Emotional support animals or ESA’s are legally protected pets that accompany and help humans with emotional, mental or psychological disabilities. As per the national institute of mental health, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from a mental, psychological or emotional disorder. These mental or psychological disabilities affect human health to a great extent.
Most of the studies on human psychology have shown that real health benefits for those living with pets, comprises lowered blood pressure, reduced stress level, minimized feeling of loneliness, better mental health, and even more opportunities for socialization. It is widely observed that humans with emotional support animals have expressed increased levels of happiness and a higher quality of life.
In most of the cases, emotional support animal companions are mainly dogs and cats, though there are other animals as well, which can also function as an ESA, say for example a rabbit or a parrot.
Countless studies on human psychology and health have proven that pets provide a wide range of health benefits both in terms of physical as well as emotional. But, when you are renting your living accommodations and you depend on an emotional support animal (or ESA), how will you decide that where is your landlord’s rights end and your ESA’s right began. In order to secure the rights of an emotional support animal, you and your companion require an emotional support animal letter.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal Letter?
An emotional support animal letter is a medical document written or signed by a licensed medical practitioner or psychologist recommending an individual for an emotional support animal. An emotional support animal letter allows an individual to live or travel with their pet or ESA for free.
In fact, this letter serves as the only source of legal identity for the ESA as per the federal law. These letters separate ESA’s from other animals and provide them with a secure or protected feeling.
Importance of an Emotional Support Animal Letter
An ESA letter is mainly required to categorize your pet as an official emotional support animal. This letter signifies that the animal provide therapeutic healing to individuals suffering from certain kind of mental, emotional or psychological disabilities. Simply registering your pet as an ESA on a website does not qualify the pet as an emotional support animal.
Instead, emotional support animals are prescribed by doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, psychologist, or any other licensed mental health professional, which can determine if a comforting companion is needed or not. A Written letter by the medical practitioner is sufficient to indicate that the emotional support animal is an ESA that serve in some manner to individuals with mental, emotional or psychological problems. Some people even prefer to have an identification card or vest for travel convenience. You may ask for these ESA cards or travel vests from the certified clinical organizations that deal with several kinds of emotional or psychological disorders.
Benefits of Having Emotional Support Animal Letters
Having an emotional support animal letter means getting access to a wide number of benefits, such as:
Laws Protecting the Emotional Support Animals
ESA or emotional support animals are legally protected pets, which have complete permission to live and fly with their owners. The legislations protecting emotional support animals are federal fair housing amendments act and the air carrier access act.
Some of the Emotional Support Animal Laws are:
ESA’s Housing: Emotional support animals are allowed to live in ‘No Pet’ apartments when given the ESA letters. Landlords cannot ask for security deposits for pet fees, nor are they allowed to inquire about the extent of the disability.
In fact, university dorms also recognize ESA’s laws that cover their accommodation.
ESA’s Travel: Emotional support animals easily get the permission to fly in-cabin with their owners. They do require caging or situating in the flight’s cargo section.