When most people complete their emotional support animal registration, the ESA that they choose is either a dog or a cat. These are animals that are officially and generally recognized as pets and people don’t really tend to take much notice of them if they accompany their owners out in public. One emotional support animal that will undoubtedly turn heads, however, would be a boa constrictor. That’s right, a boa constrictor. The snakes can be registered as ESAs in order to help patients suffering from bipolar disorder, anxiety attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder. Try putting a leash on one of them and taking it to the store!
While it is certainly entertaining to look at these unusual emotional support animals, it’s important to note that they have a real and genuine function in the lives of those suffering from afflictions. That being said, ESA owners have to be aware of other passengers’ rights to comfort on public and private transport. They should go the extra mile in ensuring that their ESA is well-behaved, safe and does not disturb anyone in the surrounding area.
We take a quick look at eight of the craziest emotional support animals that have been registered in the United States.
We’ll start with the biggest of the bunch. Although hardly commonplace, miniature horses can help children with A-T (ataxia-telangiectasia), a genetic disorder that affects their coordination, meaning that they can walk alone as long as the horse is there to guide them. If it saves kids from a childhood in a wheelchair, it sounds like an ESA match made in heaven!
When you’re filling out your emotional support animal letter, do you want to choose an ESA that can actually say the words, “I am an emotional support animal,” to explain its presence to curious strangers? If so, you might want to consider registering a parrot as your ESA. These chatty, colorful birds can apparently talk bipolar people out of having a panic attack with such phrases as, “It’s OK” and, “Calm down”. Whether you carry a supply of crackers along with your feathered ESA is up to you.
We’re all familiar with the saying, “When pigs fly!” right? Well, that idiom has gone from figurative to literal, with a rise in pigs being registered as emotional support animals. Pot-bellied pigs are the most popular swine to be registered as ESAs and many passengers are spotting the pink cuties on flights, helping their owners overcome the anxiety of flying. Oink oink!
Another famous non-flyer, the turkey, has become an option for those looking to register an emotional support animal. An airline stewardess tweeted a picture of the ESA that had boarded her flight with its owner and the internet responded in turn. Reports that it was flying to a Thanksgiving dinner were unconfirmed.
Many of the other crazy emotional support animals on this list may present a potential concern to fellow passengers on a flight, bus or train due to the noise and mess they may make. However, one ESA that you won’t have to worry about with regards to causing a ruckus or soiling the carpet is a tortoise. These cute little emotional support animals are a great choice for people who desire the calming influence of a pet that can be transported very easily. By the time that all of your fellow passengers and staff members have commented on how cute your ESA is, your journey will probably be over and any anxiety forgotten about!
G’day mate! This ESA reportedly got the employees at a Wisconsin McDonald’s hopping mad after they refused to let a woman bring her kangaroo into their restaurant. This hasn’t stopped other people registering emotional support animals from down under. To be fair, it’s pretty hard to be upset when you’re around these crazy creatures.
Anyone who was a fan of the TV show Friends will remember Ross Geller’s pet monkey, Marcel. Despite his incessant humping of anything in reach (Marcel, not Ross), he stole every scene that he was in and the nation fell in love with these furry little friends. It’s no surprise then that ESA letters are starting to be filled out with ‘monkey’ as the registered emotional support animal. If you do want to register a monkey as an emotional support animal, just be sure that you are aware of all of the relevant emotional support animal laws and that it keeps its teeth to itself.
Here’s one that Samuel L. Jackson would be proud of. The aforementioned boa constrictors are popular with people suffering from mental disorders and some patients claim that the pressure applied by the snakes’ bodies help them ward off seizures. Whether you’ll see many snake ESAs allowed on planes any time soon remains to be seen, but we know one movie that will prepare you for such an encounter…