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Before getting an emotional support animal, you’ll need an emotional support animal letter. There are some common issues people run into when they’re getting these letters. We also found things you should look out for. Here’s everything we found that you need to know about your letter!
What is the emotional support animal letter?
The emotional support animal letter is, essentially, your prescription for an emotional support animal. It’s your mental health professional’s way of officially declaring you need an emotional support animal.
The letter needs to have specific information about your emotional support animal. Your mental health provider may choose to include restrictions for when you need the animal. They can make certain recommendations on when it’s imperative for you to have the animal. One example of a suggestion could be that you do not have to have the animal with you all the time, but that you should have it when you travel. Letters may be different depending on what your mental health professional recommends.
Here’s why you need a letter.
Having your animal with you in day to day situations like spending time in your house, running errands or even going to the park shouldn’t be a problem. You might run into problems, though, if you take your animal where animals are typically not allowed. If you plan to take your emotional support animal into restaurants, during air travel or even into stores, you might need an emotional support animal letter. This letter is proof that the animal is performing a function and isn’t just a pet!
The letter you get from your mental health professional should state what kind of animal you have for emotional support and should include information that can easily identify you and the animal. Your letter will be the only proof you really have if you’re questioned about the animal.
Use these tips to get a real emotional support animal letter.
Unfortunately, there are many sources online that offer fake emotional support animal letter options for anyone who wants them. They might be written by real mental health professionals sometimes, but are more often just written by people on the internet who want to sell something. The letter may seem legitimate, but they are sometimes not real.
The only way you are guaranteed to get a real emotional support animal letter is getting one from your own mental health professional.
Sometimes, people might not be able to obtain these letters from their mental health professional. The professional might be unable to write the letter. They could not know enough about ESAs or they don’t understand your needs. You might also not be able to get a letter if you don’t have a mental health professional.
In this case, people look for a letter online. There are many fake letters online. Two of the things you should look out for is a “free” letter or a “DIY” letter. These letters are not legitimate and do not allow you to have a true mental health professional.
If you’re getting a letter from a mental health professional who works through an emotional support animal agency, you can almost be sure your letter is legitimate. They might also be able to provide you with a template you can use for your own mental health professional to fill out!
What to look for: real vs. fake.
A fake letter might have a mental health professional who isn’t in the same state as you.
A real letter will come from a place that has mental health professionals in a variety of states and can provide you with an emotional support animal letter from your own state.
A fake letter will not include any medical letterhead.
A real letter will be written on medical letterhead. The letterhead should match the information for the mental health professional who is writing the letter.
A fake letter will come from a company that does not allow you to see a blank copy of the letter.
A real letter will come from a company that provides a blank copy so you can see what the letter looks like before you get it.
A fake letter will come from a company that has a payment page that’s not secure.
A real letter will come from a company that has a secure payment page to protect your financial and personal information.
Make sure your letter contains these things!
There are things that a mental health professional might want to include when writing an emotional support animal letter for you. These can include things that identify when you should use the animal and other information. One thing the letter must have for you to register the animal as an ESA is a date of issuance and an expiration date. Different states may have different requirements for how long your letter can be good for.
Another thing that your emotional support animal letter needs to have is the type of animal. Your letter should also list your animal’s name. The letter should clearly identify your animal. It should let anyone who reads it know what kind of animal you have. If something happens to your animal, you’ll need an updated letter. It will have to include any new information for an emotional support animal.