The Austin Chronicle

Best Emotional Support Animal Letter Services

, November 17, 2021, 4:00am, Sponsored

Most people have a deep bond with their pets and view them as family members. Studies show that animal companionship provides countless unique benefits, from better physical fitness to improved mental health. As a pet owner, you know how much joy and comfort your animal provides.

This unique ability that animals have to offer support and comfort with just their presence makes them an essential part of life for many people. And it also makes them more than just pets – they’re emotional support animals (ESAs). An emotional support animal can mitigate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and many other mental or emotional issues.

If you rely on your pet to help you feel safe, confident, and happy, chances are you have an ESA. And, that means you have the legal right to keep your animal in your home, even if you live in a place that prohibits pets.

While ESAs don’t have the same level of freedom as a service dog (e.g., a guide dog), they are protected under a specific law: the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Under the FHA, housing providers are prohibited from discriminating against an individual with a disability who has an ESA. As such, you may keep your ESA in your home even in a housing complex that has pet restrictions.

In order to ensure you and your ESA get the housing protections you’re entitled to, you need proof that your dog, cat, or other animal is an ESA. The right form of proof is an ESA Letter. This document is similar to a prescription – it’s an official recommendation from a medical professional for an ESA to help treat a mental illness.

There are several ways to get an ESA Letter. If you are already being treated for your mental illness, you can ask your healthcare provider to write one. However, it is often hard to get an in-person appointment with licensed mental health professionals (LMHP). An easy alternative is to use an online ESA Letter service.

Get your legitimate ESA Letter. Free pre-screening. 100% Money back guarantee.

Best Overall Service
  • Fair pricing structure
  • Exceptional customer service
Runner Up
  • Well-Established Service
  • Proven history
Third Place
ESA Doctors
  • Up-front pricing
  • Slower service

Our Top Three Emotional Support Animal Letter Services

It’s important to research each ESA Letter provider to decide which one is right for you, but here’s a list of our top three choices:

1. Editor’s Choice for Best Overall Service - Pettable: With a pre-qualification quiz, fair pricing structure, and exceptional customer service, Pettable wins our vote for the best overall online provider of federal- and state-compliant ESA Letters.
2. Well-Established Service With Reliable Reviews - CertaPet: CertaPet is a highly rated company with a proven history of great service and a clear focus on ESA and PSD Letters without unnecessary add-ons like registration.
3. Socially-Conscious Provider of ESA and PSD Letters - ESA Doctors: With up-front pricing, options for both PSD and ESA Letters, and a clear passion for people and animals, ESA Doctors is a great choice if you are willing to wait a few extra days for your letter.

Best Online ESA Letter Providers

There are a lot of companies that offer paperwork for your emotional support animal. Unfortunately, not all of these companies provide legitimate documentation, and some of them charge for unnecessary services, such as “registration.” We’ve researched the online ESA Letter providers to find the best ones. Read on to learn more about the companies we recommend.



Pettable is an excellent online provider of ESA Letters. The company was founded by individuals passionate about animals and mental health, and the company’s sole focus is providing ESA and PSD Letters. The company doesn’t sell unnecessary services like registration or certification, so we feel confident that Pettable is one of the most trustworthy services available.

The process to get an ESA Letter through Pettable is fairly simple. You start by taking a pre-evaluation quiz that covers basic mental and emotional health questions. If you meet the initial eligibility requirements, you can choose the ESA Letter package you want. Pettable provides ESA Letters for housing or travel purposes, or you can get a package deal with both letters for a discounted price.

Once you pay for your letter, you get an email with all the forms to sign. Once you’ve done that, you can schedule your telehealth evaluation. Pettable works with experienced LMHPs throughout the country. You can rest assured that if you end up not qualifying after your evaluation, you will be refunded the entire cost of your letter.

One of the things that impressed us most about Pettable is its exceptional customer service. You can contact a customer service representative through a live chat function on the website or fill out a contact form to get a response.

The company also offers phone support, which is surprisingly not an option with many other ESA Letter providers. You can contact the customer service team at any time, even after you get your letter. In fact, Pettable promises that their team will talk with your landlord directly if there are questions about the legitimacy of your letter.

