My ESA Process

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hey guys um thank you for joining me

again today we've had a request quite

some time ago actually on the process of

an emotional support animal so I do

apologize it took so long usually when

you guys send me requests I try to bump

them up in my schedule but I wanted to

wait until I had one more trip with Koko

as an ESA in March but I ended up

driving not flying so I just decided to

go ahead and put this up before I got

too much later and I am going to put in

the description bar more of the terms as

far as therapy dog service dog emotional

support animal and the difference

between each one as well as a couple of

links to some organizations that supply

educational information and legal

information on ESA s and service dogs

and which what each one is and what each

one isn't so I'm not going to cover it

in talking on the video because it's

going to be long anyway

but if you're interested definitely take

out check out those links down below so

I guess the first thing I'm going to say

is kind of what is an emotional support

animal so I'm getting this off of

service dog Central org and this is

their definition of an emotional support

animal an emotional support animal is a

dog or other common domestic animal that

provides therapeutic support to a

disabled or elderly owner through

companionship non-judgmental positive

regard affection and a focus in life if

a doctor determines that a patient with

a disabling mental illness would benefit

from the companionship of an emotional

support animal the doctor writes letters

supporting a request by the patient to

keep the ESA in Notepad housing or to

travel with an ESA in the cabin of an

aircraft this is kind of like the more

important part emotional support animals

are not tasks trained like service dogs

are in fact little training at all is

required so long as the animal is

reasonably well behaved by pet standards

this means the animals fully

toilet-trained and has no bad habits

that would disturb neighbors such as

frequent or lengthy episodes of barking

the animal should not pose a danger to

other tenants or to workmen but there is

no requirement for fancy healing or


tasks this emotional support animals are

not generally taken anywhere pets would

not ordinarily go without permission the

exception being in the cabin of an

aircraft and in no pet housing so that's

the definition for emotional support

animal and there is a definite

difference between emotional support

animals and service dogs and I will link

all that information down below so she

um Zoe's mom I think I don't know if she

goes by Elizabeth um she went by Lizzy

but she requested I'm some information

as well as another young lady so I

thought I would just kind of talk about

some tips and kind of what I went

through and just kind of share that with

you guys if you're interested so when

they talk about the letter that the

doctor writes for you it's not a letter

it's not paperwork with my air quotes

it's not paperwork for the animal itself

it's a letter prescription for the

individual person so I could use cocoa

as an emotional support animal because

she's so well-behaved is why I picked

her but I could also use bamm-bamm or I

could use my betta fish or I could use a

guinea pig I could use any animal I want

as long as the animal is non-disruptive

because the animal itself does not go

through any specialized training so it

really doesn't matter as long as the

animal is well-behaved it's really the

person the letter is for not the animal

it mentioned that the only place that es

A's are allowed to go in public are in

the cabin of an airplane so therefore

also the airport because you're gonna be

waiting in the gate area as well as a no

pet housing that's it they don't have

public access rights you're not allowed

to take them to the mall you're not

allowed to take them into a restaurant I

mean there's a difference there's a

difference between a service dog and

emotional support animal one main thing

being public access and TAS training you

do need to be under the care of a mental

health professional I think primary care

physicians can write the letter too but

it's more ideal that your mental health

professional writes the letter because

you're technically supposed to be in

treatment for a mental condition

psychiatric condition

my tip for getting your therapist or

psychiatrist to write the letter is to

bring all the information to them they

may not be familiar with what an ESA is

or how its beneficial if you do all the

legwork and can present them studies and

findings in papers in the different

organizations that supply information

now when I say organization I mean not

those com where you have to go buy a

vest and they send you a certificate not

those an actual organization that

supplies information for people with

service dogs and emotional support

animals and I'll link some of those down

for you guys you do need to be um honest

with your therapist um and discuss the

pros and cons and be open to them not

wanting to do it because I will say if

you have social anxiety or agoraphobia

things like that we're dealing with

people or in the public makes you

nervous or have panic attacks think

about having a dog in an airport that's

going to attract a lot of attention so

one of your your conditions is social

anxiety and people staring at you or

people coming up to you and talking to

you people will stare at you people will

come up and ask you about your dog

people will want to pet your dog so just

be honest about that it's not to say

that you can't have an emotional support

animal or a psychiatric service dog with

a psychiatric condition like anxiety but

you just need to be really honest with

your therapist or your psychiatrist so

they can kind of give you exposure

behavior or cognitive behavior steps to

work through that now what you may face

is that a doctor they once you present

all the benefits in the pros and cons

you still may face some apprehensions

with the doctor writing a letter because

they've never met your dog they don't

know anything about your dog they don't

know if your dog is healthy they don't

know if your dog is aggressive so what I

recommend is that you get a health

certificate from your vet it doesn't

have to be like the really fancy one

that you get like from the use the USDA

