Animals are and have been the most loyal companions a human can get. Service cats and dogs have saved many lives. The animals were not only our best friends, but they are also pillars of our psychological and emotional needs. Many would think that dogs are the only emotional support animal out there, yet, cats can also be somehow trained to provide you with your emotional needs in time of crisis. This why most people prefer relying on their emotional support animal or ESAs instead of other options, and that’s exactly why you need to educate yourself on your rights when it comes to your favorite ESA.
The Difference Between Service Dogs And ESAs
Some people fall under the wrong impression that emotional support animals are trained exactly like service dogs. People with psychological or emotional disabilities who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or other mental disorders can benefit greatly from the presence of an emotional support animal. If you think you need an emotional support animal or are suffering from the previously mentioned conditions, you need to educate yourself and read more on the matter to truly know if you need one. ESAs can provide comfort, distraction, and the love that can help in many situations that is included in the treatment plan. However, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) they do not qualify as service dogs. Service dogs, on the other hand, are trained to do specific tasks to help their humans who are suffering from physical disabilities -in most cases- with certain areas they can do themselves.
Service dogs get trained professionally because they provide help in many situations and different aspects; however, your ESA doesn’t need to go through the same training to support you. They support us emotionally by just being around and truly knowing us and what we need. Therefore, the ADA laws don’t apply to emotional support animals; they only apply to animals which are trained to provide a service, perform a task, or help a person that suffers from a disability in certain aspects. That means that service animals and emotional support animals do not fall under the same rights and laws. Service dogs have permission to access any public place that doesn’t allow animals such as restaurants, movie theatres, and hospitals. ESA’s are only allowed in residential buildings, regardless of whether they allow animals or not, and airports and airplanes as well. While ESA’s don’t have to be trained to get this access, it’s imperative that they don’t pose a threat and behave well and most importantly, are able to follow basic commands.
Then What Are The Laws That Protect ESAs?
While ESAs aren’t protected by the ADA laws, they have rights, however, with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and the Fair Housing Amendment Act (FHAA), once you pass the requirements for one of them, your furry supporters will have the rights to stay in the housing unit, regardless of their animal rules, and will have a chance to fly with you. The FHAA permits ESAs to stay with their owners in the house, even with the strictest policies. The ACAA, on the other hand, allows your ESA to fly with you without any additional charges.
How To Qualify For an ESA Or Make Your Pet Into Legitimate One
It’s never hard to qualify for an emotional support furry buddy that will provide you with emotional support if you are in need of any. All that you will need is the opinion of a licensed mental health professional such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Your therapist should just state that you are suffering from a psychological disability, especially if you are suffering from PTSD, and write you a letter that states what you are suffering from and how an ESA will be beneficial for your treatment plan. Finding the right therapist who understands the laws that protect your emotional support animal rights and the whole process of getting one is the most important step in finding your furry companion. People admitted to being happier and more settled after getting the support of an ESA who helped them in managing panic attacks, dealing with their anxiety and made a living with their depression a bit easier.
Deciding on getting an emotional support animal if you are suffering from some mental disorders that are hard to manage on your own could be a life-saver for many. While ESAs are far away from service dogs as they aren’t trained to do any special tasks, they still get some access to staying in the apartment regardless of any no-pet policy and flying with their humans without any problem.