Posts Tagged ‘esa certification’

What Is an Emotional Support Dog?

Anyone who has owned a dog knows the unconditional love and support they give.  There’s nothing like coming home from a bad day at work and waiting for you at the door is your furry friend waiting to give you all the love you need and turn your day around. 

Because of their ability to provide support and unconditional love, the mental health profession has begun using dogs (and other animals) as emotional support for individuals with varying mental health issues.  Emotional support dogs have been shown to help individuals suffering from the following:

Aerophobia (the fear of flying) Agoraphobia (the fear of leaving the home) Anxiety Depression General Anxiety Disorder PTSD Social Shyness Stress-Induced Situations

With the help of emotional support dogs, those suffering from the above disorders have been able to begin recovering and regaining the confidence and freedom with the help of their emotional support dog.

How Can I Make My Dog An Emotional Support Dog? Get an ESA letter from a licensed medical healthcare provider. Provide your ESA letter to your landlord or the representative of a participating airline. Get your ESA identification card and register your Emotional Support Dog. Enjoy living and traveling on participating airlines with your Emotional Support Dog.

In order to receive the rights under the laws afforded to emotional support dogs, the dog must be prescribed by a mental health professional for an individual who is suffering from a disabling mental illness. 

Emotional support dogs do not have to be licensed or registered, but you do need to have an ESA letter written by a mental health professional (on their letterhead) that states that you are suffering from an emotional disability and the emotional support dog is vital to your wellbeing. 

The letter must be signed, dated, and include the mental health professional’s license number and the date and place where their license was issued. It is important to note that the letter prescribed by your mental health professional is only valid for one year. 

Emotional support dogs do not require any specific training and the only difference between them and a pet is a letter from the prescribing mental health professional. While emotional support dogs are not required to be registered many individuals choose to register their support dog and carry an identification card and have their dog wear an ESA (emotional support animal) vest because it makes it easier to travel with their emotional support dog.

Click Here to Qualify for Your ESA Letter

What Rights Do Emotional Support Dogs Have?

Emotional support animals do not have the same rights as service dogs and psychiatric service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Service dogs have been specifically trained to help perform tasks for individuals with disabilities and have the right to accompany them into any place the normal public has access to. 

Because service dogs are trained and are needed by a disabled individual to perform tasks like pulling a wheelchair, alerting an individual they are about to have a seizure, or assisting a visually impaired individual across the street they are afforded more rights than are emotional support dogs. 

There is also a difference between psychiatric service dogs and emotional support dogs as again they are specifically trained to help assist individuals suffering from a disabling mental illness. Psychiatric service dogs are trained to detect and recognize the beginning of a psychiatric episode and then help to ease the effects of that psychiatric episode, once again because they are specially trained and licensed they are afforded more rights than emotional support dogs. 

When out in public establishments including restaurants, theaters, stores, etc. have the right to ask two questions:

Do you need the animal because of a disability? What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?

If an individual is unable to answer these two questions then they do not have a service animal that is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the establishment has the right to refuse to allow the animal on their premises.

Emotional support dogs do not have the same public access rights as service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, ESAs are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Under this federal housing law individuals with emotional support animals are allowed to have them in their residence even if there is a no-pet rule in effect. Emotional support animals owner are protected against discrimination and property managers are required to make reasonable accommodations for them.

Conclusion

While emotional support dogs provide an essential service to many individuals suffering from certain mental health issues, because they do not require any specialized training, registration, or licensing they are not afforded the same rights as service dogs are. 

Having said this, ESA owners are protected against discrimination under federal and state housing laws, so you can live with your emotional support dog even if you can’t take them to the local restaurant with you. 

Since qualifying for an emotional support dog only require a letter from your mental health professional you can receive the benefits from your own animal saving you time and money searching for a dog that provides you with the emotional support you need.

Is your dog the star of the party? Are they able to cheer you up even when you are feeling down? Do they remain calm in stressful situations? If so, we can help you certify your dog as a therapy dog.

