How to Certify Your Animal for Emotional Support Therapy

How to Certify Your Animal for Emotional Support Therapy #emotional support therapy

The worries of everyday life are often overwhelming. You can beat the stressful life by using better coping means to help you with your feelings. Turn your pet into a source of comfort by giving you emotional support therapy. However, an emotional support animal is more than any ordinary pet. (Image Credit: Artem Labunsky/Unsplash)

As a person suffering from a disability like mental illness, you can benefit from having an emotional support animal for therapy. The presence of a devoted and loving dog helps you navigate your problems and struggles arising from the condition. 

Having an animal for emotional support therapy has immense benefits that you can tap into for overall well being. However, you must first certify your animal to be able to enjoy the accompanying emotional support therapy. Having mental health problems qualifies you to get therapeutic assistance. 

Certifying Your Animal for Emotional Support Therapy

This is the same as getting the emotional support animal letter. Start by getting a recommendation letter issued by a licensed mental health professional. You can also get it from your therapist. If you have problems getting one, you can go to your local mental health professionals for assistance. 

Expect your landlord to ask for ID, certificate or a registration number as proof that the animal is certified as an emotional support animal. Go to a mental health professional and tell them you need an emotional support animal letter for your dog. 

After getting the letter, remember it’s not a requirement that you register the dog to a website. Follow the steps below to certify your animal for emotional support therapy

  • Recognize the need for Emotional support therapy animal
  • Contact a licensed doctor or therapist
  • Demonstrate that you need an emotional support animal
  • Get the relevant documentation

That’s all you need. There is no registration of the animal. The letter will help you when you travel, in hotels and with your landlord. Sometimes, airlines and landlords may ask for additional forms concerning your emotional support animal besides the ESA letter. 

What The ESA Letter Portrays

To make the animal an emotional support dog, it must have a letter written by a licensed doctor, therapist or mental health professional. Upon qualifying, you get LMHP written on the letterhead. Also, it establishes you have a disability and recommends that you have an emotional support animal to help you alleviate your disability symptoms. The letter has the LMHP license number as well as the date and signature. 

For air travel purposes, your ESA letter must be renewed annually as validity is one year. Having the valid ESA letter ensures that the animal is accommodated in your housing where there is no pet policy or in the aircraft cabin without having to pay additional charges. 

Normal policies that apply to pets don’t apply to your animal. Places with restrictions concerning animals due to weight or breed don’t apply to your animal too. Speak to your therapist as they are a perfect animal letter resource, to help you get the all-important letter that can help make life easier for you as you cope with your disability. 

Rights of The Emotional Support Animal

The animal has a right to accompany you in your home and on your flights as stated by two federal laws; Air Carrier Access Act and Fair Housing Act. You can enter the building even if it has a no pets policy. Airlines are expected to accommodate passengers with the animals. Also, tenants are expected to give you reasonable accommodation if you have a valid ESA letter. Therefore, you can easily enjoy the emotional support therapy from the animal without discrimination. 

Disorders That Qualify You for an Emotional Support Animal

To help with certification, check that you have the following disabilities:

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Learning disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Tic disorders
  • Sexual disorders
  • Motor skills disorders
  • Gender identity
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • A substance-related disorder like drugs or alcohol

Unlike service animals, emotional support animals are not required to be trained to perform responsibilities or serve their handlers. The animals are mainly for providing emotional support therapy to you and can assist you as long as it doesn’t cause undue hardships or disturbance to the apartment managers or landlord.

It’s vital that you only ask for the ESA letter from a certified and licensed therapist or mental health specialist because you need this assistance. Unlawful solicitation of the letter or obtaining the letter through pretenses is regarded as a violation and a crime. The animal privileges are withdrawn. Let the therapist advise you on how to maximize the therapeutic benefits of having your emotional support animal.

Martin Maina is a professional writer and blogger who uses his expertise, skills, and personal experience in digital marketing to craft content that resonates with audiences. Deep down, he believes that if you cannot do great things, then you can do small things in a great way. To learn more, you can connect with him online.
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