ESA letter – A comprehensive guide
An emotional support animal, or ESA, is a pet that provides companionship and emotional support to its owner. ESAs can be any type of animal, but are typically dogs or cats.ESAs are not considered service animals, as they do not perform tasks to assist their owners. However, they can provide emotional support and companionship to people with a wide range of mental and emotional disorders.
If you have an emotional support animal, you may be able to bring it with you on flights or into housing that does not normally allow pets. In order to do so, you will need a letter from a mental health professional verifying that you have a mental or emotional disorder and that your ESA helps to improve your symptoms.
Benefits of having an ESA
They are numerous. They can provide comfort and companionship, help reduce stress and anxiety, and even help ease depression and loneliness.
How to get an ESA
To get an ESA, you will need to obtain an ESA letter from a mental health professional and understand who can write an ESA letter. This letter will state that you have a mental health condition that benefits from the companionship of an ESA.
- Speak with a mental health professional. Individuals who think they may benefit from an emotional support animal should speak with a mental health professional, such as a therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist. This professional can assess the individual’s needs and make a recommendation as to whether an emotional support animal would be beneficial.
- Get a letter from a mental health professional. Once the individual has spoken with a mental health professional and it has been determined that an emotional support animal would be beneficial, the next step is to obtain a letter from the mental health professional confirming the individual’s need for an emotional support animal. This letter should be on the professional’s letterhead and should state that the individual has a mental health condition that benefits from the presence of an emotional support animal.
- Contact the animal’s veterinarian. Once the individual has obtained a letter from a mental health professional, the next step is to contact the animal’s veterinarian to obtain a letter confirming that the animal is up-to-date on its vaccinations and is in good health.
- Contact the housing provider or airline. The final step is to contact the housing provider or airline (if the individual plans to travel with the emotional support animal) to inform them of the individual’s need for an emotional support animal and to provide them with the letters from the mental health professional and veterinarian.
Where you can take your ESA?
ESAs are typically allowed in all housing, including apartments and condos. They are also allowed on airplanes and in other public areas.
Responsibilities of owning an ESA
As the owner of an ESA, you are responsible for the care and wellbeing of your animal. This includes providing food, water, shelter, and exercise. You will also need to make sure your ESA is up to date on all vaccinations
While there are no specific laws regulating emotional support animals, the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act protect the rights of people with disabilities to have ESAs in their homes. Additionally, many airlines allow passengers to bring emotional support animals on flights.