This service offers an ironclad satisfaction guarantee. You get a complete refund if you pass the pre-evaluation quiz but don’t end up qualifying for an ESA Letter. However, you can also get all of your money back if you qualify for a letter but it doesn’t end up working as intended. Outstanding customer service is one of the reasons Pettable has a Verified Reviews rating of 4.8/5 stars.


• Network of expert LMHP specialists throughout the country
• Free legal support after you get your letter
• HIPAA-compliant letters that meet federal and state requirements
• Exceptional customer service and money-back guarantee


• Pre-evaluation quiz requires personal information and contact details
• Lots of marketing emails
• Must pay the full cost of the letter before completing the evaluation

Bottom Line: Pettable is our top choice for getting an ESA Letter online due to its step-by-step process, satisfaction guarantee, network of mental health professionals, and outstanding customer service.

​​Get your legitimate ESA Letter. Free pre-screening. 100% Money back guarantee.


CertaPet is another reliable online provider of ESA Letters and PSD Letters. The company has helped over 65,000 clients get ESA Letters that meet all federal and state requirements. Like Pettable, CertaPet requires every potential customer to complete a consultation with a licensed mental health professional. This thorough screening process is a great indication that the company’s letters are legitimate and reliable.

With CertaPet, you can complete the free pre-screening questionnaire to get started. If your quiz answers indicate that you may be eligible for an ESA, you can move on to the next step of scheduling a session with an LMHP.

During your evaluation, your mental health professional will diagnose your condition and determine whether an ESA could help you. If so, they’ll recommend one and write an official ESA Letter for you. With CertaPet, you can get a digital copy of your letter through the site’s secure online portal, and you can also request a hard copy to be mailed to you.

CertaPet also provides excellent customer service. You can contact a team member through the website’s chat feature or call the easy-to-find phone number. The company’s website also provides lots of helpful information about emotional support animals, relevant laws, and the mental health evaluation process.

CertaPet has a great online reputation, with a 4.6 Google rating and lots of positive reviews from customers. It’s a legitimate service that doesn’t try to sell pointless extras like registration. In fact, the site clearly states that it’s not necessary to register ESAs, which sets the company apart from some other less-trustworthy providers.


• Compliant ESA and PSD Letters written by experienced LMHPs
• Clear and simple process
• Can schedule your consultation in as little as 48 hours
• Refund available if you don’t qualify during your consultation


• The $35 consultation fee isn’t refunded if you don’t qualify
• No satisfaction guarantee or refund if your letter doesn’t work
• Website doesn’t provide many details about the evaluation process
• Additional cost for multiple ESAs

Bottom Line: If you’re willing to pay the $35 consultation fee even if you don’t end up qualifying for an ESA Letter, CertaPet is a reliable provider of legitimate letters that doesn’t try to make money selling unnecessary extras like registration services.

ESA Doctors

Another company committed to providing ESA Letters to individuals with mental and emotional disabilities, ESA Doctors is one of the few providers that lists its prices up front. You don’t need to take a pre-screening quiz or provide any personal information to see how much the services and letters cost.

With ESA Doctors, you start by filling in a questionnaire for an ESA Letter or a PSD Letter. If you meet the initial requirements, you will be contacted by an LMHP who can diagnose your condition and determine whether you qualify for an ESA.

It’s unclear from the website how detailed the telehealth consultation is. Some of the company’s language seems to indicate that the LMHP mostly uses your questionnaire answers to determine your condition and only uses the live evaluation to verify a few details. If this is the case, you may not feel like your condition was adequately evaluated or your needs understood completely.

While the ESA Doctors website does provide a lot of detailed information about ESAs and laws, some of it is misleading. For example, the site still claims that ESAs have travel protections and so an ESA Doctors Letter can let you fly with your ESA for free. This is no longer true, so including it on the site seems questionable at best.

ESA Doctors provides dedicated customer service even after you receive your letter, which can be helpful especially if you are new to having an ESA and getting FHA accommodations. However, you have to pay extra for this “priority support,” which is frustrating. Additionally, the service offers a “discounted yearly renewal rate,” but not everyone needs to renew their letter every year.


• Pricing is clearly stated on the website
• Refund available if you don’t qualify for a letter
• Donates a portion of profits to animal welfare charities


• Slow turnaround time (3-5 business days after evaluation)
• No option for a mailed hard-copy letter
• Telehealth evaluation process is unclear
• Extra fees for “priority support”

Bottom Line: With a slower turnaround time than other providers, ESA Doctors is still a good choice that offers ongoing customer service and donates a portion of its profits to animal welfare causes.


