Emotional Support Animal Letter
This is the most important document you need to attest that your pet is an ESA and its presence in your life is part of a treatment prescribed by a licensed mental health provider. This letter can only be issued by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed therapist. The letter is issued according to the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act.
The letter is an important document that allows persons with ESAs to rent an apartment despite any “no pet policy” and to travel by air accompanied by their ESA. This document will attest your mental or emotional disorder and the necessity of your ESA along side.
Important! The letter should be issued by a licensed medical professional and printed on an official letterhead. The patient receiving this letter needs to find himself under the current care of the health professional signing the document.
The letter needs to include the following mentions:
the passenger’s mental disability, which needs to be mentioned in the DMV-IV, and limit substantially one or multiple major life activities of the patient
the role played by the ESA in the treatment, health and well-being of the patient
details about the physician’s or mental health professional’s license, including date, state, type
Note! The letter should be dated no longer than 12 months from the departure date.
Who Needs an ESA Letter?
Obviously, an ESA letter is useful for persons who need to prove that their animal is an important part of their mental disability’s treatment. As expected, this letter is issued by licensed physicians to persons who have a mental disability included in DMV-IV: mental retardation, learning disorders, motor skills disorders, communication disorder, developmental disorder, ADD or disruptive behavior disorder, eating disorders, feeding disorders, tic disorders, elimination disorder, delirium, dementia, amnesia, cognitive disorders, substance related disorders (alcohol, drugs, and others), schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, mood disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, somatoform disorder, factitious disorders, dissociative disorders (DID), sexual dysfunctions, paraphilia, gender identity disorder, sexual disorder, sleep disorders, adjustment disorder, impulse control disorders, and others.
Who Can Issue The ESA Letter?
As mentioned above, this letter can only be issued by a licensed mental health specialist, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist.
Note! Airlines usually verify the authenticity of a letter for emotional support animals!>
What Is the Validity of an Emotional Support Animal Letter?
An ESA letter is valid for as long as one year. Its validity is given by the date mentioned at the top of the letter. When traveling to Hawaii, make sure you also have your ESA’s vaccine and health records.
What about Housing Letters and Requirements for Emotional Support Animals?
The good news is that the DOGtor provides an ESA letter valid for both housing and traveling by air. An ESA letter guarantees that no landlord can forbid your ESA to live with you, even if they have a “no pet policy”. Your ESA is not required to respect any species, breed or size restrictions.
Important! The landlord is not allowed to:
ask for a deposit for your ESA
require that your ESA has special training
require that your ESA has special identification tags
ask questions about your disability or medical records related to your condition
ask for insurance coverage for your ESA
If the property manager or landlord refuses to comply with the law, they can be reported to the US Justice Department or sued for discrimination.
What Do You Need to Be Issued an ESA Letter?
Your daily activity must be affected by a mental or emotional disability, and your ESA needs to be part of a treatment prescribed for a mental health conditioned diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional.
Good to Know:
Tags, vests or any other forms of online emotional support animal registration are not required for an ESA. However, if you wish, you can make your emotional support dog wear a tag for identification or a vest, if you don’t want other people to touch it.
You don’t need to give too many details about your disability to the landlord or the airline company. The ESA letter includes all the necessary information.
When traveling, you may have to check your emotional support dog in special vet booths or at animal import agencies. The rules depend on your country of destination.