Emotional Support Animal FAQ
When it comes to emotional support animals, or “ESA’s” -there’s no shortage of questions to ask, or misinformation to wade through. Here, we’ll attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions and to clear up the most common misconceptions concerning emotional support animals. If you still have any unanswered questions after reading the articles below, please send them to [email protected] and we’ll be sure to add them to our list.
An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that provides companionship to a person who suffers from symptoms of a mental or emotional disability. Learn more here.
In order to qualify for an emotional support animal, you need a letter from a licensed mental health professional which outlines your need for the animal. Getting an emotional support animal letter used to be tedious but CertaPet has streamlined the entire process. Moreover, CertaPet is the only HIPPA Compliant website that can give you a certified ESA letter. Learn more here.
Having an ESA comes with many benefits, such as being able to live with and even fly with your animal on commercial airlines free of charge. Learn more here.
A person who is assisted by an emotional support animal must have a properly formatted letter from a licensed mental health professional.
The ESA letter must state that the animal’s handler has an emotional or mental disability identified in the DSM V, and that the animal helps mitigate specific symptoms of the handler’s disability.
The letter is all that is required.
To reiterate however, an ESA vest made of a brightly-colored fabric, such as red or orange will help identify your pet as an emotional support animal.
The Americans with Disabilities Act does not specifically address emotional support animals and primarily addresses Service Animals. Learn more here.
Emotional support animals are protected under the Fair Housing Act, which prevents landlords from discriminating against people with disabilities. Learn more here.
The Air Carrier Access Act protects owners of emotional support animals from discrimination by commercial airlines, and allows them to bring their ESA’s in the cabin of the aircraft free of charge, even if the airline does not normally allow pets. Learn more here.