We’ve always knowns that dogs are our best friends. Everyone who has had one knows how good they are when you’re feeling a bit down. But what about what you’re feeling more than just a bit down? Nearly 20% of America’s adult population now suffers some kind of serious anxiety disorder or depression; and dogs (and cats) are stepping up to help us with that. Service animals for depression can do more than you might think, and there are some good reasons to have them. If your best friend helps you navigate your depression or anxiety but has not been officially certified, here are some good reasons you should apply for an ESA letter online.
What Is an ESA?
An ESA, or Emotional Support Animal, is an “official” helper pet. An ESA letter from an official source proves that your pet is really a needed part of your therapy, from overcoming social anxiety disorder to helping with PTSD and depression. The rights of ESA owners are laid out in the law, so it’s important that service animals for depression or other conditions have their official ESA designation to ensure your rights are protected.
Reasons to Get the Letter
Once your animal is officially designed a service animal, your rights can’t be denied and your pet can be with you under most circumstances. Here are some of the most important benefits to know about:
- You can’t be denied housing or overcharged. Some landlords don’t want pets on their property, and that’s their right to decide. But if your pet is a true emotional support animal, registered and official, then under the Fair Housing Amendments Act you are eligible even for no-pet housing situations. You cannot be charged a fee for having a pet, and you are not subject to restrictions regarding breed or size.
- You have more flying options. There are a lot of reasons that airlines don’t want pets in the main cabin, from allergy complaints from other passengers to the possibility of animals destroying something. The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines, however, to let an ESA travel in the cabin with its owner; and you cannot be charged a fee/li>
- All stores are open to you. Some stores have signs prohibiting pets, but for the most part those signs don’t apply to service animals for depression or other needs. Rules on this may vary by municipality, so it’s always a good idea to check out the rules where you live.
What Else Should I Know?
With all these benefits, it’s important to remember that your pet must be an officially registered emotional service animal to qualify. Stories abound of people who arrived at the airport only to be turned away or charged a fee because they didn’t have the right paperwork.
While it might be aggravating to think about having to go through the process of getting registered, it’s important to distinguish true emotional support animals from regular pets. If any just pet qualified, it would be impossible to keep dangerous and destructive animals from boarding planes, tearing up property, or even hurting people.
If you’re ready to fly with your pet or want to open up your moving options, look into getting your ESA pet training and registration today.