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Emotional support animals (ESAs) refer to dogs and other pets that provide emotional support and comfort to their owners on a daily basis. ESAs legally must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional like a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Emotional support animals differ from service dogs in a few key ways. Service dogs have been trained to perform specific tasks for individuals, and as such, as usually granted access to anywhere their owner goes. Emotional support animals do not require any specific training, although owners should make sure they’re well-trained in public. ESAs are not granted access to establishments such as restaurants or malls like service dogs are.
Mental health professionals prescribe emotional support animals (ESAs) under the law. ESAs are granted certain housing and air travel accommodations by law. If you are experiencing difficulties with housing or travel related to your emotional support animal, I can assist you with documentation that may alleviate this burden.
Individuals with ESAs are afforded some additional rights, such as the ability to live in otherwise non-pet-friendly housing under the Fair Housing Act. Additionally, the Air Carrier Access Act allows both service animals and ESAs to accompany their owners in the cabin of an aircraft during flights. Emotional support animals provide a valuable service to those who need it, but misrepresenting a pet as an ESA is both unethical and illegal in some states.
Schedule an appointment today to ensure that your emotional support animal can be there to help you manage your emotions.