ESA Weekly News Report July 16th: How Emotional Support Animals Help Us

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Cat reading news about how emotional support animals help

Last week the New York Times published a rather interesting article entitled—’With Me Nearly Always’: Readers on Emotional Support Animals. The article was brief but captivating. Instead of explaining the benefits of an emotional support animal, the author of the article—Lauren Hard—chose to ask readers to write about their experience with their own emotional support animals. Let them tell you how emotional support animals help!

How Emotional Support Animals Help Us

Before we dive in further, let’s explain what an emotional support animal is for those who are unfamiliar with this term. Occasionally referred to as comfort animals, emotional support animals (ESA) are dogs, cats, or birds who provide comfort and emotional security to their handler.  Unlike a service dog, an ESA does not require any training to be of service to their owners.

In the article published by the New York Times, the journalist allowed a handful of readers to explain how their ESAs helped them.

ESA Bird for Barbara

Ms. Barbara Steinberg has suffered from bipolar disorder for many years. In order to cope with her mental illness, she relies on her feathered friend, Harry the parrot. Harry has been by Barbara’s side for over 29 years, and he comforts her when she is down by making her laugh.

Norton the Emotional Support Dog

woman petting her emotional support dog

Another reader reached out to the New York Times to express how important her emotional support dog was to her. The reader owns a 5-year-old rescue dog by the name of Norton. The reader does not specify her mental illness, however, she does emphasize a few important points. Norton is by her side, rolled over when she feels down. Norton makes her laugh and brings happiness into her life.

Callie the Comfort Cat

A reader by the name of Whitney Call documented the emotional growth she had with her emotional support animal. After being diagnosed with severe anxiety, with the help of her psychiatrist, Whitney adopted a cat by the name of Callie. Callie has grown to understand and recognize when Whitney needs her for comfort, and for this reason, Whitney now feels she is able to pursue a more productive life.

ESA Horse Helps Helen

Our final story on how ESAs help people does not have to do with a dog or bird. A reader wanted to emphasize that an emotional support animal does not just have to be a dog, cat, or a bird. In fact, horses too can be considered emotional support animals.

The reader by the name of Helen Stassen, sent a beautiful story about her beloved horse, Mara. After leaving her job and after the death of her son, Helen was in the process of healing from the grief and trauma she suffered. Although Helen suffered in silence, she was able to cope with the tragedy faced through caring for her horse Mara. Mara did not do much, all she did was provide silent companionship to her owner. It was through this silent but powerful bond that Helen began to feel much safer.

Certapet’s Thoughts on This Week’s ESA News

emotional support cat laying with owner

Emotional support animals provide comfort, safety, and security to those suffering from mental and emotional illnesses. Although ESAs require no extensive training, they can grow to be quite close and well-bonded to their owners. Here at Certapet we love to hear and read about how animals can change and improve people’s lives. It is such a simple thing – the bond between an animal and it’s human, but it is so powerful too!

We love to hear about all the different kinds of animals that people regard as their ESAs! But, we do not certify anything but cats, dogs, and the occasional rabbit. We understand that other animals may have therapeutic value and we do not discredit that at all. However, it is our policy to only recognize dogs, cats, and rabbits. This is due to zoning restrictions, health concerns and regulations, and public safety.”

If you’d like to learn more about getting an emotional support animal for yourself, then make sure you take CertaPet’s 5-minute pre-screening test.


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