when you're traveling but just something

where they write up that your pet is

free from internal and external

parasites that they are current on all

vaccines they've done overall health

check and found a dog and good health

something like that I also recommend

that you get something from a trainer

now ideally now I'm going to be talking

specifically about dogs but remember you

can use any domesticated animal that's

well behaved for emotional support

animal I'm going to be talking

specifically about dogs ideally if

you've picked a dog that you would like

to use as your emotional support animal

you've picked the dog that is well

behaved and has hopefully gone through

at least basic obedience so you should

hopefully have some relationship with a

trainer with a dog trainer in your area

you can have that trainer write you a um

temperament evaluation well they're kind

of like go through different things

exposure dogs to different sounds and

startle them and have different people

come in with like different outfits and

hats and funny glasses and open

umbrellas at them and kind of see how

they react to it

so you're basically wanting a

temperament evaluation to show that your

dog is nonreactive

and not aggressive and is well

socialized it's also helpful if you've

gone through on basic obedience just so

you have some control over your dog and

a lot of people will do the canine good

citizens test as well just shows that

your dog has really good manners is not

problematic in addition to all of that

which isn't required again the emotional

support animals don't have any required

specialized training but it's good if

you're trying to tell your doctor I'm

trying to take this dog on a plane

thousands of feet in the air and it's

going to be under my control my dog is

well behaved if you've got you know a

veterinarian and a trainer that you've

worked with saying yes this dog is

trained basic obedience canine good

citizen housebroken temperament

evaluated all that you know house

cleared that's just going to be easier

for the doctor to say okay I'll write

the letter if they don't know anything

about your dog they may even want to

meet your dog that's also a possibility

so just be ready for that

then you also want to have any legal

information so what an emotional support

animal is what it does what it doesn't

do and where they're allowed to go and

where they're not allowed to go you want

to have all that information ready so

you can show that to your doctors they

have kind of a starting point to go from

so now let's say you've done that your

therapy your doctors agreed to add it to

your treatment it's not going to be

harmful if you've got anxiety and you've

already given them the health check from

the vet the temperament evaluation from

the trainer you've given them all the

legal stuff and now they're on board

like they okay okay let's add this to

your treatment plan I'll write you the

letter I recommend working with a doctor

and give them plenty of time

doctors are notorious for being busy and

having a lot of workload and if you're

going out of town like tomorrow and you

ask them to write the letter you are not

going to get that letter you're probably

not going to get that letter give them a

month I would say like a month to get

the letter on the air line website

they'll often have a template like a

model of what needs to be included it

needs to be on letterhead it has to be

dated in sign include the license number

and the state they're supposed to be

practicing out of and then all the

little details and the letter and I'll

link that to take a copy of that to your

doctor when you want them to write the

letter so they have something to go on

what you don't have happen is that you

you've been waiting and waiting and you

finally get the letter back from them

and there's something missing and you

have to leave like that next day you

want to give them enough time to write

the letter and then if something needs

to be changed or added to it that they

have time to make the adjustments for it

from there once you have your letter

you've checked it over that everything's

right make a copy of it don't let that

one be the only copy you have make a

copy of it put it somewhere safe I also

recommend making an electronic file of

it so if you're going to take a picture

of it if you're going to scan it but

send it to yourself in the email have it

on your computer have it on your phone

so if something happens at your

destination you can print it off if you

lose it you've got multiple copies of it

because you don't want to have to go

back to your doctor and say hey I lost

it can you write it

I think that was it I think that was

everything we talked about what an

emotional support animal is what it does

what it doesn't do how it's different

from a service dog where they're allowed

to be that they don't have public access

rights and then kind of the process of

going about it you want to make sure

you're under the treatment of a mental

health professional that you've had that

conversation with them about the pros

and the cons that you're really honest

about it and that you give them all the

information that they need ahead of time

information about it pros and cons the

vet letter the trainer letter legal

stuff and then give them plenty of time

to write it and then also make sure you

give them a template of what the airline

requires also for no pet housing I don't

live in no pet housing so I'm not sure

what the letter is with that but I'll

link it if I can find it but I know

the airlines are pretty much all the

same and then give them plenty of time

then check it it may be a copy so you

don't lose it all right so I hope this

is helpful

I do think Zoe's mom for requesting this

video I have one more video I'm going to

film today and get that up for you guys

and then I'm just going to be scheduling

them and I should be almost caught up

with videos I got really behind when I

was when I'm sick before and I went to

clicker Expo and I'm so behind on videos

again send me a request when you guys

send me a request I try to get them up

into the schedule sooner these two

videos this ESA video in the next video

I'm going to do the puppy checklist

I got backlogged with because I kept

adding more information to it so hope

that was helpful leave any comments down

below thank you for watching I did my