Do you or someone you love have a psychiatric condition that would benefit from an emotional support animal? The human-animal bond is extremely important to most individuals. Pet ownership is associated with health benefits, including improvements in mental, social, and physiological health status. (The Human-Companion Animal Bond: How Humans Benefit. Friedmann, E.; Son, H. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice. 2009 Mar; 39(2): 293-326). For individuals with conditions such as Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, an emotional support animal can be the difference between withdrawing from the world and being able to participate in the activities they love. An Emotional Support Animal can improve a patient’s therapeutic response in treatment, assist in treating the disorder and symptoms that they are experiencing, as the patient forms a bond with the animal in order to reduce the severity of symptoms. An Emotional Support animal can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), an individual who meets the proper criteria for an Emotional Support Animal is entitled for the animal to assist them with their life. Many individuals and families live in buildings that do not allow pets. The FHAA protects individuals by allowing their emotional support animal to live with them. The ACAA protects an individual by allowing the emotional support animal to fly with them in the cabin of an airplane. This is especially important for those individuals with large dogs. The dog would be allowed to fly in the cabin, instead of a cargo-hold and there would not be any additional fees associated with the flight. Importantly, emotional support animals do not have to be professionally-trained. You may already own an emotional support animal!

In order to qualify for an Emotional Support Animal status, the individual must be under the care of a licensed mental health professional. The letter cannot come from a family doctor. This involves therapeutic treatment for your condition and then a letter can be supplied by your provider designating your animal as an Emotional Support Animal. The letter will allow your pet to live with you as well as travel with you. An Emotional Support Animal letter does not guarantee the right for you to bring your ESA into specific establishments. Entrance into businesses is up to the owner of the establishment. A Psychiatric Service Animal is a specially trained animal that is allowed those rights though. With your Emotional Support Animal Letter from Dr. Angela Reiter & Associates in Eastchester, NY you can benefit from improved mental health by being allowed to live with and fly with your Emotional Support Animal. Importantly, with an Emotional Support Animal letter, a landlord cannot: Ask a tenant to pay a pet deposit in exchange for having an emotional support animal, Require that an emotional support animal have specific training, Require the emotional support animal to wear any special identification, Inquire about your private health information or request any medical records regarding your treatment, Refuse to accommodate you and your animal because their insurance policy won’t allow a certain species, breed, or weight. However, it is important to keep in mind that the tenant may be charged for any damages caused by their Emotional Support Animal and can be evicted if they do not properly manage their animal.

In order to receive an Emotional Support Animal letter, the process at Dr. Angela Reiter & Associates could not be any easier, especially if you have a history of psychological treatment or are currently on psychiatric medications. We start with an intake where we review all of your current symptoms as well as background history in order to confirm an existing diagnosis or provide a new diagnosis. Then we can continue with therapeutic services as needed as well as provide you with your Emotional Support Animal Letter within just a few days. If you are in need of an Emotional Support Animal letter, please contact us today!