The bonds we form with our pets are one of the most precious connections we have. They are our companions. Day after day, we share our joy with them, our triumphs, frustration, and pain. They are there for us when we need them. When they rest their heads in our lap, reminding us that they’re close or when taking them for a walk is the only thing getting us out of the house.
Our pets make us happier! They also have the power to help us lead more well-adjusted and fulfilling lives. For those who rely on their pets for essential emotional support, an ESA approval will let you legally bring your pet anywhere you live or travel.
An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is more than just a pet. They’re a source of comfort and relief from mental health afflictions like anxiety, depression, extreme stress, and more. Their presence can help calm someone experiencing sensory overload in a hardware store. They can also be the reason why someone on the verge of a breakdown doesn’t have a panic attack.
When you seek ESA approval for your pet, you can solidify their place by your side—where you live, where you go, and how you get there.
Many rental properties say they won’t allow pets or, if they do, require extra pet fees. These policies deter those with emotional support animals, even though they have every right to live in these spaces.
Key Differences Between Pets vs Emotional Support Animals
ESA owners must be certified by a psychiatrist, therapist, or other mental health professional as emotionally disabled. In contrast, virtually anyone can adopt a pet of their choice.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination against tenants with disabilities, including mental health disorders. Under the FHA, landlords must make “reasonable accommodations” for those with emotional support animals, even if they have a ‘no pets’ policy. This law extends to college students living in dorm rooms and those seeking to buy or rent a home, secure housing assistance, or qualify for a mortgage.
Landlords and building managers implement pet bans to protect against property damage. But emotional support animals aren’t ordinary pets and shouldn’t be treated the same. ‘No pet’ policies contribute to further shrinking the available housing market for those with mental health disabilities. The Fair Housing Act has worked to correct these inconsistencies.
Traveling can be nerve-wracking for anyone. But for those with severe mental health struggles, it can be completely overwhelming. For some, it can feel almost impossible to be emotionally present around new people or places. For others, large groups are panic-inducing. With an ESA approval, you can confidently bring your pet along on trains, rideshares, shops and restaurants, popular attractions, and more—no matter where you are.
How to Qualify for an ESA Approval
Your pet is a crucial support to your emotional well-being. Now, make it official. Support Pets makes it easy to get an ESA letter in three easy steps.
Qualify online when you take a comprehensive quiz about your pet and why you require an emotional support animal
Order your pet’s ESA for housing, travel, and errands/general tasks
A doctor will review and approve your ESA request within 48 hours
Where can I get a letter for an emotional support animal?
Ask Your Therapist for an ESA Letter. This can be a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker, registered nurse, physician’s assistant, or other licensed professional familiar with your mental and emotional health.
What needs to be in an emotional support animal letter?
What Does an ESA Letter Say? An ESA letter is written by a practicing Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP) and must include their license number, type, and the date it was issued. Furthermore, it needs to contain the date the ESA letter was issued and the signature of the LMHP who issued the ESA letter.
Can a physician write an ESA letter?
Your primary care physician, or family doctor, can issue an emotional support animal letter as long as they are licensed. If you have a family doctor who helps with your health conditions, you can consult with them about the advisability of an emotional support animal.
How do I get an emotional support animal letter online?
The cost for a renewal assessment and issuance of an ESA prescriptive letter for flying valid for one (1) year is $95. The ESA letter you receive for Housing has no expiration date and is suitable for the entire term of your lease or ownership.
Is it hard to get an ESA letter?
The process for securing an ESA letter is not complicated, especially if you are currently experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression. Explain to a doctor why you think an animal would enhance your therapy and why you need them to travel with you or live with you in housing that otherwise would not allow animals.
Nikki Webster is a travel writer who covers how to travel while grinding a day job without breaking the bank. Nikki is always in search of off-the-beaten-track experiences and unique stays. She is particularly fond of Florida and writes extensively about the state. She flies around 60,000 miles per year and has visited 54 countries, 50 states, and six continents. You can read all about her travels at www.britonthemove.com or follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.