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When does a pet become an Emotional Support Animal?

When does a pet become emotional support animal

Jan Rubin caresses her 12-year-old Plott hound Mira. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Advocates for the disabled are hopeful that a case pitting a woman & her dog against a Center City co-op will make clear the status of what are recognized as emotional support animals.

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Register Emotional Support Animal

Registering your Emotional Support Animal.

Do you really need to register your emotional support animal? What makes an Emotional Support Animal an “ESA” by law is having a licensed mental health professional state in a letter of prescription that you have an emotional disability that qualifies you under the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act for a reasonable accomodation. In other words, by getting your dog or cat prescribed to you medically, you are protected under Federal law and therefore pet-restrictions will not apply to you.

Emotional Support Animals are not service animals. They do not need to be registered because ESA’s are not trained to perform specific tasks. The mere presense of an ESA is enough to mitigate your symptoms and provide you with emotional support. On the other hand, service animals must be registered to show that they have had formal training to perform a specific task to help your disability. SErvice animals are seeing eye-dogs or seizure alert dogs. ESA’s are for depression, anxiety, ptsd, and stress, just to name a few.

ESA’s DO NOT need vests, ID tags, or registration. Do not waste your money on this if you need to make your pet an emotional support animal. Service Dog registries are simply capitalizing on the ignorance of people who do not know what they need to make their pet an emotional support animal. As stated earlier, the only thing that makes your dog or cat an emotional support animal is a prescription from a licensed mental health professional, which can be obtained on this website.

Emotional Support Animals vs Service Dogs

Service Animals vs. Emotional Support Animals

alternate text For thousands of years, animals have been faithful companions to humans. They have brought compassion, assistance and protection when needed, and in return asked for nothing. In most homes where pets are present, the most common ones are dogs and cats. While cats are popular, it is dogs that have proven to be man’s best friend over the years. Because of this, they have been used in many roles including service animals and as emotional support animals. While many people assume they are one and the same, there are vast differences between the two types.

Service dogs are ones seen most often by people, usually in public settings like retail stores or offices. The breeds of dogs used most as service dogs include Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, usually due to their intelligence and ability to be trained easier than other breeds. A service animal such as this has usually been trained for several years prior to being placed with an owner, allowing the trainer to make sure the dog will be a good fit with the person. These dogs are able to do many tasks for their owner, such as cutting light switches on and off, alerting them if the phone is ringing, opening and closing doors and other common tasks. Generally, service dogs are used by people with physical disabilities or by autistic children, making them an invaluable friend to those in need.

In contrast, emotional support animals are not specially trained to perform certain functions. Instead, they are simply there to provide companionship, affection and act as a non-judgmental friend. An emotional support dog must be fully toilet trained, have no bad habits such as loud barking that would disturb others and be generally well-behaved. While usually taken only places where pets are allowed, an emotional support dog can be taken aboard aircraft when flying as well as be kept in housing that usually does not allow pets. Most often kept by disabled or elderly people, these dogs are assigned to people when a doctor has determined the person who has a disabling mental illness would benefit from the companionship and support the animal would provide on a daily basis.

While these dogs play very different roles with their owners, the one thing they share is bringing a level of joy and companionship to people’s lives that allows them to live each day with respect and dignity.

Los Angeles Emotional Support Animal Letter

Emotional Support Animals in Los Angeles

alternate text There are many different locations that have Emotional Support Animal centers around the US. These locations allow for a person to get an animal prescribed to them by a medical professional. A popular center is the emotional support animal Los Angeles. The process that is followed for the Los Angeles esa and other locations is that a person will need to get a letter in order to have an animal assigned to their needs.


The Process

A letter will be drafted stating that the patient needs help emotionally through the aide of a psychiatrist or medical doctor. This is also linked with a disability that will require the help or company of an animal. In this case a therapist or medical professional will be the one who will sign off or write a letter in order to help with getting the person an animal for assistance. Los Angeles ESAs will assign an animal which may be called a comfort animal or comfort pet. Unlike seeing eye dogs, these animals will not require any type of specific training in order to be given to a particular person.

Types Of Animals

There are many types of animals that will be given as a comfort pet or comfort animal to a person with a disability. The animal can be any age, rather than it needing to be young or old. Aside from a person needing to be qualified by a therapist to get an ESA, the animal will also need to qualify in terms of the breed of animal. The animals that the emotional support animal los angeles have given to different patients include the popular animals such as:

Dogs
Cats
Pigs
Birds
Rabbits
Hedgehogs

There are no restrictions to what animal can be used as long as a person uses common sense. This means that a support animal will not be an alligator or a cheetah. The listed animals will help in order to improve the quality of life to the owner that has a disability.