understanding the process of registering an emotional support animal, or an ESA.
All Animals Welcome
Maybe you like animals other than dogs and find emotional comfort in them. ESA animals don't need special training and can come in many different shapes and sizes. As long as you have a domesticated animal, it should qualify as an ESA. Whether you're a dog, cat, or even a hedgehog person, your furry (or spikey) little friend should be able to fit the bill. Moreover, age isn't a concerning factor. So, regardless of whether you just had a new puppy or your cat is old enough to attend middle school, ESA certification should be possible. However, the big caveat to all this is that they must somehow mitigate the symptoms of your emotional or psychological disability.
Once you go through registration, the emotional support animal is legally protected. The ACAA, or Air Carriers Access Act, and the Fair Housing Authority both help protect the animal in question. This should go without saying, but registration also means that the animal is designated to provide you with emotional support. Effectually, the pet becomes a furry little stand-in for your therapist. Registering helps you if someone such as a landlord or employer questions your ESA's validity.
Who Can Qualify
Anyone who has an emotional disability can apply for ESA registration. So, as long as a properly certified and/or licensed medical health professional has given a letter that properly certifies that you actually have an emotional disability, you should be able to have an emotional support animal. Keep in mind that the certification must come in a formal letter.
Your ESA letter is only valid for one year. Thankfully, renewing the letter is an option. In order for your pet to be properly ESA certified, you need the right kind of prescription letter. As mentioned before, it must come from a properly licensed individual. Note that by definition, this letter is a prescription. However, keep it on your person, keep a copy on your phone, and also keep a copy safe in your home. It provides legal evidence to anyone who questions the legitimacy of your ESA.
Can My Service Dog Also Be My ESA?
Your favorite dog can also be your ESA-certified companion. Being ESA-certified doesn't mean that your service dog loses its status as a service animal. Rather, it can help you cope with your emotional and psychological issues in addition to what it's already doing, and there's no training involved. So, if you're wondering if your service dog can be certified, talk with your therapist, doctor, or psychologist about your options.
For more information, contact the National Service Animal Registry today!