“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment.”
- Brené Brown

 

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Emotional Support Animals and Your Wellbeing

Don’t suffer from an emotional or mental disability when the perfect Emotional Support Animal (ESA) may be able to provide you with the stability and help you need. Get back to living a normal life with your very own well chosen Emotional Support Animal.

The best way to secure an ESA letter is through your therapist.

Twenty five percent of Americans suffer from an emotional or mental disability in any given year, and emotional support animals are a medically documented treatment.

Dr. Susie can help you and your emotional support animal to qualify for protection against discrimination, increased rent, pet travel fees, and security deposits that could make it difficult for you to keep your emotional support animal with you.

As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Susie helps people with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, chronic stress, eating disorders, ADD, sleep disorders, autism, and other DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) recognized conditions  by issuing an emotional support animal recommendation letter—helping you and your emotional support pet to guaranteed access to housing and travel amenities under the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 AND THE FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING AMENDMENTS

A housing provider may not deny a reasonable accommodation request because he or she is uncertain whether or not the person seeking the accommodation has a disability or a disability related need for an assistance animal.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AIR CARRIER ACCESS ACT (49 U.S.C. 41705 AND 14 C.F.R. 382)

U.S. and foreign air carriers are prohibited to discriminate on the basis of a patron’s mental or physical need for an assistance animal to assist with their disabilities

The Difference between Emotional Support Animals, Service Animals & Therapy Animals

There is a difference between an Emotional Support Animal, a Service Dog, and a Therapy Animal. The laws that governs each type of assistance animals and their handlers are distinct.

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that a medical professional has determined provides benefit for an individual with a disability.

A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

A therapy animal is a dog that might be trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with mental disorders, such as anxiety disorder or autism.

Overview of the ESA Laws

There are two areas where Emotional Support Animals are covered under Federal ESA Law.

The first area is that ESA’s are allowed into “no pets” policy housing. This falls under the Fair Housing Act which states the landlord, owner or building manager must make reasonable accommodations for your ESA. Reasonable accommodation, however, can be denied if it imposes an undue financial or administrative burden on the housing provider. You may also be denied housing if your ESA is extremely large as in a horse or llama. If you haven’t done so already, it would be helpful to read this guide to renting an apartment with your ESA.

The second area is for travel. Official Emotional Support Animals have access to fly with you inside the airplane cabin. This falls under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). If your ESA is a larger dog, you may even request to change to a seat with more room so your ESA has a place to sit. We also recommend contacting the airline at least 48 hours in advance to make sure you have all the necessary documents rights. When you are ready to fly with your dog, make sure you know these top tips.

Requirements for an Emotional Support Animal

The difference between a legitimate Emotional Support Animal and a pet is the letter from a licensed therapist. Your pet may already be acting as your ESA however, they are not recognized in the eye of the law until you qualify for an ESA letter.

This important letter is written by a licensed mental health professional, states you suffer from an emotional disability (which falls under the definition laid out by the American’s with Disabilities Act) and the ESA is a vital part of your treatment plan.

The letter must be written on the therapist’s letterhead. It must then be signed and dated and include the physician’s license number, date and place it was issued.

ESA letters are only valid for one year from the issued date.

All you need to qualify for an emotional support animal is an ESA letter. 

It is not legally necessary to register your Emotional Support Animal. If you would like, you can contact Service Dog Certifications and request to register your Emotional Support Animal. You may choose to order a custom ESA Identification Card and ESA vest. These are items that may make travel easier, but you can never be required to have them. The only item that makes your ESA official and the only document a third party may request to see is an ESA letter.

Benefits of emotional support animal certification for your dog or pet 

  • Unfettered access to apartment housing even if they have a no-pet policy
  • Live in the apartment of your dreams even if they a specific no pet policy
  • Waive any dog or pet deposits for apartments
  • Waive any additional monthly dog fees
  • Free airline travel for your dog (domestic travel) – fly with your dog in cabin

Consultation 90-minutes Travel + Housing                     $400.00

Consultation 90-minutes Travel OR Housing                  $350.00

Consultation renewal 30 min                                           $125.00

* If you are in need of a letter for travel or housing and would like a consultation with Dr. Susie to know if you qualify, please contact her at 954.294.7036 or via email at drsusie@me.com