Updated 2018: Little-Known Benefits of Emotional Support AnimalsReading Time: 2 minutes
Emotional Support Animal Benefits
Did you know that a 12,000-year-old human skeleton was found in Israel a few years ago with its hand resting on the skeleton of a 6-month-old wolf pup?
It’s true, the bond between humans and animals goes way back, and our relationships are very powerful.
For instance, studies show that pet owners have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and better mental health, among many other perks, both physical and emotional. Not too surprising, right?
However, what you may not know is that you might qualify for your pet to be an Emotional Support Animal.
Unlike Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals don’t have to undergo any sort of training. In fact, all you have to do to qualify is prove that your pet minimizes the negative symptoms associated with your emotional disability, whether it’s anxiety, depression, or stress, through an emotional support animal letter… After registering your pet as an ESA, you’ll be able to enjoy the following benefits:
Housing – Landlords Can’t Charge Pets Fees and Pet Deposits (Protected by the FHA)
How many times have you heard of friends and/or family members having to give up their pets because of their housing situation? You can protect yourself from this tragic, yet common, scenario by registering your pet as an ESA. Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1998, you will qualify for no-pet housing, including housing that limits your pet’s size or breed. Additionally, you can’t be charged a pet fee.
Get ready to say goodbye to pet deposits and pet rent because they will be a thing of the past.
Airlines – Airlines Have to Allow ESA to Fly in Cabin and Can’t Charge a Pet Travel Fee
If you’re like the vast majority of people, you might find yourself on a flight from time to time. Unfortunately, airlines have made it very difficult for pet owners to fly with their pets by either charging outrageous pet fees or disallowing pet travel altogether.
Under The Air Carrier Access Act, you will be able to fly with your pet in the cabin with NO fee. That is an additional $90 – $300 (each way) that you will be able to avoid when flying with your fur baby!
The Bottom Line
Most people are unaware of the benefits or effectiveness of Emotional Support Animals. Furthermore, they are unaware of just how simple it is to qualify and register. As long as your little one poses no threat to other people or animals, then you are well on your way to having your very own ESA. You can even take a free screening to see if you qualify for an emotional support cat or dog!
Updated 2017: Pet Fees and Charges for Major Airlines
American Airlines Pet Fees and Policies
In-cabin/carry-on pet fare: $125 one-way
Cargo area/Checked baggage pet fare: $200 one-way
Find detailed American Airlines pet policy here.
Southwest Airlines Pet Fees and Policies
In-cabin/carry-on pet fare: $95 one-way
Cargo area/Checked baggage pet fare: Not possible. Pets are not permitted as checked baggage.
Delta Airlines Pet Fees and Policies
In-cabin/carry-on pet fare: $125 one-way
Checked baggage pet fare: Not allowed. Must be transported as cargo. However, exceptions made for emotional support animals.
Cargo: Pricing varies.
You can find more details about United Airlines Pet Policy here.
United Airlines Pet Fees and Policies
In-cabin/carry-on pet fare: $125 one-way. Additional $125 service charge applied for each stopover of more than 4 hours.
Cargo area/Checked baggage pet fare: Pricing varies.
Spirit Airlines Pet Fees and Policies
In-cabin/carry-on pet fare: $100 one-way (per container, so may be able to fit two kittens/puppies in one and just pay for one container)
Cargo area/Checked baggage pet fare: Not allowed.
Owners traveling with an emotional support animal are never required to pay any of the fees. In most cases, an emotional support animal will be allowed to travel in-cabin with the passenger. You can find information on flying with an emotional support animal here.
You can find more information about the US Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) here.
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