ESA (Emotional Support Animal) is a special status of the pet that acts as emotional support for the patient with psychological or mental disorders. In contrast to the service animals, which must undergo special training, Emotional Support Animals are designed exclusively for emotional support of people; they don’t need special training, and their only function is to provide psychological comfort to the patient and facilitate the course of pathological conditions.
Whether the animal is suitable as emotional support or not is determined not by the training, but by the effectiveness of the patient’s contact with the animal in the context of positive tendencies to alleviate psychoemotional disorder. Meanwhile, any animal can act as ESA. Nevertheless, cats are most often used for this purpose, as they are emotionally stable and undemanding animals, which can provide emotional support to the person who needs it. The optimal choice is a little kitten or a young sterilized cat.
If you have a systemic psychoemotional disorder that doesn’t respond well to the traditional treatment, a very effective alternative therapy may be ESA. A small furry friend will alleviate the pathological condition and help you cope with any destructive psychological conditions. The main benefit of ESA is that the animal with this status can stay with you anywhere without restrictions.
This privilege is available to the patients who have been diagnosed with one of the following pathologies:
To give your cat or any other pet ESA status, you need to contact a licensed medical professional who will confirm in writing the need for therapy involving the emotional support animal. An interview with a physician (psychologist, psychiatrist, registered, or practicing nurse) can be conducted live or remotely. In both cases, according to the results of the interview, if one of the above pathologies is detected, the patient is provided with a letter on the letterhead indicating the information about the physician’s license and the need for ESA to participate in the treatment of the patient.
The procedure of obtaining ESA status for the pet is incredibly simple, and the letter confirming the right for an emotional support animal is issued the same day as the application (subject to a personal visit to the doctor). This letter, acting as the main document, which gives the right for air transportation and keeping animals in the rented apartment on privileged conditions.
The main privilege regarding the residence of an animal with ESA status in rented residential real estate is that the owner of the animal doesn’t need to pay a deposit for the animal at the time of signing the lease contract. However, if the conditions of use of the property include special rules for pets, the owner of the property has the right to refuse to rent the apartment to the ESA patient. But if the property is standard and there are no special rules for living with pets, the owner of an apartment or house has no right to demand a deposit on the animal from the tenant. This privilege is granted to patients with a psychoemotional disorder in order to avoid discrimination of the right to receive adequate treatment.
The possibility of free flights with a cat in the aircraft cabin is one of the main privileges provided by the ESA status. No American airline has the right to refuse the patient with psychoemotional disorder. The pet can be near him/her during the flight. Meanwhile, the rules for flying with ESA are as follows:
When flying with an emotional support animal, the pet travel fee is not charged. Additional registration of the animal onboard isn’t required – it is enough to present a letter from your doctor.
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