How to Register Your Pet as an Emotional Support Animal
Many people are turning to emotional support animals to cope with the overwhelming feelings of the stressful world. However, US law does not recognize pets as emotional support animals unless they are prescribed by a licensed medical/mental health professional and deemed critical to the well-being of a person. Therefore, you should know your state's ESA laws and if you intend to have one for that purpose.
Once registered, you'll get an emotional support animal (ESA) letter that you use to secure accommodation in an aircraft cabin without paying for extra expenses (for airlines that accept ESAs) and get housing in a building with a 'no pets' policy. Read on to learn more about emotional support animals and how DoNotPay can help with all your ESA-related concerns.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
When most people hear of an emotional support animal, they think of their pets. However, an emotional support animal has more to offer than a pet.
Emotional support animals provide companionship to a person with some form of disability, and their support helps alleviate at least one aspect of the disability. The most common ESA animals are dogs and cats, but other types of animals like miniature horses can also serve the purpose.
If you have an ESA letter, you can fly with these animals on airlines such as Volaris and Westjet. Note that United, Southwest, and American airlines no longer accept ESAs. At home, the Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination by the landlord and requires them to offer reasonable accommodation for ESAs.
What Are the Benefits of ESAs?
Like all other pets, emotional support animals provide companionship, emotional connection, and joy to their owners. But above normal pets, ESAs offer the following benefits:
|How Emotional Support Animals Can Help People||Explanation|
|Relieve Anxiety||The presence of an ESA provides comfort and creates an elevated mood helping one deal with their anxiety.|
|Provide Trauma Support||ESAs offer comfort to individuals dealing with challenging situations, such as those who have experienced traumatic experiences.|
|Relieve Feelings of Loneliness||Individuals who live alone and experience anxiety and depression symptoms can get emotional support from ESAs.|
How Can a Pet Become an Emotional Support Animal?
For your pet to be recognized as an ESA, you must obtain an ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional. An ESA letter is a formal document written and signed by a licensed mental health professional recognizing that the presence of the pet is needed for the emotional well-being of the individual.
The letter must have the following information:
- Letter issue date
- License expiration date
- The license number of the physician or Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP)
- LMHP contact details
How to Register Pets as Emotional Support Animals on Your Own
If you wish to , you can follow the steps below:
- First, determine why you need an emotional support animal
- Link up with a licensed healthcare provider
- Prove your need for an ESA
- Get your registration document
A valid ESA letter is important to ensure your animal gets accommodation in an aircraft cabin without incurring extra expenses (if the airline accepts ESAs) and housing with a 'no pets' policy. Normal policies applicable to pets do not apply for ESAs. That is, if your residence restricts pets due to their breed or weight or charges deposits or fees for pets, these restrictions and charges do not apply to emotional support animals.
How to Request Accommodation for Your Emotional Support Animal
If you have an ESA, you need to reach out to your landlord to get more information regarding ESA services. You may also want to inquire about the accommodation options available in the airline if you are flying with your animal. But sometimes, when you write to your landlord or the airline to ask for this information, you may have to wait for a long time to get a response.
Similarly, if you have the ESA letter, the landlord, airline, or anyone who wants to prove your animal is an ESA does not need to ask for the ID, certificate, or registration number. If you are yet to receive the ESA letter, you would need to contact your mental health professional requesting the same. In short, there is a lot of formal communication, whether reaching out to the landlord, airline, or even the mental health professional.
Next Steps to Request Accommodation for Your Emotional Support Animal if You Can't Do It Yourself
Whether you are contacting your landlord, airline agency, or LMHP to make important inquiries on ESAs, there's a lot of formal communication that can be tedious and frustrating, especially when you don't get the response in time. Sometimes you may not even get a response at all. Fortunately, DoNotPay can assist you with all ESA-related concerns.
What's the Fastest Way to Register Your Pet as an Emotional Support Animal
DoNotPay's new Emotional Support Animals product can help with all ESA-related concerns, including reaching out to your landlord about your ESA, inquiring about accommodation options in airlines, and finding the most affordable online ESA letter service.
You only need follow these easy steps:
- 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 several questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.
That’s it! DoNotPay generates a letter depending on your issue and sends it to the concerned party on your behalf, whether it is your landlord, airline agency, or mental health professional.
More DoNotPay Products for Your Pets
DoNotPay also has other pet-related products to solve all your pet-related issues. We can help you:
- Report animal abuse
- Make pet custody agreement
- Find or report lost and found pets
- Apply for pet licenses
What Else Can DoNotPay Do to Help You Out?
Apart from our pet products, DoNotPay can also help you:
- Inquire about animal control
- Perform hotel upgrades
- Make small claims
- Make cancellations
- Get airline compensation
Sign up and get help from DoNotPay today!