How to Easily Get a Therapy Dog in Utah
A therapy dog is generally seen as a kind of emotional support animal. These animals are prescribed by doctors or licensed mental health professionals to help alleviate conditions like anxiety and stress. If you would like to get a or have your pet named an emotional support animal in that state, you will want to be familiar with the relevant laws.
Utah does not have state-specific laws regarding emotional support animals. As a result, federal law is what you will want to follow when learning about emotional support animal requirements in Utah. Per federal law, emotional support animals are not considered as service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act. This means that ESA dogs will not be allowed in public areas in the same way that service dogs will.
The federal law that does apply to ESAs is the The Fair Housing Act. The FHA requires that ESA owners be permitted to have their ESA in their home, even if pets are not otherwise permitted on the premises. Certain airlines may also allow ESAs on an airplane if the owner makes a request through an ESA letter.
Getting a Therapy Dog in Utah
In Utah, if you need a therapy dog or want to get your pet recategorized as an emotional security animal, you will need to ask a physician or licensed mental health professional to write an ESA letter for you.
Only physicians and licensed mental health providers can write such letters on your behalf. These letters are the first step in requesting accommodations from companies such as airlines or from your landlord if you would like to have an ESA in your home.
What Is an ESA Letter?
An emotional support animal letter is a letter provided by a licensed mental health professional or physician describing your need for an emotional support animal. These letters are important to have to request ESA accommodations.
While letters can and should be adapted to your specific need, they should always contain the following information in addition to an explanation of your need for the therapy dog:
- Letter issue date
- The professional's contact information
- Their license expiration date
- Your physician or licensed mental health professional's license number
An ESA letter can be useful for getting accommodation for your therapy dog when you're traveling on airlines. Even though some airlines do not permit ESAs even with a letter, some will. It never hurts to ask.
The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to allow emotional support animals such as therapy dogs on the property in question, even if animals are not normally allowed. You will need to show the landlord an ESA letter to ask for this housing accommodation.
It's always helpful to look at some examples of ESA letters before requesting your own.
Who Can Write an ESA Letter in Utah?
In Utah, a licensed physician can write an ESA letter if they are actively managing the mental health diagnosis for the patient in question. It is more common, however, for such diagnoses to be managed by a licensed mental health professional. For that reason, in Utah, licensed mental health professionals such as the following usually write ESAs:
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
Can a Therapy Dog Be an Emotional Support Animal?
Yes, a therapy dog that is intended to help its owner with conditions such as anxiety, stress, or other mental health conditions can be considered an emotional support animal. That determination will need to be made by a licensed mental health professional.
Here’s how a therapy dog can offer emotional support:
|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.|
|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, 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 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.|
|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.|
How to Deal With ESA Requests on Your Own
Dealing with ESA requests can be a hassle, especially if you don't already have standing appointments with a licensed mental health professional. First, you have to find such a professional, set up an appointment, and explain your situation before asking them to write you a letter. Then, once you've gotten your letter, you have to ensure that the people you show it to understand your request.
Not everyone is always going to understand what an ESA letter is, and you may find yourself trapped in more conversations about it than you'd care to have when trying to do something simple like exercise your rights with regard to housing. But fortunately, now there's an easier way to get through these conversations.
Get ESA Assistance With DoNotPay
Obtaining help with ESA needs is not always easy. Every company has different policies in this area, and knowing how to make requests can be a challenge. Luckily, now you have a resource that can help you navigate these questions: DoNotPay.
Through our new 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.
Here's how DoNotPay can help:
- 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.
DoNotPay Can Offer Assistance With Airlines
One area where there can sometimes be confusion around ESA requests is airlines. DoNotPay can help. We can contact airlines to inquire about their ESA requirements for therapy dogs, saving you from being stuck on hold and dealing with customer service yourself. Examples of companies we can help you inquire about ESA requirements include:
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- American Airlines
Navigating the different requirements regarding ESAs can be a real challenge. Fortunately, if you live in Utah, DoNotPay can help you exercise your rights with regard to emotional support animals.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay can help you with much more than emotional support animals. Below are just a few examples of other ways we can help make your life easier and save you money,
- Airline Flight Compensation
- Animal Control
- Cancel Subscriptions
- Get Hotel Upgrades
- Sue anyone in Small Claims Court
- Get Pet Licenses
Give DoNotPay a try today to see all the ways it can be of assistance. It's fast, it's easy, and it helps you get done what you need to get done, giving you back time and energy for more pleasant things.