What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal is a dog, cat, or other animal that provides assistance to people with mental or emotional disabilities. An ESA can help an individual cope with mental illness symptoms by providing a comforting, calming presence.

Emotional support animals don’t need to have any special training or be able to perform specific tasks, although some of them do. However, an animal can be an ESA as long as they provide a comforting and supportive presence to help their owner reduce the symptoms of a mental or emotional disability.

If you rely on an emotional support animal to help you cope with a mental illness, it’s important to keep your ESA with you as much as possible. Fortunately, there are some legal protections in place for ESAs and their owners.

The most important law relating to emotional support animals is the Fair Housing Act. This law includes ESAs in its definition of “assistance animals.” This means that your ESA gets the same legal housing protections as an assistance animal. Essentially, assistance animals are exempt from housing-related rules and restrictions put on pets.

If you live in a housing complex that prohibits pets, you can still keep your ESA in your home (in most cases). ESAs are also exempt from breed and weight restrictions. There are only a few housing situations when a landlord or housing provider would be able to prohibit an ESA.

For example, if your ESA presents a clear health and safety threat to other residents, the landlord may be able to deny your request to keep your ESA in your home. Another potential exemption would be if your animal were to place a severe financial burden on your landlord. An example of this would be if you requested a significant change to the landscaping to accommodate a miniature horse ESA.

What Is the Purpose of an ESA Letter?

An ESA Letter is the official proof you need to ensure you and your ESA are protected under the Fair Housing Act. Although some websites state that you need to register your ESA in a database or get a certification document, neither of these steps is necessary. There is no official database of emotional support animals, nor is there a federal or state certification process. The only documentation you need is an ESA Letter.

An ESA Letter is similar to a prescription for a controlled medication. It’s an official document written and signed by a licensed healthcare provider that includes their professional recommendation for an emotional support animal to help with your diagnosed mental or emotional disability. Your ESA Letter is the proof you would provide to a landlord or housing provider to ensure protection under the Fair Housing Act. Once you have provided this document, a landlord is prohibited from requesting more details about your condition or treatment.

In some circumstances, your ESA Letter may provide additional benefits. For example, some travel providers accommodate emotional support animals by offering reduced fares or the option to ride in the cabin of an airplane. If you travel with a provider that has an ESA program, you will likely need to provide your ESA Letter to prove that your animal is more than just a pet.

Some businesses are beginning to allow emotional support animals in the workplace. If you work for an employer that allows ESAs in the office, you would probably need to give a copy of your ESA Letter to your manager and/or HR representative.

Essentially, the purpose of an ESA Letter is to provide reliable proof that your pet is an assistance animal that you rely on as part of the treatment plan for your emotional or mental disability. The letter indicates that a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) has evaluated you and diagnosed you with a specific mental or emotional disability. Additionally, the letter shows that the LMHP has recommended an ESA to help treat your mental health condition. It gives you the leverage to request an accommodation for your emotional support animal under the FHA.

How Do You Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal?

In order to qualify for an emotional support animal, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. First, you need to have a diagnosed mental or emotional disability. There are many different mental health conditions that can qualify for an ESA. Here are some examples:

• General anxiety disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Anorexia nervosa
• Bipolar disorder
• Schizophrenia
• Panic disorder

These are just some of the mental or emotional disabilities that may qualify for an emotional support animal. There are many others. To get an ESA, you need to have your condition diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider.

Federal law requires you to be evaluated in a “live” session by an LMHP in order to get an official diagnosis and a recommendation for an ESA. Fortunately, telehealth appointments count as live consultations. This means that you can meet with an LMHP over the phone or through a video call to discuss your symptoms and see whether they indicate a diagnosable mental health condition.

If you are diagnosed with a mental or emotional disability, you need to discuss your symptoms with your mental health provider. They will use this information to determine whether an emotional support animal would be beneficial. If they agree that an ESA could help you, they can write a medical recommendation for one in the form of an ESA Letter.

You can’t diagnose yourself with a mental or emotional disability or use a self-diagnosis to get accommodation for your ESA. You must have a signed diagnosis from a mental health professional who is licensed to practice in your state and who has evaluated you during a live session.

What Are the Benefits of Having an ESA?

