Millions of individuals in the U.S and the rest of the world have PTSD, anxiety attacks, depression, and various other emotional issues. While there are dozens of treatments and therapies for people battling these issues, the use of emotional support animals (ESA) is on the rise.
ESAs are wonderful because these lovely, furry pets love unconditionally without judgment. They are always ready to cuddle once the person feels down and lonely. Taking care of these pets is also an excellent way to find purpose and improve a person’s overall wellbeing from emotional issues.
However, if you need an ESA, you will need to get an evaluation letter from a licensed mental health practitioner to enable you to take your pet wherever you are going.
Here, we look at one organization that helps with qualifying for an ESA letter: ESARegistration.org. The review covers the fundamentals of getting an emotional support animal in the USA and what this organization can do to help with that process.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
An ESA is a pet used for emotional support by individuals suffering from emotional issues.
These pets don’t need any training different from what the everyday pet needs. However, an ESA is not a service animal, but a service animal can also function as an emotional support pet.
The most common animals used as ESAs are cats and dogs. However, any tamed animal can be an emotional support animal.
It’s crucial to note that ESAs are not the same as service animals. As such, an ESA does not have the same protections as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act. You will need an ESA letter to make sure your pet has protection.
How Do You Get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
To fully enjoy the benefits of a support animal, you’ll need to get a “prescription” or an “ESA letter” from a licensed mental health practitioner. Some people usually get letters from their general practitioner (GP). However, not every landlord or institution will accept letters from a G.P.
It’s best to get an ESA letter from a psychiatrist or licensed therapist. The signed letter verifies that you have a mental or emotional health-related condition, and your animal supports you through it.
In recent times, ESA letter-scams are becoming popular. So, to protect yourself from falling for a scammer, make sure to look for legitimate organizations.
One proven reliable organization is ESARegistration.org. The site has many positive reviews from people who have used their services to acquire an ESA letter.
Lastly, you’ll need to adopt or get a pet. As we mentioned earlier, these pets require no special or unique training. If you already own a pet, all you need to do is get your pet certified as a support animal.
How Do You Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter?
Are you still worried that you might get scammed? Or pay through your nose for an ESA letter?
Here’s the process for getting an ESA letter from ESARegistration.org. It’s a stress-free that you can start on their website.
Step One: Register Your Animal
To start, you need to register your animal. It’s a simple form that you can fill out online. You’ll need to input details, such as:
- Your full name
- Your pet’s name
- The species
- An image of your pet
- Email address and a password
The registration process is 100% free. However, registering your pet with ESARegistration.org doesn’t automatically confer the ESA status on the animal.
Step Two: Video Consultation with a Licensed Mental Health Professional
The second and most crucial step of the process is the consultation. At ESARegistration.org, this is a video 1:1 consultation with a licensed mental health professional.
In most cases, one consultation is enough for the therapist to prescribe an emotional support animal for you.
Once the psychological evaluation is over, and you have a prescription for an emotional support pet, ESARegistration.org will email you a signed letter.
You can use the ESA letter for travel and accommodation. You can print it for use or store it as a digital copy for use whenever needed.
Step Three: Purchase Identifying ESA Gear (Optional)
You can also purchase emotional support animal kit supplies. Gear such as PVC IDs, ESA vests, and harnesses help identify your pet as a support animal wherever it goes.
The Federal Law doesn’t mandate that your ESA wear an identifying harness or vest. However, it helps to reduce unnecessary explanations and cut down waiting times in public areas.
In general, it’s advisable to get an ESA vest or harness for your pet. That way, anyone can instantly recognize the pet as a support animal. You should have the prescription letter from the therapist on you.
What’s Written in Your ESA Letter?
Here’s what you find written in an ESA letter:
- It should include the license number, the license issue date, and the type of license held by the mental health professional.
- The licensed mental health practitioner must sign the ESA letter and include the date the therapist issued the emotional support animal letter.
- The letter must state the mental condition you have qualifying you for an ESA prescription. It should also explain that your pet is vital to supporting you and how the animal supports you. Finally, it should indicate the symptoms of the mental condition in your diagnosis.
- The letter may spell out the breed of pet you chose as an ESA. However, this isn’t mandatory.
- It should also contain other details such as your name, address, and any additional information the therapist believes to be valid.
- Finally, it should end with a professional recommendation from the therapist to use the emotional support animal to support and treat your mental condition.
Who Qualifies for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter?
In recent times, people have begun to abuse the privileges that come with an ESA letter. They use mental health cover to travel with their pets or move into homes with a “no pets” policy.
As a result, it’s becoming harder to get prescribed an ESA letter. So, who qualifies to receive an ESA letter from a therapist?
A person with a diagnosed mental condition must have tried other treatment through therapy, medication, and counseling to qualify. They need to have discovered that specific symptoms improved in the presence of an animal.
Regardless of the applicant’s diagnosis, they still need a professional recommendation from their therapist.
A person who needs an ESA may have one or more of these mental health conditions:
- Bipolar disorder
- Phobias such as claustrophobia
- They are grieving due to the loss of a loved one
- Above-average socially induced anxiety
When an ESA enters a person’s life, the therapist expects that the patient’s mental health will improve in various ways. Emotional support animals can benefit a person in the following ways:
- Fewer panic attacks and other anxiety-related issues
- Lowered blood pressure
- Deeper and restorative sleep
- An increased sense of purpose, motivation, and general wellbeing
- Increased ability to function normally in everyday tasks at work and home
- Less feeling of insecurity in place they usually find uncomfortable but can’t afford to avoid
What Are the Benefits of Getting an ESA Letter?
If you have an emotional or mental health condition, getting an ESA letter is worth it. The calming and therapeutic effects of an emotional support animal can come in handy in the following situations:
Travelling can be a panicky moment for a person battling a mental health disorder, especially if they are traveling without their loved ones. If this is you, getting an authentic ESA letter allows you to head to the airport or train station with your adorable support animal by your side.
Per the Air Carrier Act, you can also travel with an ESA at an additional fee. If it’s a small animal, most airlines won’t charge you any payment for the animal.
The animal can help you keep calm amidst the chaos that reigns in most train terminals or airports. Your ESA letter grants your pet passage on boats, airports, and buses that wouldn’t otherwise allow you to come aboard with one.
ESARegistration.org has a specific “Travel Letter” that you can purchase, making it beneficial for this specific purpose.
If you are moving into an apartment building with a “no pets” policy, an ESA letter allows you to bring your pet into the building.
These animals have protections under the Fair Housing Act. The FHA enables a person to own an ESA and bring it into the home, even if the landlord has a “no animals” policy.
Some of the buildings with a “no pets” policy will ask you to pay a considerable fee to keep a pet. Presenting an ESA letter in such situations can get the fee waived or reduced, depending on the rental company involved.
ESARegistration.org also has a specific evaluation letter to qualify your ESA for housing rights:
Are you ready to apply for your ESA letter? ESARegistration.org can help. From an easy process to acquire the ESA evaluation letter to meeting with a licensed mental health professional and identifying gear, the site is a one-stop-shop for people who want emotional support animals. The organization makes the whole process straightforward so that you don’t have to stress about this important life-changing decision.