How to Qualify For an Emotional Support Animal in San Diego

Different types of animals can help one meet a variety of needs. The choice of the animal depends on the specific interests of the owner. While some people depend on service animals like dogs, the mentally challenged require an animal for emotional support. If you have heard about emotional support animal for the first time, then this is the best opportunity to learn more.

What are emotional support animals?
An emotional support animal is a pet that is prescribed to a person for psychological reasons. Only certified therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists or mental professionals have the authority to prescribe an emotional support animal. This animal becomes part of the treatment program and the specialists use it to ensure comfort and lower the negative symptoms arising from the patient’s emotional challenges or psychological disabilities.

The kind of animals that qualify to serve as emotional support animals
Most domesticated animals meet the qualification standards of becoming emotional support animals. These animals may include cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, snakes, mice, rats, hedgehogs, ferrets and mini pigs. The animals can fall in any age category and therefore they typically range from kittens, young puppies to old dogs and other animals. Unlike the trained service dogs, emotional support animals do not have to undergo any special training since their presence is sufficient to stimulate the desired emotions and mitigate the adverse symptoms arising from the emotional disability. However, it is important to ensure that the emotional support animal is manageable particularly in public since the patient may have to visit public places and interact with different people often.

Who qualifies to have an emotional support animal?
In order to individual to qualify for authorization of emotional support animal, a mental health specialist has to ascertain that he or she is emotionally disabled. Besides, the psychologist or the psychiatrist must offer a prescription letter in the correct format to serve as evidence that that he or she has evaluated the person is psychologically disabled. In most states, a medical doctor does not have the authority to issue a prescription letter for emotional support animal since they have not attained certification as mental health specialists. Nevertheless, some travel agencies, airlines as well as commercial and residential property managers, accept and honor a verification form prepared by a family doctor or a health specialist.

The mental health specialist should state the following in the prescription letter:

  • Ascertain that the mental specialist is in charge of treating the patient currently.
  • That the patient is under treatment program and care of the specialist due to observation of symptoms of the emotional disability as indicated in the DSM 4 and 5 which outlines the statistical or diagnostic procedures of mental disorders.
  • That the mental disability substantially affects at least one of the most important life activities and thus the need to have an emotional support animal to address the problem.
  • That the specialist has evaluated the problem and concluded that the emotional support animal is a necessary and practical treatment option to deal with the psychological condition.

Apart from all these, the emotional support animal certification prescription letter must indicate a date, the specialist’s or health facility’s letter head, the type of mental health certification, date of the licensing, authorizing body and the state in which the specialist received the license.

What do you do if you do not have access to a mental health specialist?
If you cannot access the services of your psychologist or psychiatrist in San Diego, you can still access these services from the leading emotional support animal certification services. When your mental health specialist is unavailable or unwilling to provide you with a prescription letter for personal reasons, you can still find psychological services from certified mental professionals running specialized mental service agencies.

Often, these agencies offer psychological disability assessment and provide emotional support animal prescriptions to various clients who qualify for emotional support dog. The psychological service agency is authorized by all the government bodies involved in overseeing the implementation of laws protecting the rights of the mentally disabled handlers. These authorities include the department of transport, department of housing, and the department of justice.

What legal protection duties, rights and legal protections do you have in as an emotionally disabled person?
The psychologically disabled person has a duty to seek and secure the emotional support animal letter and provide it to the relevant authorities when need arises. The legal protections allow the person to:
• Travel or fly with the emotional support animal in a cabin of a plane without having to pay the extra cost associated with pet transport charges.
• Enjoy liberty from pet housing regulations that govern the breed, size, and species of animals. Additionally, the mentally disabled does not have to pay any pet fees.

However, other private or public entities such as restaurant, taxis, trains, libraries, motels, zoos parks, beaches, theaters and public transport buses, the emotional support animal may not have more rights than those of a typical pet. Even though most of the institutions will allow you in if you have an emotional support animal letter, they are not under legal requirement to do so.

It is, therefore, evident that you can fly across the friendly skies with your animal at no extra charges if you have the basic legal requirements. The Air Carrier Access Act offers the mentally disabled persons a right to fly with the emotional support animal if he or she is able to provide the right documentations. The most crucial document is the emotional support animal letter mental health specialist. If you live in San Diego, you have no reason to worry since you can acquire emotional support animal letter form the leading animal registry company.