An emotional support dog or cat can offer countless benefits if you are coping with an emotional or mental disability. Many people find that being around animals promotes feelings of calm and happiness. Having an animal in your home can also help reduce loneliness, sadness, anxiety, or fear.

An emotional support animal can provide motivation to complete activities like exercising. Some people find that having the responsibility of taking care of an emotional support animal helps them recover from depressive episodes more quickly. Knowing that you can bring your ESA with you when you go outside may help reduce the anxiety and panic symptoms of PTSD or agoraphobia.

Sometimes emotional support animals can provide assistance during certain treatment procedures, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Having an animal with you may help you improve your mindfulness or allow you to meditate successfully. If your mental health condition negatively affects your physical health, an ESA may help you feel more motivated to make healthy choices.

While emotional support animals can offer many benefits that specifically address symptoms of mental or emotional disabilities, they can also significantly improve your overall mental well-being. Countless studies show that having a pet can improve mood, mental health, and physical health as well.

Having an animal companion that loves you and relies on you can improve your daily life. You may feel safer and less anxious when your pet is with you. Going through the steps to take care of your pet, such as feeding, exercising, and grooming them, can help you get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

What Animals Can Be Emotional Support Animals?

There are no legal restrictions on what type of animal can be an ESA. While dogs and cats may be the most popular ESA choices, you may have an emotional support bird, fish, turtle, or snake. Some people have larger ESAs, such as goats or miniature horses.

The key to verifying that your animal is an ESA is having that documentation from your mental health provider. During an evaluation, you would talk with the LMHP about your symptoms and explain what sort of support you get from your pet (or whether getting an ESA might improve your daily life). The LMHP would then write a “prescription” for an ESA if they agree that having one could help you cope with your mental health condition.

Although the Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to accommodate ESAs, it does allow exceptions for especially difficult emotional support animals. So while a llama or chicken may technically be a legitimate ESA, there’s a chance that your landlord could deny these types of “exotic” ESAs by arguing that accommodating them would be too expensive or place other residents at risk.

Any type of animal can be an ESA, but you should choose your emotional support animal carefully. If you plan to live in a multi-family dwelling or in an area with minimal outdoor space, you may want to choose a “standard” emotional support animal such as a dog or cat.

Emotional Support Animal Requirements

There are not very many requirements placed on emotional support animals themselves. Most of the eligibility requirements are related to the owner and whether they have a diagnosable mental or emotional disability that would benefit from an ESA.

Any type of animal can be an emotional support animal, but cats and dogs are some of the most common. The type of support that the animal provides is what’s important. To be an emotional support animal, your pet must provide a calming and supportive presence that reduces your mental illness symptoms or helps you cope with them effectively.

For example, your dog could be an ESA if you find that your anxiety symptoms are less severe when you are with your dog. Or your cat could be an ESA if they help you cope with symptoms of depression. You might find that cuddling with a guinea pig or hamster helps you stay calm during a panic attack.

Sometimes ESAs help in more than one way. For example, you might experience fewer symptoms of depression thanks to your dog’s comforting presence. However, you may also find that the tasks of caring for your dog (e.g., feeding, walking, grooming) help you conquer the lethargy that is sometimes associated with depression.

Emotional Support Animal Laws To Consider

The main law that relates to emotional support animals is the Fair Housing Act. This is the legislation that prohibits housing providers and landlords from discriminating against a tenant based on their disability. Additionally, the FHA requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and this provision includes allowing emotional support animals.

Under the FHA, a landlord may not deny your housing application due to your disability. Additionally, the housing provider must accommodate your emotional support animal regardless of restrictions on pets. As an assistance animal, your ESA is exempt from pet restrictions, including those related to size, weight, or breed. Also, a housing provider is not allowed to charge extra fees for your emotional support animal.

Until the beginning of 2021, there was another law that impacted emotional support animals and their owners. It was the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). This law prohibits air carriers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. It also requires airlines to accommodate service animals.

Before 2021, emotional support animals were protected under the ACAA. They could fly in the cabin with their owners for free. However, the law changed in 2021 so that ESAs are no longer covered. While there are still some airlines that accommodate emotional support animals, many carriers discontinued their ESA programs when the ACAA changed.

