When emotional support means something more

By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2018
Category: Animal Airwaves

These days, there are lots of different assistance animals, so it can be tough to keep up. A relatively recent category includes emotional support animals, or ESAs.

ESAs offer companionship and emotional support to folks with psychological problems. While many animals could arguably hold this distinction, true ESAs must be certified in a letter from a mental health professional, which confirms the disability being addressed. Then ESAs can live with their handlers and accompany them to various venues, including flights at no extra charge.

ESAs can be any species, and they don’t require training for a specific task. Thus, some folks might misunderstand — or even misrepresent — their animal’s role, inaccurately characterizing them as an ESA.

That’s when consulting a veterinarian can clear up questions and — naturally — help with animal care.