There’s been a fair bit of a buzz around emotional support animals recently. They’re certainly growing in popularity as more and more Americans who are suffering from an emotional or psychological disorder acquire one to enable them to lead a more fulfilling life. Equally, an increasing number of mental health experts are realizing the many positives of prescribing a soft, furry creature (it could be a hard, scaly creature too!) to help with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many more mental and emotional conditions.
If you’re thinking that this may be the way forward for you, then read on to see if you might qualify for an emotional support animal and, if so, how to go about applying for an emotional support animal letter in order to benefit from the many privileges of owning a licensed ESA. Said privileges include your ESA being allowed in certain public areas where animals are normally prohibited; not being discriminated against when it comes to renting accommodation with your emotional support animal; and (depending on what kind of ESA you have) being allowed to have your pet travel in the cabin of an airplane with you. Privileges indeed!
Not to be confused with a service animal, which is always a dog and is specifically trained to work with an individual, an emotional support animal is defined as any animal that can help and support you through your daily life. Dogs and cats are the most common emotional support animals, but an ESA can, in theory, be any type of animal. There’s no training required, so if you already own a furry pet, then it could become your licensed ESA. If you don’t already own a suitable pet, then you must seek one out before you apply for your ESA letter, as this letter must state the details of your emotional support animal, including its name and ID number.
To qualify for your ESA, you must provide a legitimate letter written and signed by a licensed mental health professional. The emotional support animal letter serves to confirm that you suffer from a physical, psychological, or emotional disorder; states that an ESA would help relief your symptoms; and is needed in order to help you lead a more stress-free life. The simplest and quickest way to obtain your ESA is to apply for an ESA letter online. Be sure, though, that you are applying via a legitimate channel. Due to the increase in popularity of ESA applications, a few scam artists have surfaced, offering fake recommendations and ESA letters.
People often ask the question ‘Can I get an emotional support animal letter from my doctor?’ The short answer to this is no. The letter has to be from a licensed mental health professional. Your doctor can certainly refer you to an appropriate expert, though. Before applying for your letter, be sure that your chosen or recommended professional: has a current license and is licensed in the same state as you are. Don’t proceed if either of these two important things is missing, otherwise your ESA letter will be invalid.
To be sure that the person writing your ESA letter is genuine, there are a few things you should bear in mind. Firstly, ask for an example of how your letter will look. Once you have that, you can check the specimen against a few simple requirements:
- The therapist’s name, area of expertise, and license registration number are included;
- As previously mentioned, the mental health professional must hold a current license in the same state where you, the patient, reside;
- The letter should be written on the professional’s letterhead stationery, with contact information that can be verified if necessary;
- The letter contains both the issue date and the expiration date; the second being no later than one year from the first;
- The letter states that you suffer from a disorder, the symptoms of which would improve with the ownership of an ESA;
- The letter must give details of your ESA, including what kind of animal it is, its name, and its ID number.
As an ESA letter is only valid for one year, it’s vital that you keep a check on your expiration date and renew it annually. Failure to do this could result in you losing the privileges that your beloved pet holds as a licensed emotional support animal.
If you suffer from debilitating mental or emotional issues and feel that you might benefit from an ESA, then start the process now by sourcing the best pet for your needs. Then all you need to do is apply for your ESA letter, as explained above. You can simplify the whole process by applying via Moosh. We can put you in touch with a fully licensed mental health professional who will quickly assess you in a stress-free environment and can then write the required legitimate ESA letter for you, should you qualify. It’s as easy as A, B, C!