Emotional support animals are invaluable companions for thousands of people throughout the country, and in a dog-friendly state like Colorado, these animals are abundant.
ESAs are legal companions and aides for thousands of American families who need the innately caring nature of some of humanity’s closest neighbors and longest-time allies.
If you are considering signing up for an ESA, keep reading. This list has tips to help you pursue the certification of one of your pets so that you and your pet may gain the various benefits of having an emotional support animal.
1. Get Your Research Done In Advance
The first tip we’ll provide today is an easy one; make sure you know the process before you get started. There are steps to getting your companion recognized and certified as an emotional support animal or ESA:
- Connect with a proper licensing official. In this case, that official will be a therapist or a doctor.
- Make clear your need for an ESA.
- Get your therapist or doctor to write an Emotional Support Animal Letter stating your need for an ESA.
- Submit the paperwork and register your ESA through organizations such as ESA Registration.
Doing your research in advance will save you valuable time and energy and expedite the process.
2. Have Your Paperwork On Hand
An important quality-of-life tip for those who have any support animal, whether an ESA or not, is to always keep your paperwork on hand.
It’s best to have your ESA letter and registration information with you at all times. In situations like renting properties that don’t usually allow pets or flying with an ESA, the paperwork can provide crucial evidence that the animal is more than a pet. While the TSA ruling determined that it was ultimately the decision of airlines whether to allow ESAs, the HUD has protections in place, including reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act that allow renters to move in with an ESA even in no-pet properties.
Hopefully, people won’t initiate a potentially awkward conversation by asking you why you have an animal with you. Still, you can save everyone some time by showing them your paperwork if they do.
3. Know Your Stuff
Knowing your research is a particularly valuable tip if someone challenges you on the necessity of your ESA. We hope that no one will try to confront you about your companion, but if they do, our best tip is to show them your knowledge. Explain why ESAs are valuable, critical partners for those who need them.
Several studies showcase that emotional support animals can positively transform one’s life, including depression, PTSD, anxiety, and more. The benefits are real. By knowing those studies, you can engage with naysayers productively!
ESAs can transform the lives of those who have and live with them. Unfortunately, there will be some challenges to acquiring such valuable companions, but we hope that we have made it easier for you to do so. If you wish to bring an ESA into your life, follow the tips listed here!