If you have a qualifying emotional or mental disorder, then you might benefit by keeping your pet by your side at all times — when you’re traveling, going to the gym, or just relaxing in the comfort of your own home. You might be wondering what kind of documentation you’ll need to have your pet recognized as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).
The first step in getting your emotional support dog registered is to obtain an ESA Letter from a licensed mental health professional. To see if you qualify for an ESA letter, answer these simple questions or click the link below.
Once you have your ESA letter, you will be ready to get your emotional support animal registered. Registering your ESA is not mandatory, however, it will help eliminate the hassles that you might encounter without registration. Registering your emotional support animal makes it easier to take your pet in public places with you. Many people suffering from social anxiety or claustrophobia have trouble functioning in such areas. There’s no need to worry about being harassed or questioned, as your letter proves that your pet is for emotional support.
Many websites are offering illegitimate ESA letters, claiming they are a lifetime certification or free. A legitimate organization can help you navigate the landscape that comes with having an ESA. They can provide you with advocacy and support. Plus, states and airlines are cracking down on fake emotional support letters. Some states, like Hawaii, will soon start handing out fines for trying to pass a pet off as a service animal using fake credentials.
Here are some things that indicate that a registry is legitimate.
Legitimate companies offering emotional support certifications only give letters to people who really qualify for them. Beware of any ESA registry that guarantees a letter to you without any proof that you have an emotional or mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. A licensed mental health professional must certify that you have a qualifying disability. If you are not asked to communicate with a licensed mental health professional or therapist, then the registry is not legitimate.
Let’s say that both you and your wife are diagnosed with mental disorders and you both want to be listed on the same certification. A legitimate registry will never offer to list both of you on one document. Each person needs to be separately evaluated. They need to be seen by a licensed mental health professional or doctor. Then they can receive an
Emotional Support Letter. Because mental health symptoms vary from person to person, each individual will need to be evaluated separately.
Registering your emotional support animal with a legitimate organization is a smart move. It will help you legitimize your need for an ESA. They can also help you understand where emotional support animals are welcome. Also, how to lodge a complaint if you have been discriminated against by owning an ESA.
Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.
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