Can A Rabbit Be An Emotional Support Animal
It's hard to believe, but emotional support animals are simply beloved pets that give real therapeutic benefits to their owners. That's why so many people are wondering if a rabbit can be an emotional support animal. The answer is a resounding YES! Most emotional support animals are dogs, however. The only defining factor depends on if the animal has an official ESA letter.
These special pets, including rabbits, aren't expected to have any type of special ESA training. The reasoning behind this is that science has shown repeatedly that animals are fundamentally therapeutic. That means they are naturally healing. Because of this cool medical fact, many people take their pets far and wide.
The problem is all pets, including rabbits, must obtain an official ESA letter to be allowed to stay in a rental with a no pets policy, or any airline or public place that disallows animals. In fact, airlines only amended their policies regarding emotional support animals in 2019.
With so much change in law policy, it's hard to know what types of animals are accepted as ESAs, where an airline flight or hotel stay for our special pets is possible, and if they are allowed in a rental home. The solution is to get an official ESA letter for the state you live in, but that's not always easy. Fortunately, DNP takes on the stressful stuff and gets pet parents the help they need for their ESA rabbits.
What is an Emotional Support Animal, and Can it Be a Rabbit?
Emotional support animals are pets that serve double duty as therapeutic animals. Federal law dictates that they can be any species of animal that provides comfort and a feeling of calm in trying circumstances.
For many people, this animal is a rabbit. Beloved pets convey a feeling of comfort and well-being to their pet parents. While they don't have the specialized training and nationally recognized rank of service dogs, they have been scientifically proven to impart certain limited benefits to patients with mental issues such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
Many people have difficulty operating in life without their ESA pet. Patients suffering from PTSD, panic disorders, and anxiety need their pets to help them get through their daily chores and avoid panic attacks. They also help to reduce feelings of boredom and loneliness.
Not to confuse ESAs for Service animals, the table below outlines the differences between an emotional support animal vs a service animal:
|Definition||A pet, whose presence is determined to be needed for mental health of a patient. The pet is prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness.||According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are dogs that are trained to perform tasks or do work for people with disabilities.|
|Does the assistance animal have access to public areas?||No||Yes|
|Can the assistance animal be banned or restricted when the owner is obtaining housing?||No||No|
|Will the owner of the assistance animal be charged a pet deposit for living with one?||No||No|
|Is the assistance animal allowed on flights free of charge?||No||Yes|
Can I Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter for a Rabbit?
Once your pet rabbit has been proven mentally helpful for your condition, it's defined as an ESA or emotional support animal. To confirm this nationally legal state, mental health professionals endorse an emotional support animal letter and issue them to their patients.
These letters are valid in the state in which they are issued. A pet rabbit is just legally eligible to receive an emotional support animal letter as a dog or cat.
Official ESA letters will include:
- Pet owner's name and contact information.
- Animal name (depending on the state.)
- Physician/Licensed Mental Health Professional license number and expiration date.
- Letter issued date.
- Physician's contact information.
You'll need one of these important letters to keep your ESA rabbit in your home, take it to any public place, use public transportation, including to travel with your pet.
Who Qualifies for an Emotional Support Animal?
To qualify for an ESA, the owner must:
- Check-in with themselves and weigh if having an emotional support animal is the best idea for their mental health.
- Have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or emotional disorders, e.g., PTSD, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, agoraphobia, and so forth.
- Must have a letter from a qualified mental health professional (MHP)
- Must have an updated ESA letter. ESA letters are valid for 12 months. Thereafter you'll need to visit your MHP for a new one.
How to Get an ESA on Your Own
Getting an ESA letter for your rabbit is a simple enough procedure but it can get complicated quickly. There are many factors that can, and usually do, go wrong. The first thing you need to do is see a mental health professional. This already poses a problem for people who don't drive, have insurance, can't leave their homes, or have physical disabilities.
Once you've gotten a diagnosis, you have to write a letter asking for the verification you need for your rabbit. On the other hand, you can request a letter from a private company with in-house therapists. These options are effective but can take the time that you don't have when you're looking for a home to rent or are about to take a trip. So, you've got three basic choices:
1. Go to your doctor and explain your circumstances. Get a diagnosis and ask for an ESA letter.
2. Use a third-party company and their on-site doctors.
3. Enlist DoNotPay to do the work for you.
Here's how DoNotPay can help:
Through our new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, DoNotPay can help you with all of your ESA-related concerns. Including rentals, flights, and lodging concerns, contacting your landlord about your ESA, asking about accommodation requirements and options, and finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service.
- Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.
- Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.
- Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.
And that's it! DoNotPay will send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter, contact the landlord, hotelier, or airline and get back to you with an answer.
Why Use DoNotPay to Get an ESA Letter for a Pet Rabbit
DoNotPay can take care of all your ESA issues, not just those concerning rentals and hotels. They accomplish this by being:
- Speedy—You don't have time to mess around when you're going on a journey. DNP can get the letters you need fast.
- Straightforward— We ask a few simple questions and then we get to work.
- Effective—You can rest easy knowing we're hard at work for you and your ESA rabbit.
What Other Pet Related Services Does DoNotPay Offer?
Besides handling all your ESA-related issues, DoNotPay offers other services for your pet. These include:
- Lost and found Pets
- Pet custody agreement
- Pet license
- Report animal abuse
- Animal control
Sign up for DoNotPay to enjoy products for pet owners and non-pet owners alike!