Emotional Support Animals are the kind of animals that are trained to provide emotional backing to the individuals that are suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. These animals are different from service animals in a way that they don’t lie under service dogs’ abilities so they have different laws too.
Emotional support animals can sense the condition of their owners when they are down or in the need for emotional assistance; provide them comfort and to make them feel better.
Although many laws allow you to keep your emotional support animals with you whether you rent a house or during flights. But the proper and legal ways have to be followed. All you have to do is to get an authenticated letter made by your doctor stating your mental health condition and the solution of having an animal as support.
How to Ask a Doctor or Therapists for an ESA Letter?
If you are really in need of being eligible for an emotional support animal, the first and most essential thing you should know is that the only way to qualify your animal partner as an ESA is by getting an approval letter from a certified healthcare specialist.
This is a simple process, but it can make a huge difference. With a valid ESA letter, you and your emotional support animal are eligible for legal protections, such as flying and lodging.
An ESA letter should be written on the authoritative letterhead of your doctor or therapist, it must say that you have been diagnosed with a mental illness and you are undergoing treatments. It should suggest that your emotional support animal is a part of your treatment and essential in performing your daily tasks.
It must also include details of your doctor or therapist’s license to practice in the state you are placed in. This is also to keep in mind that there are many fallacies about what ESAs are, the actual process to be eligible to have them, whether you need to get an ESA registration or certification and all the rights ESA owners should have.
The same rules apply to the therapists, it must be on letter headed paper as doctors and it should clearly say that you have been diagnosed with mental or emotional frailty, you are receiving treatment for it from the same therapist, and your ESA is a part of that treatment. It must also contain the therapist’s license number and the date and place where the license has been issued.
Must-haves in ESA letter
This is what your ESA letter needs to have:
- Mental health professional’s letterhead and signature and the date of issuance
- Mental health professional’s license type, the date on which the license was issued, license number, and the state.
- A suggestion that an emotional support animal is an essential part of your life
- Explanation of how the animal will help the condition.
- recommendation for an ESA.
- Your name and details about your pet (type, breed, name, etc.) are not required but may be included in the case.
If you do not have a therapist, you have a few options
Although a therapist is the best option for you to prescribe an ESA depending on your condition if you do not have a doctor or therapist you can have an ESA letter from your physician as well, It may be better discovering with your doctor whether an ESA is right for you or not.
However, you should also be well aware that while doctors technically can issue ESA letters, most ESA letters are not from doctors but their therapist friends. Doctors are also often hesitant or unwilling to provide ESA letters because they are not aware of the patient’s mental health or are just unaware of what ESAs are and what they require.