Most people confuse emotional support animals (ESA) with ordinary pets. An emotional support animal is given to patients that are suffering from an emotional disorder. Psychiatrists recommend such animals because they help the patients in coping with emotional disorientation. As a matter of fact, there are facilities that specialize in training such animals. You can therefore approach them when you need to buy or adopt a companion animal. However, the law is very strict on who should be allowed to adopt an emotional support animal. Here is a list of the things you should know about emotional support animals.
1. There is a Wide Selection
Although emotional support animals are slowly becoming popular among the masses, most people believe that it’s only a dog that can qualify to be adopted as an ESA. This is further from the truth. In fact, there are several types of animals that can qualify. The choice of an animal is often guided by personal preferences. Some of the animals that can be adopted include rats, pigs, lizards, cats and birds among others. There are some patients that even adopt snakes. However, the animal you choose should not pose a threat to other people and yourself. Even if you opt for a dog, it should be a breed that’s not aggressive.
2. ESA are not Allowed Everywhere
The law states that anyone that has been diagnosed with a medical condition that requires them to obtain an ESA must be allowed to live with the animal in their house. This means that your landlord doesn’t have the right of evicting you out of your rented apartment just because tenants are not allowed to keep pets on his property. However, there are places that you can’t go with your animal. For instance, you may not be allowed into an entertainment joint or a restaurant if you arrive with your animal in tow. This means you should first enquire about restrictions on ESA before visiting any facility, especially those that are considered to be public places.
3. You need an ESA Letter
You can’t wake up one day and decide to adopt an emotional support animal. The authorities understand that animal lovers can take advantage of ESA. The law actually states that you must first be examined by a psychiatrist to confirm that you really need such an animal. Some of the conditions that call for the acquisition of an ESA includes depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic attacks and mood disorder among others. Once the test results indicate you are suffering from either of the conditions mentioned above, the doctor will write an ESA letter that you should always carry when going somewhere with your animal. In fact, such tests are nowadays conducted over the internet.
4. You can Fly with your Animal
If you are planning to jet out of the country, you should not leave your animal behind. This is because majority of the airlines allow passengers to travel with emotional support animals. However, you will be required to produce a letter that shows that you have been diagnosed with one of the conditions mentioned earlier in this article. The animal should be one that can remain calm throughout the flight, especially those that take more than 8 hours.