Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are companions that are adopted or brought home especially for the emotional and mental betterment of their human companions. Animals have been proven to have a calming and positive effect on those surrounding them and spending time with animals whether livestock or pet animals can have a therapeutic effect.
ESAs are like service animals but with their focus on people with emotional disorders. The ESA Letter allows you to house them under the same roof and accompany them during travels.
Uses of ESA Letter
You can use an ESA letter for housing to help you get away from unlawful and unfair laws that don’t allow your pet companion to stay with you in your residential apartment or house. At times people are denied residence unlawfully due to rules that are unfair. Some even go as far as having the emotional support animal parent to pay an extra charge for the admittance of pets into their housing.
You can also use the emotional support animal certification during a trip to make sure that your companion emotional support animals are always with you. Many air carriers tend to not allow the pets to their passenger cabin under the pretext of unruly animals and ‘nuisance’ caused by the pets. You can bypass their rules and have your pet present with and near you in your travels, instead of traveling in a closed cargo hold.
ESAs and accommodation
If you have the appropriate ESA registration and you have shown it to the relevant people and the housing owners, then according to the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the people renting out the place—be it an apartment or a house—can not deny accommodation on the basis of unfair housing rules and regulations. They are also not allowed to ask for unfair advance rent and extra rent for the pet accommodation.
ESA and traveling
The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 allows for pet owners to have their pet animals with them in the passenger cabin as long as they are well behaved and can be accommodated. The Federal Law on top of that doesn’t permit the air carriers to deny entry to a passenger or his/her pet on board the flight if the animal is an emotional support animal and the human companion has the proper ESA Letter.
However, it is best to inform the airlines sometime before boarding the plane about the presence of an ESA animal. Most of the airlines don’t make a fuss about legally register emotional support dog being present in the passenger cabin and usually very welcome of the furry animals. However, informing them earlier gives them time to help prepare your seat and reserve the best possible seating for you that also allows space for your pet.
Nowadays, people are accustomed to seeing pets travel with their human companions, which include both service animals and emotional support animals. However, it is best that the animal is trained and always under the control of the pet owner.
The law surrounding the Emotional Support Animals can extend to workplaces and places of education. This again is to make sure that people with emotional disorders should be given the same level of normality through their pets and should not be discriminated against. This includes having ESAs in dorms and hostels.