What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?
An emotional support animal is any dog or cat that is recognized as a "reasonable accommodation" for a person with a disability.
An emotional support animal is a companion animal (dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. The person seeking the emotional support animal must have a verifiable disability. You must:
- Must have a "disability and disability-related need for an assistance animal." Disabilities may include PTSD, anxiety, depression or another mental health issue as determined by your treating Psychologist.
- The disability is considered a "major impact on a life activity."
- The dog or cat helps to alleviate the mental health issue so that the person can function at a healthier level.
- The dog or cat should have basic training and be able to behave in public. Additional training for your dog or cat is always encouraged. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure your animal behaves in public.
In order to determine if you and your animal qualify, you will need to call our office or set-up an appointment with our Clinical Psychologist. We will ask you a few brief questions to determine if you may be eligible and at that time, will schedule your appointment. Appointments can be scheduled virtually or in person. It is solely at the discretion of the Psychologist to determine your eligibility. An appointment is not a guarantee that you will be issued a letter and payment is due either way.
With your letter in hand, you can safely travel and live with your Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Different housing, lodging, and airlines each have their own operating guidelines and it is up to you to find out what each of them are prior to showing up with just your letter. However, we have found that most businesses are very accommodating with the letter in hand.