How To Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter

Are you ready to get an official ESA Letter for your emotional support animal? You can get a letter for an animal that you already have. Or, you can get evaluated to see if you qualify for an ESA and then choose one after you get your documentation. Here are the steps to get your letter.

Step 1: Find a Provider

There are several online ESA Letter providers, but not all of them are legitimate or trustworthy. Make sure to choose a provider that requires you to have a telehealth evaluation with a mental health professional who is licensed in your state. Without this consultation, your letter doesn’t meet the legal requirements.

It’s also important to look out for some red flags. For example, some providers may say that you need to pay extra to “certify” or “register” your ESA. These services are usually just money-making schemes – there is no need to certify your ESA, and there is no official registration database.

Step 2: Start the Process

Each ESA Letter provider has a slightly different procedure, but most of them have a pre-evaluation system to give you a good idea of whether you would qualify for an ESA Letter. This initial evaluation is usually in the form of an online quiz that covers topics related to your mental and emotional health. For example, you may need to indicate how often you experience anxiety, panic attacks, or sadness.

The quiz is usually scored by an automated process, and if your results meet certain benchmarks, you continue to the next step in the process. In most cases, you can get the results of your pre-evaluation instantly after answering all the questions.

Step 3: Schedule an Official Evaluation

If you pass the initial evaluation quiz, the next step is to complete a live consultation with a licensed mental health professional. Each ESA Letter provider handles this step slightly differently, but in general, you will be connected with a mental health provider who is licensed to practice in your state.

Most ESA Letter services facilitate the live evaluation. For example, you may use the provider’s scheduling service to choose a convenient time for your evaluation. You may be able to decide between a traditional phone call and a video call.

During the evaluation, you will discuss your symptoms and mental health challenges with the LMHP. They may ask you specific questions in the process of diagnosing your condition. Based on your answers and the information you provide, the LMHP will determine whether you have a diagnosable mental or emotional disability and if so, whether an ESA could help.

If you already have a pet that provides comfort and support, you may discuss that during your evaluation to see whether your pet would qualify as an ESA. If you don’t yet have an ESA but the LMHP recommends one, they may provide some helpful tips to choose the right emotional support animal.

Step 4: Get Your Letter

If the LMHP diagnoses you with a mental or emotional disability and recommends an emotional support animal, the final step is to get your ESA Letter. The LMHP will create a letter on their official letterhead describing your condition, diagnosis, and possibly your symptoms. The letter will also include a medical recommendation for an emotional support animal. Depending on the laws of your state, the letter may state the specific type of ESA, such as a certain breed of dog.

Most ESA Letter providers offer “instant” delivery of a digital copy of your letter. For example, you can get your signed ESA letter from Pettable within 24 hours of your evaluation. You may be able to request a physical copy of the letter to be mailed to you.

Emotional Support Animals vs. Service Animals

It may seem like emotional support animals are the same as service animals, but they are not. There are certain requirements placed on service animals, but they also have more legal protections than ESAs.

A service animal has a very strict definition under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is the piece of legislation that governs accommodations for people with disabilities. According to the ADA, only a dog can be a service animal. Additionally, a service dog must be specially trained to perform a specific task related to their owner’s disability. Service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners almost everywhere, including public places, businesses, and vehicles that don’t allow pets.

One common example of a service animal is a guide dog that helps a blind person navigate. Another example is a dog that is trained to sense oncoming seizures and respond by pressing a button for help or preventing the person from harming themself. A psychiatric service dog is also considered a service animal.

On the other hand, any animal can be an ESA. Emotional support animals don’t need to perform any specific tasks, and they don’t need any training. Many people who have ESAs rely on their presence to feel safe and reduce symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental or emotional disabilities.

Emotional support animals help their owners just by being present. As such, there are legal protections for ESAs that relate to housing, but emotional support animals don’t have the freedom to accompany their owners anywhere (like service animals).

Emotional Support Animals vs. Psychiatric Service Dogs

It’s easy to confuse emotional support animals with psychiatric service dogs (PSDs), but they are different. Only dogs can be PSDs, but any animal can be an ESA. The difference between ESAs and PSDs is similar to the difference between ESAs and service animals.