Since there is a lot of misinformation regarding the various types of assistance animals, our first step is to provide clarity.

What is a Therapy Dog?

A therapy dog is a kind, gentle, and well behaved dog that provides comfort and support to others. The key word here is others.

Therapy dogs service people in hospitals, schools, and convalescent home. Their presence often provides comfort and love to those who may be hurting or suffering. They can either spend time next to the person or even provide physical comfort by laying next to them. A therapy dog’s comfort can come in different forms but their presence is often healing.

Should my dog become a therapy dog?

Certifying your dog as a therapy dog is not just work for them, but it is work for you as well. If you are interested in helping others, a great way to do this is by taking your dog to hospitals to brighten up the day of those who may be undergoing chemotherapy. If you are interested in doing this, Service Dog Certifications can help you certify your therapy dog.

How to certify your Therapy Dog?

You may certify your therapy dog in two simple, but important steps –

First, confirm your dog is well behaved and can follow all basic commands. Unlike a service dog whose job is ot perform a task to aid in your disability, a therapy dog do not require special training. They do need to be calm and in your control at all times. This is especially true for therapy does as they are often in hospitals and schools with lots of noise and distractions.

Second, order your therapy dog their identification card and vest. This is an important step to traveling to public places such as a school with our therapy dog. These places often do not allow for pets so it’s important that you have the proper paperwork before heading to these places. Staff may not be aware that a therapy dog is joining them so this helps avoid any tension.

Certify and register your dog here

What special access does a Therapy Dog have?

Therapy dogs do not have public access rights and must be invited in. This means, before showing up at the hospital with your therapy dog, contact the hospital ahead of time. Ask to be transferred to the attending nurse or the head of patient care. They will advise you on the steps to bringing your therapy dog into the hospital. Of course, hospitals are excited to have you and your therapy dog join them, but it is important ot follow all the steps so everyone is protected.

But wait, in addition to having your dog support others, you would like them to support you as well. This means you are looking for an Emotional Support Animal instead. It is possible for your dog to be both a therapy dog for others and an emotional support dog for yourself.  However, the steps to certify your dog as an Emotional Support dog is different.

How to qualify for an Emotional Support Animal?

To qualify for an Emotional Support Animal, you need an ESA letter from an ESA Doctor or Therapist. It is important ot seek support from a medical professional and licensed therapist who is well versed in ESA regulations. If your current therapist is familiar will ESA law and can write you an ESA letter, that is your best choice.

If your therapist is unfamiliar with ESA law or does not believe in animal therapy, you may seek support from a legitimate referral company such as ESA Doctors.

When seeking support online, it is important to be wary of discount sites or sites that guarantee “instant approval”. Many of these companies may be ESA Letter mills or work with therapists whose license may not be recognized in your state. Top referral companies such as ESA Doctors will pair you with a therapist directly.

Click here to get your ESA letter

What Special Access Does an Emotional Support Animal Have?

Your dog may already be your best friend and act as your emotional support animal. Why is it necessary to make it official with an ESA note?

The reason is that Emotional Support Animals are protected by two regulations under federal law. The first is access to air travel and the other is access to “no-pets housing”. In both cases, the airline and landlord cannot charge an additional fee for granting access to your ESA.

It goes without saying, your ESA needs to be well trained and in your control. If your ESA causes harm to others, both the airline and landlord can deny access. Remember, your ESA is still your responsibility.

Can You Qualify for a Legitimate ESA Letter online? Yes! Thanks to technology and telehealth service, you can qualify for a legitimate ESA letter online.

Each state has their own telehealth service regulations. Some require the therapist have an in-state license while some states will allow doctors such as a psychologist to practice across borders. To connect to a therapist and see if you qualify for an ESA letter, click on the link below to complete an ESA questionnaire.

See if you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal letter from ESA Doctors by clicking the link below.

