Emotional support animals are becoming more and more popular nowadays. You may have seen people walking around with a rabbit in their arms or even a snake around their necks. Through ESA certification, many patients can experience the therapeutic benefits of owning an animal and relief from symptoms relating to emotional or mental illness.
With psychological issues such as depression and anxiety being prevalent and rising in numbers among U.S. adults as well as youths, people are looking for alternative methods to cope with their illnesses. There are many advantages that accompany owning an emotional support animal. Not only do they provide unconditional love, loyalty, and companionship, they can help in social situations when you feel alone or if you feel like interacting with others. They can also help improve health physically by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you have a dog as an ESA, this also means taking them for out for daily exercise, which can lower stress and help raise endorphins.
Furthermore, having an emotional support animal by your side means you also have certain rights. For instance, if you are renting accommodation, then you are exempt from paying pet fees providing you have proof of ESA certification. Under the Fair Housing Act, the landlord or building manager must provide reasonable living space for you and your pet. In addition to this, your emotional support animal can also fly with you under the Air Carrier Access Act. You simply have to notify the airline at least 24 hours in advance of flying and again you must also show ESA certification – proof that your animal is with you for health and wellbeing purposes.
It is very straightforward when it comes to obtaining ESA certification. Firstly, you should speak to a health professional, who can help you decide whether an emotional support animal is the right form of therapy for you. Once this has been confirmed and agreed, then they can provide a professional signed letter stating your need for an ESA. The ESA letter should be on a professional letterhead and must also include a number of important details, such as the date it was written (as letters have to be renewed every year), the license type of the health professional, and the state in which it is being issued. Once you have this ESA letter, you can show it to airlines and landlords in order to reap the benefits of having an emotional support animal.
There are also other ways you can obtain an ESA letter, with many sites online offering ESA certification within minutes. Most websites are legitimate – but unfortunately, some are not. Here, we’ll talk you through some ways to spot whether the company is being truthful and abiding by the law when they claim to provide ESA certification letters.
False advertising should make you think twice, as some companies may make claims like having your ESA travel in a special ESA bag as a necessity required by airlines. Any kind of marketing like this that sounds suspicious normally is. Another misconception to look out for is that the ESA letter must be signed by a doctor (MD) – any licenced mental health professional can sign an ESA letter. Moreover, the letter should state another important point that may seem obvious, but can be easily missed out. It must state that your emotional support animal is an aid to your wellbeing.
Emotional support animals can be truly amazing when it comes to helping an individual alleviate any mental or emotional difficulties they may suffer from on a day-to-day basis. Obtaining a letter as proof that your ESA is not just an ordinary pet can be simple. Going to speak to a medical health professional is the safest and surest way that you can get the ESA certification you need, and knowing exactly what kind of information needs to be on the ESA letter will save a lot of time and potential hassle. Be aware that not all these letters are created equal, but as long as you are aware of the requirements, you can avoid many of the scams out there.