Can an Assigned Military Individual Have an Emotional Support Animal?
If you're an individual in the military assigned on duty, you may be wondering whether you're eligible for an emotional support animal. An ESA can be a great way for those in the military who may be dealing with some sort of disability to help them cope and manage their symptoms. But for those in the military, certain policies must be followed.
With that said, whether or not you can have an emotional support animal may feel a little unclear. At DoNotPay, we're here to help you find answers to your most pressing questions. If you're in the military and want to know whether you can have an emotional support animal, read on to learn more.
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal is a companion prescribed to those with a disabling mental disability. These animals often help individuals deal with symptoms related to their mental disability, such as anxiety, depression, and certain phobias. In fact, an ESA is a common solution for those who have a phobia of airline flying. There are many pet options when it comes to an ESA. Essentially, any domesticated pet can qualify as an emotional support animal.
It's important to note that an emotional support animal is different from a regular pet. An ESA must go through the legal process, which involves the pet owner getting a prescription from a licensed mental health professional who has deemed the individual someone with a disabling mental disability.
The Difference Between an Emotional Support Dog and a Service Dog
Dogs are one of the most common types of emotional support animals. An emotional support dog and a service dog serve different purposes than that of a regular pet. But an emotional support dog and a service dog are not the same. They each serve their specific purpose and have different requirements.
Emotional Support Animal
Under the ADA, an emotional support animal, such as a dog, cannot be used for service. An emotional support dog may be trained to support a specific owner. But an emotional support dog doesn't necessarily need to be trained at all. They serve to provide comfort to those with disabling mental disabilities. Mental disabilities may include:
- Learning Disabilities
A service dog, on the other hand, is trained to perform a specific task for the owner. For instance, someone who is hearing-impaired may have a service dog to alert them of danger in the surrounding area. People, who benefit from service dogs often deal with conditions such as:
- PTSD and other psychological disorders
- Hearing Impairment
- Mobility Impairment
Can an Assigned Military Duty Personnel Have an ESA?
No, assigned duty military individuals cannot have an ESA, according to the policy outlined in the Department of Defense. If an individual is assigned to military duty, they are only able to have a service animal in the event they need extra support. Here are a few things to consider according to the Department of Defense's policy.
- You can have a service dog if you are a recovering service member who has medical conditions that require the assistance of a service dog for activities related to daily tasks.
- The use of animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities must be under the policies of the Military Departments.
- Military dogs are adopted by service members and any dog not obtained from an accredited service dog organization approved by the VA does not meet the requirements for a service dog.
To read the full Department of Defense Instructions and policies, refer here.
How to Get a Service Animal on Your Own
There are a few required steps for those in the military to get a service animal. Here are the steps you will need to follow.
|Meet With a Provider||To qualify, you will need to be diagnosed with a disability by a provider. Many military members will choose to meet with a VA provider, but you can go to an outside provider as well.|
|Adopt and Train the Dog||Once you've been diagnosed and the application has been approved, you will need to adopt and train the dog for it to be a service dog and ultimately meet the VA standards. You can either get the dog trained at a qualified facility or train the dog yourself.|
|VA Veterinarian Health Benefits||If you would like, you can apply for your service dog to receive VA veterinarian health benefits. This will reduce costs associated with owning your pet by covering your dog's basic needs, such as wellness checks and emergency care.|
Let DoNotPay Help You With All of Your Service Animal Requests
If you have questions about requesting a service animal or just need help navigating the process, let DoNotPay help. Requesting a service animal or finding important information related to your service animal can certainly be time-consuming for those in the military. DoNotPay makes it easier for you to access the information you need.
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 contacting your landlord about your ability to have an ESA based on the Fair Housing Act, finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service, and asking airlines about their accommodation options.
- 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! Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will generate a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf, contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter. Are you ready to get started? Sign up today.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay services cut across different government agencies and companies. We offer people fast, convenient, and affordable options to solve their problems. Other animal services you can get from DoNotPay are:
- Emotional support animal airlines
- United airlines emotional support animal
- Southwest emotional support animals
- American airlines emotional support animals
- An ESA letter for housing
- Pet licenses
- Animal control
As for other services that DoNotPay covers, they include: