4.

Psychiatric Service Dog &
Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letters

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is any animal that alleviates symptoms of a mental or emotional condition. An ESA can be a cat, dog, or other types of domesticated companion animals. An ESA does not need to be trained to perform a service. The only requirement is that the animal is manageable in public and does not create a nuisance in or around the home or public settings. There is no official certification or training for emotional support animals and they can assist in a wide variety of ways. Federal law does not require ESAs to wear any type of clothing or harnesses. Although the law does not exclude any particular species from qualifying as an ESA a landlord or Airline may have grounds to refuse accommodations for animals not typically uses as house pets. For example, if the ESA is a full-sized goat, a landlord can make an argument for rejecting the animal in an apartment complex.

 

Psychiatric Service Dogs- Like ESA's, a certified service dog can help alleviate symptoms of mental or emotional conditions. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that clearly states service dogs are allowed to accompany their handler in public places by simply stating their dog is a service dog. To register your dog as a service dog you will need to 1. Establish your need for a service dog for your disability (evaluations provided here at PURE Life Psychotherapy), 2. Train your service dog to provide a task for your disability, 3. Register your service dog with a reputable organization. 

Benefits of having an ESA/Service Dog: 

ESAs help reduce symptoms of emotional and mental conditions. They assist by providing a sense of focus and purpose, improving the handler's self-esteem, and reducing stress due to the ESAs presence. 

Who  Qualifies?

Any individual diagnosed with an emotional or psychological condition as defined in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual Fifth Edition (DSM-5) may qualify and benefit from an Emotional Support Animal. 

Housing Rights:

According to the Fair Housing Act [42 U.S.C. 3602 (h)] you have the right to choose where to live with your Emotional Support Animal regardless of existing pet policies. 

  • "No pet" policy restrictions do not apply

  • Cannot be charged a pet deposit or pet rent (A landlord could charge a security deposit and may still seek payment for damage caused by the animal to the residence. Also, if there is a nuisance issue the landlord does have the right to try to remove the assistance animal through legal proceedings.) 

  • Breed or other pet restrictions do not apply [within reasonable limits]

Air Travel Rights:

According to the Air Carriers Access Act [Tittle 49 U.S.C. Section 41705] and Department of Transportation 14 CFR Part 382, you have the right to travel together (in cabin) with your ESA *without fees and restrictions. [Check with the airline for updated laws and policies on animal restrictions and fees]

PreQualification:

If you answer "Yes" to these 3 questions you may meet approval for an ESA or Service Dog letter. 

  1. Are you often impacted by any of these conditions or situations?​​                                                  Interpersonal issues ~ Anxiety ~ Mood-Swings ~ Depression ~ PTSD ~ Phobias ~ OCD ~ Loneliness ~ High-stress job ~ Difficulties coping ~ Grief/Loss ~ Panic Attacks

  2. Does this condition/situation keep you from living happily?

  3. Does your animal or would an animal help you cope with your condition/situation?

If approved, ESA Letters may be provided to you the same day. *Following a required intake session.