<h2>How Do I Choose an Emotional Support Animal?</h2>
When a doctor provides you with an emotional support animal “prescription” or ESA Letter, the documentation is not necessarily attached to a specific animal. Rather, the ESA Letter simply provides your information and the professional recommendation for an ESA. Therefore, it is up to you to choose an emotional support animal that can suit your needs, if you don’t already have one.
While there are not currently specific organizations dedicated specifically to matching people with ESAs, there are a few key characteristics you can search for when considering different animals:
Once you select your ESA, you don’t need to complete any specific training program. Simply do your best to encourage good behavior through regular pet training, so that your ESA can fulfill their role effectively.
Yes. If you already have a pet that provides you with support, love, and affection, they can become your ESA. Because there is no training required for ESAs, your current pet can absolutely become one.
No. ESAs and service animals are different in a few ways: how they are trained, the role they fulfill, and how they are viewed in the eye of the law. Service animals undergo extensive training (up to 2 years & $15,000 in cost) and receive official certifications because they are expected to perform specific tasks and jobs for their handler. Also, businesses are prohibited from refusing the entry of service animals. However, ESAs do not complete any training courses and many of the same benefits are received in terms of rights.
No. Your ESA Letter is sufficient documentation, and there is no need to complete additional certifications. You may see websites claiming they will certify your ESA or register them in an official ESA database, but those claims are false.
No. There are no official vests or identification needed for emotional support animals. Your doctor will provide you with an ESA Letter that will be sufficient documentation, and you may choose to keep a copy on you when taking your ESA in public – though it’s not required.
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