According to the ADA, a psychiatric service dog counts as a service animal (like a guide dog). A PSD must be specially trained to perform at least one task related to the owner’s disability. Here are some examples of tasks that a psychiatric service dog could perform:

• Check a room for safety before a person with PTSD enters.
• Turn on the lights in a room to reduce their owner’s anxiety.
• Sense an oncoming panic attack and warn their owner with a specific signal, such as licking the back of their hand.
• Physically prevent a person from harming themself during a psychiatric episode.
• Remind an individual to take their mental health medication at specific times.
• Summon emergency services during a psychiatric event.

As you can see, a PSD provides much more specialized help than an ESA does. The ADA specifically discusses the difference between these two types of animals. To qualify as a service animal, a PSD must be trained to take a specific action in response to a psychiatric event, such as an anxiety attack. An animal that helps their own remain calm simply through their presence is an ESA, not a PSD.

The ADA protects PSDs as service animals. They can legally accompany their owners almost anywhere. However, it does not extend this protection to ESAs.

FAQs on ESA Letters

Still have some questions about ESA Letters? Here are the expert answers you need.

What is an ESA Letter?

An ESA Letter is the document you need to prove that your dog, cat, or other animal provides support for your mental or emotional disability. This letter gives you the right to keep your ESA with you in most housing situations, including those that don’t allow traditional pets. There is no law that requires you to “register” or “certify” your ESA – under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), all you need is a letter written and signed by a licensed mental health professional.

Who can write an ESA Letter?

To be official, an ESA Letter must be written and signed by a mental health professional who is licensed to practice in your state. Professionals who can write an ESA Letter include physicians, licensed therapists, psychologists, licensed counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed mental health nurse practitioners.

Can a physician write an ESA Letter?

Yes. A licensed physician can prescribe medication and can write an ESA Letter. However, most primary care physicians are general practitioners who don’t specialize in mental illness, so it may be better to be evaluated by a mental health professional.

What does an ESA Letter look like?

An ESA Letter should be written on the licensed practitioner’s official letterhead and include their license number and/or seal. It should be signed and dated, and it should be completely personalized for you. Fill-in-the-blank DIY forms do not provide the legal protection of a legitimate ESA Letter.

What does an ESA Letter need to say?

To provide protection for an ESA and their owner under the Fair Housing Act, an ESA Letter must include the person’s name and diagnosis along with a recommendation for an ESA. The document must be written and signed by a licensed mental health professional and include their licensing information and the date.

How long is an ESA Letter good for?

There is technically an “expiration date” on an ESA Letter designed for housing protections. However, many landlords prefer to see a letter that’s fairly recent – signed within the last year or so. If you are working with a travel provider that accommodates ESAs, your letter must be less than a year old.

How do you tell if an ESA Letter is legitimate?

To be legitimate, an ESA Letter (or psychiatric service dog letter) must meet these requirements:

• Include your unique details: name and mental health diagnosis
• Include a specific recommendation for an emotional support animal
• Include an LMHP’s license number and practice address
• Be signed and dated by the LMHP

Letters that do not meet these requirements are not legitimate.

How to get an ESA Letter online?

There are several online companies that provide ESA Letters to eligible individuals. To get a letter, you need to be evaluated by an LMHP and diagnosed with a mental or emotional disability. Most online services connect you with an LMHP and facilitate a telehealth evaluation. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the service will then provide you with an official ESA Letter. Depending on the service, you may be able to get a digital letter, a traditional paper copy, or both.

How many emotional support animals can you have?

You are allowed to have multiple emotional support animals. However, a landlord may be able to successfully challenge your ESA Letter if you have more than a few ESAs. For example, a housing provider may be able to prevent you from keeping ten emotional support cats in a studio apartment.

Can cats be emotional support animals?

Yes. There are no restrictions on what kind of animals can be ESAs. Any breed of cat can be an emotional support animal as long as their presence helps an individual with an emotional or mental disability.

Are emotional support animals service animals?

No. ESAs are sometimes confused with service animals, but there are key differences. A service animal by definition is a dog that has been specially trained to perform a task to assist an owner with a disability. An emotional support animal can be any animal and doesn’t require special training. The ADA only protects service dogs.

Can emotional support animals go anywhere?

No. While service dogs have entry right basically everywhere under the ADA, ESAs don’t have the same level of freedom. In general, the most important legal protection that emotional support animals have is related to housing. In most cases, housing providers can’t prevent a person from keeping their ESA in their home. However, public spaces, restaurants, shops, and other businesses may deny entry to emotional support animals.

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