There is a lot of confusion about what an emotional support animal is and how your pet can become an ESA. Well, an ESA is any animal that provides emotional and mental assistance to people suffering from a mental condition such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. They have been scientifically proven to help people alleviate their symptoms.
The love and care they provide are quite different from what we are accustomed to. After a hard day at work, when you come back home and see, there is someone so excited to see you. There is no way it doesn’t make you smile. That is the power of unconditional love, which we have somehow forgotten. But animals, they show pure emotions. If you have a pet, you’ll understand it more than anyone else.
So, let’s see how you can make your pet an emotional support animal.
Qualifying For an ESA Letter in Texas
To make your pet an emotional support animal, all you need is an ESA letter. There are certain conditions to qualify for an emotional support animal letter. Firstly, you must have an emotional disability mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If you do, then approach a mental health professional or physician to get an ESA letter. The ESA letter must:
- Be written on the letterhead of the health professional.
- Mention the license number of the doctor.
- State that the patient requires an animal for emotional assistance.
- Mention details about the doctor like address and phone number.
- Mention the date of issue of the letter.
How to Get an ESA Letter in Texas?
There are a couple of ways you can get an ESA letter in Texas. You can either approach a licensed mental health professional or get it online. Telemedicine or the online process is a little easier and more convenient than physically visiting the clinic. Choose whichever suits you the best. Generally, the telemedicine process involves three simple steps:
- Fill a simple online application.
- The doctor will contact you via video call. He will do your evaluation.
- After his approval, you will receive the emotional support animal letter through email within minutes.
Emotional Support Animal Laws in Texas
In Texas, emotional support animals are protected by two laws, the Fair Housing and the Air Carrier Access Act. Although ESAs are not protected under the Americans With Disability Act in Texas. Let’s understand the laws in more detail.
The Fair Housing Act allows you to live with your emotional support animal in Texas. If you are living in a no-pet policy rental, you don’t have to worry about paying any additional charges to let your ESA live with you. According to the housing laws in Texas, your landlord cannot deny you to live with your emotional support animal. This is also true for the University of Texas. They are allowed in the University house but not in the lecture halls or campus buildings.
The Air Carrier Access Act covers the travel laws for emotional support animals in Texas. It allows you to travel with your emotional support animal in-cabin without paying any extra charges. But there are certain laws that you need to adhere to in order to face no hassle. So, it is only wise to check the ESA laws of the airlines you are traveling on. Also, you must make sure that your ESA is at its best behavior when on the flight or at the airport.
By law, employers need not accommodate for emotional support animals, but it is not against the law to have emotional support animals at the workplace. If you have an emotional support animal letter, you can request your employer to let you accompany your ESA. They might make an exception. Recently, there has been a rise in employers letting emotional support animals accompany their owners to the workplace. All the best then.
Emotional support animals are an effective way to manage your condition. Today, there are more than 40 million Americans who are affected by mental health issues. It is time we push up our buttons and look at the solutions. Having an emotional support animal can be your answer. Their unconditional love and care can melt even the toughest of hearts. Toodles y’all.