How to Get an Emotional Support Animal in Washington State
If you want to get an emotional support animal in Washington state, DoNotPay can help. In our new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, we make it easy to get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter at the best price, present it to your landlord, or inquire about your airline's ESA accommodations and policies. DoNotPay can save your time and money and solve your problem quickly and easily.
There are over 200,00 ESA's in the United States today, and that number is steadily on the rise. Mental health professionals have found the comfort and companionship of animals help many of those suffering from emotional and mental disabilities. But in order for your pet to be classified as an emotional support animal, you are required to present an ESA letter prepared by a therapist, psychiatrist, or other health care professional.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional support animals are not to be confused with service animals. They are not specifically trained to assist with a disability, such as a seeing-eye dog or a dog that helps someone with a hearing disability. They are "prescribed" by a mental health professional to offer care and support to those who suffer from mental disabilities, such as
How Emotional Support Animals Help People:
|Improves Your Schedule||Schedules and routines may be very important, yet, schedules may seem tedious. A pet requires care and a certain routine. You must feed them, and you have to walk them, bathe them, play with them, etc. Setting your schedule to be based on their needs can also impact your other day-to-day tasks.|
|Improve Memory and Focus||Pets are very good at keeping person-centered. If you forget to feed them, they will remind you. If you feel lost in thought, they can give you a nudge to remind you that they are there.|
|Improve Sleep||If you are someone who suffers from hyperactivity, you may feel unable to rest well at night. After running, walking, playing, and focusing on your pet throughout the day, you may be able to rest more at night.|
|Relieves Stress||Pets provide unconditional love to their owners. They are unable to yell or do things that may stress you. This can give you a sense of confidence and reduce your risk of depression or anxiety.|
What Is an ESA Letter?
An ESA letter is a kind of prescription where your therapist or mental health care professional prepares a letter specifying the need for your animal for the sole purpose of your emotional support. It must be prepared by that professional, on their letterhead, with all of their professional information included. It must contain:
- Letterhead, therapist contact information and licensing, and date of medical license
- State where the therapist has jurisdiction
- Mental disability they are treating
- Animal they are recommending for emotional support
- If being used for travel, they must state that it is needed
- Date of the letter
There are several sites online where you can print off sample letters. Be cautious. If you print one off to take to your doctor as an example, it is fine. But if you falsify information, it is illegal and is punishable by law.
ESA letters can be given to your airlines when traveling, though they are not required by law to provide special accommodations for ESA's and their owners. Presenting them to your landlord prohibits them from charging additional fees or penalties or keeping you from renting a "no pets" unit.
How Do You Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal in Washington State?
Washington state adheres to the Fair Housing Act's rules regarding ESA's in housing. Not only can you not be charged a pet deposit for an ESA, you can not be prohibited from living in a "no-pet" unit, but you also cannot have restrictions placed as to the size or weight of your ESA. You must have an ESA letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional for the state of Washington, and they must believe that your mental or emotional symptoms can be helped with an Emotional Support Animal.
How Can You Do This on Your Own?
To get an emotional support animal in Washington, you must go through the steps of speaking with your mental health professional and getting them to prepare an ESA letter. You can use this letter to present to your landlord, HOA, or coop as needed. Do this as early in the process as you can, in case your landlord wants to verify the ESA letter.
If traveling, contact your airlines. Some larger carriers try to accommodate emotional support animals, but they are not required by law to do so. They may ask for a copy of the ESA letter, and if so, present it as needed.
What if You Can’t Do This on Your Own?
We get it. It takes a lot of time and effort to call around, fill out forms, and do your research. That's where DoNotPay comes in. 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 ESA, asking airlines about their accommodation 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. 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.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Helping with your Emotional Support Animal is not the only thing we do. We can help you solve many of the problems that you have on a daily basis. Such as:
- How to contact animal control where you live
- How to license your pet
- How to cancel your unused subscriptions
- Get you compensation for canceled airline flights
- Show you how to get hotel upgrades
- Take anyone to small claims court
- And so much more
How can DoNotPay help you?