What is an emotional support animal?

An emotional support animal is an animal that provides comfort and relief to its Owner in relation to conditions that the Owner may be impacted by, such as stress, anxiety, panic attacks and other similar conditions.

What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?

Service animals are defined as dogs that are specifically trained to assist a person with a disability. The person may have a disability that renders them in a wheel chairs, or be visually impaired, have PTSD, require a service dog due to seizure ailments and many other issues. Service dogs alert and guide the visually impaired, they pull a wheel chair, they alert others during a seizure, they provide relief and calming to one with PTSD. So the service dog is specifically trained to handle the issue that the Owner or handler is diagnosed with and facing. Service dogs are accordingly permitted to accompany the person into public and private facilities and buildings, transportation and many if not all of the areas one needs to be in life. The law that allows a trained service dog to accompany a person with a disability is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

An emotional support animal is typically a dog or cat that provides a therapeutic benefit to its owner through companionship. The animal provides emotional support and comfort to individuals with psychiatric disabilities and other mental impairments. Emotional support animals are covered in the federal Fair Housing Act as it relates to allowing you into housing that has a no pet policy or breed or size restriction policy. Emotional support animals are also covered in the federal Air Carrier Access Act which permits an ESA to be permitted into the cabin of an airplane with you on your travel at no cost. For both housing and air travel you will need an ESA prescription letter which United Support Animals will shepherd you the process to obtain.

Can cats and other animals be Emotional Support Animals?

Yes, any animal that provides therapeutic relief and can be considered an Emotional Support Animal.

What animals are considered Service Animals?

Service animals are defined as dogs and miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Does my pet qualify as an emotional support animal?

Any pet can qualify as an emotional support animal if the owner of the pet is found to be in need of the therapeutic emotional value that the pet provides.

What does ESA mean?

ESA means Emotional Support Animal. An Emotional Support Animal is an animal that provides therapeutic support to its owner and is protected by the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) and by the Fair Housing Authority (FHA).

How do I get an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

A qualified mental health professional that United Support Animals will connect you with will provide you with a consultation to assess your needs, if you are found to be in need of an ESA and United Support will provide you with an ESA letter that you can utilize as the documentation needed to obtain these rights.

Want to register my dog as a service dog?

To register your dog as a service dog please visit www.unitedsupportanimals.org and choose one of the packages related to Service Dogs.

How do I take my dog on an airplane?

Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin of an airplane when you comply with certain criteria each airline has. When you have an ESA letter from one of our mental health professionals you can bring your dog into the cabin and it is also important to understand each airlines criteria. Service dogs are permitted in the cabin of an airplane also.

What does a landlord or homeowners association want from me to accept me and my emotional support animal?

The ESA letter validates your rights, the law requires all ESA’s to have a letter written by a mental health professional.

What state is my ESA letter good in?

All of the states in which our Mental Health Professionals are licensed, permit therapists to counsel patients over the telephone. Any diagnosis and subsequent prescription generated by telephone consultations are perfectly valid in all states.

What is a Psychiatric Service Dog and how do they differ from Emotional Support Animals?

Psychiatric Service Dogs are service dogs that provide assistance to people with psychiatric disabilities, such as severe depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These dogs have been trained either by their owner or a trainer to perform tasks such as
providing safety checks or room searches for individuals with PTSD, blocking persons in dissociative episodes from wandering, and preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors, such as self-mutilation. As of January 10, 2021, a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rule amended the requirements for traveling with service animals and emotional support animals. The rule requires airlines to treat trained psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals.

By contrast, Emotional Support Animals provide therapeutic benefits to their owner through companionship and physical presence. An ESA can be any animal and provides comfort and relief to its owner suffering from psychological or mental impairments such as stress, anxiety, panic attacks and other similar conditions.

The main difference between PSD’s and ESA’s is that PSD’s are specifically trained to assist their owner with psychological impairments.

Psychiatric service animals are treated the same as other service animals that are individually trained to do work or perform a task for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability.



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