 

When seeking rented accommodation, it is not uncommon to find that landlords or housing providers have imposed a ‘no pets’ policy as part of their agreement. This is usually due to many factors such as noise, potential damage to their property, or simply due to insurance restrictions. While the majority of renters have to abide by this policy, there are some situations where individuals are allowed to keep animals in accommodation where a ‘no pet’ policy is imposed.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that disabled persons may live in accommodation with their service animals, even where pets are not usually allowed. This is because service animals are extremely well behaved due to their extensive training, and are not considered as pets. As emotional support animals are prescribed to individuals as a therapeutic treatment for their psychological disorders, some landlords will allow them to live with their owners despite a ‘no pet’ policy, but they are not always obliged to, and will not always allow this. So what can you do if your landlord does not accept your emotional support animal?

Emotional Support Animals Do Not Have the Same Rights as Service Animals

Animals have long been used to medically assist humans with various needs, such as a service dog to aid a blind or visually impaired person with navigation and protection, or an emotional support animal to provide affection and companionship as part of a treatment plan for anxiety issues. These animals both provide a similar service, but are not regarded equally in the eyes of the law.

Service animals are trained specifically to assist with an individual’s disability and are recognized by the ADA. Emotional support animals, however, are not ADA approved animals and therefore are not exempt from certain restrictions such as access to public places or private establishments in the same way that service animals are.

While applying to rent private accommodation with a ‘no pets’ policy can be a relatively straightforward process for owners of service animals due to the ADA, the same process can be a little more tricky for people with emotional support animals. Not to worry though! The Fair Housing Act protects owners of emotional support animals to live with their ESA in most housing situations.

Some landlords may be okay with Emotional Support Animals, and some might not

Because landlords are not obliged to accept emotional support animals when processing your application in the same way they have to with service dogs, you may have to accept that some accommodation may be off limits to you if you do not have documentation or an ESA letter from a licensed therapist.

Whether you already have an emotional support animal and are seeking new accommodation, or already live in accommodation with a ‘no pet’ policy and have been assigned an emotional support animal, you may face a few barriers regarding your application. Please continue reading to find out how to protect yourself from uninformed landlords. 

How Can I Get an ESA Letter Online?

What to do if my Landlord says “NO” to my Emotional Support Animal?

If you provide the correct documentation from a licensed therapist and your landlord is still insistent about not allowing your ESA, you have a few options.

You can contact the HUD and file a complaint You can contact a lawyer and have them write a strongly worded letter to your landlord You can contact an ESA advocate that will point you in the right direction All hope is not lost thanks to the Fair Housing Act (FHA)

When can apartments not allow my emotional support animal? There are certain circumstances where landlords are not obliged to accept Emotional Support Animals, such as:

Buildings that have four or fewer dwellings of which the landlord is the occupant of one Single family accommodation rented or sold without a real estate broker

Thankfully, an accommodation that does not fall under these categories are not imposed by such restrictions and must consider all service animal or emotional support animal applications.

While service animals are looked upon more favorably in these circumstances, the fact that emotional support animals are technically not pets goes a long way when a landlord processes your application.

Should your landlord decide not to accept your emotional support animal, and if your accommodation doesn’t come under one of the above categories, then you should provide them with a letter from a licenced mental health professional, which, under the Fair Housing Act, should be sufficient proof of your need for an emotional support animal for your application.

If for any reason you are unable to obtain a letter from a licensed mental health professional, there are many services available to provide sufficient proof after a successful assessment. One such service is ESA Doctors who can determine your eligibility for an emotional support animal.

Although applying for an apartment is usually a straightforward process for individuals with emotional support animals, without the need to jump through hoops to be allowed to live with their animal, sometimes the process can be a little trickier than it ought to be. By providing a letter from a licensed mental health professional such as your psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist which verifies your need for an ESA, you should have little problem making a successful application under the Fair Housing Act.

See if you qualify for an emotional support animal.