Learn about service animal travel by using a service animal letter
Service animal letters are used for emotional support animals and is a term given to those animals that go from pet to 'service animal' through the assistance they give anyone that uses them for emotional comfort. There is a difference between true service dogs and service animal letters provided by a doctor or psychologist. This service letter acts as the only legal source of protection for your pet as an emotional support animal and allows for service animal travel on planes. Simply getting your pet 'registered' in a database, getting a service vest, or ID just helps identify your service animal, but it provides no LEGAL support. Getting a service animal letter from a doctor is critical to ensure federal protection for housing, service animal travel, and recognition in the law. Most anyone can qualify to get a service animal letter, as the main prerequisite is getting comfort from the animal. This can include people that suffer from depression, anxiety, fear of flying (requiring service animal travel), cognitive decline, etc. Unlike service dogs that assist with the blind or specific physical ailments, emotional support animals can be prescribed for a wide variety of psychological conditions. Any animal can also qualify for a service animal letter, whether it is dog, cat, bird, or even squirrel. There are no federal limitations on which species can qualify as an ESA. There are many advantages to getting your pet an ESA letter as outlined below.
- Since an ESA is a service animal and not a 'pet, you can rent in 'no pet' housing facilities.
- No pet deposit can be charged for a service animal.
- Free service animal travel for ESA's, saving $150 or so per flight.
- No limitations on the size of an emotional support animal, for example some rental properties limit the size of dogs.
- Service animal travel within the cabin of an airplane, instead of storage below in a travel crate.
- Free access to cruise ships, taxis,trains, etc.