Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are animals that provide therapeutic benefits to their owner through affection and companionship. A Service Dog is specially trained to perform a task to help someone with a disability. A seeing eye dog is one example of a Service Dog. Unlike a Service Dog, an emotional support animal does not need specialized training to handle a task. Further, Emotional Support Animals come in different breeds and animal types and are not just limited to dogs, while Service Animals are either dogs or mini horses. Read more
As of January 2021, the US Department of Transportation announced that ESA’s are no longer a protected class of animal on domestic airlines. It is up to the airline itself to determine whether they will allow ESA’s. Prior to January 2021, any airlines asked that you notify them in advance when traveling with an Emotional Support Animal. Each airline has their own individual policies so please check their ESA policy before booking a flight. Some airlines may require a reasonable accommodation form to be signed off by the therapist who has evaluated you. Please notify ESA registration of America before purchasing a travel letter if we can accommodate that specific airlines request. Read more
No. There is no size discrimination allowed when it comes to Service Dogs and ESA’s. ESA’s come in various shapes and sizes and airlines are required to allow ESA’s dog to accompany you to your seat regardless of the size. It’s important to note that there is no size limit for Service Dogs. Read more
Unlike service dogs, Emotional Support Animals do not have access rights to all public areas. However, ESA’s can live in pet-free housing. Service Dogs, however, are allowed to accompany their owners wherever they go, including most airlines. Read more
The law requires all ESA’s to have a letter written by a mental health professional. The letter states that the Emotional Support Animal provides therapeutic value to its owner and verifies the validity of the ESA. If you do not have your ESA evaluation letter yet, you can schedule an assessment with one of our mental health professionals via a HIPAA compliant video conference call. The therapist will determine if you qualify for an ESA letter. It is important to note that certain airlines have legally banned ESA’s from flying, so contact your carrier before purchasing a letter specifically for air travel purposes. Read more
Landlords and property managers must make reasonable accommodations for tenants or prospective tenants with Emotional Support Animals, even if the apartment, house, or college dorm does not allow pets. A reasonable fee may only be asked by the landlord if there is any damage to the property as a result of your animal, otherwise no other fees may be imposed. Property managers/landlords may require the tenant complete a mental health professional Third Party Verification form. If you’re wondering whether you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), you can sign up for an evaluation letter from one of our mental health professionals.
Federal law does not require Service Dogs or Emotional Support Animals to wear any type of clothing or harnesses. However, we strongly encourage this since harnesses, leashes, patches and identifying items cut down on the hassles and unnecessary explanations when in public. We have found that these products drastically save time and frustration. We also recommend you carry around your prescription letter from a therapist as well. Read more
If you would like to register your dog as a service dog, please visit our sister site:www.servicedogregistration.org. It’s important to note the difference between the two types of dogs. Service Dogs are specially trained to perform a task, while Emotional Support Animals provide therapeutic value. Read more
To have your dog qualify as an Emotional Support Animal (therapy dog) a licensed mental health professional must determine whether the animal provides therapeutic value to its owner. If you do not have your ESA evaluation letter yet, you can sign up for an assessment with one of our mental health professionals. They will complete a psychological evaluation to determine whether you qualify for an Emotional Support Animal.
We offer an easy way to schedule an assessment with a mental health professional who is able to prescribe an ESA letter should you qualify. To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for an ESA evaluation letter you can click here. Alternatively you can also find a local therapist in your area if accessible. You will have to do some online research though. Read more
Emotional support animals do not require specialized training. However, they do require a therapist letter in order to be considered valid. Service Dogs require specialized training because they perform a specific task for their owner such as acting as a seeing eye dog or calming someone down who has PTSD. Read more
A qualified Emotional Support Animal requires a letter from a mental health professional stating that the animal provides therapeutic value to its owner. We offer an easy way to schedule an appointment and select a time for an assessment with a licensed therapist. It is important to note that we do not guarantee a person’s qualification. The therapist is the one that makes the determination on a case by case basis. To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional for an ESA evaluation letter you can click here. Read more
Fill out the short form on the homepage to receive updates on the laws relating to emotional support animals. Registering your animal does not automatically make it into an ESA. The ESA Registration of America has teamed up with a network of licensed mental health professionals to provide online live video consultation services to prescribe written recommendations to those who qualify. We also offer products to help ESA owners distinguish their animals in public.