People who adore animals will tell you how much joy they bring in our lives. No other being cannot replicate the love and care an animal provides. It is probably for these reasons that animals are proven to help people suffering from mental health conditions.
More than 40 million Americans have a mental condition. Maybe it is because of our work culture or lifestyle, but the alarming number definitely calls for some changes in our life. Having an animal to emotionally and mentally assist you can be very beneficial. You’ve come back home after a hard day at work, and you see a tail wagging in excitement from seeing you. Wouldn’t that bring a smile on your face?
An emotional support animal is an animal that provides a person with emotional and mental support. That not just helps manage their condition but also keeps the person happy and positive. Having an ESA in life will teach you a lot of things. It is an experience you would behold for a lifetime.
If you live in the Sunshine state and looking to make your pet an emotional support animal, then you must know the rules and regulations regarding ESAs in Florida.
Qualifying For an ESA letter in Florida
To make your pet an emotional support animal, all you need is an ESA letter. There are certain requirements that you must meet to get the letter.
- The letter must be written by a licensed mental health professional.
- The mental health professional needs to diagnose a mental condition.
- The disability must be mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
- The condition also must limit the person’s ability to at least one significant life activity.
- It should be written on the health professional’s letterhead.
- It must contain the details about the mental health professional.
Who Can Write an ESA Letter in Florida?
A licensed medical professional must write the emotional support animal letter. That includes a therapist, physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other licensed mental health professional. Also, make sure that the license number of the doctor is mentioned in the emotional support animal letter.
Know Your Rights
An emotional support animal letter comes with certain privileges. Let’s have a look at Florida’s emotional support animal laws.
Air Careers Access Act:
If you have an emotional support animal letter dated less than 12 months, you can fly with your ESA in-cabin without paying any extra charges. Make sure you inform the airlines at least 48 hours before the time of your departure so they can make the required accommodations for your emotional support animal.
Fair Housing Act:
With an ESA letter, you can live with your emotional support animal without any hassles. The Fair Housing Act allows you to live in a no-pet policy rental without paying any additional charges. Moreover, your landlord cannot deny you the apartment because of your emotional support animal.
Living With an Emotional Support Animal in Florida
Got your pet an ESA letter in Florida? Now you can manage your mental health condition effectively. You do get several privileges making your pet an emotional support animal, but there are certain constraints that you must know. Most people often confuse ESAs with service animals. But that is not the case. Emotional support animals and service animals serve different purposes. So, where service animals are allowed, that doesn’t mean emotional support animals are also allowed. It is beneficial if you ask if they are allowed before taking your emotional support animal.
Also, you must make sure that your emotional support animal is well behaved and doesn’t cause discomfort to people around it. Yes, an emotional support animal doesn’t require any training but giving them basic training will help you in controlling them.
Emotional support animals can help manage your mental disability. They can melt even the toughest person’s heart. Have you ever had a terrible day and had your dog come over on your lap to make it all good again. That is just his way of showing empathy. That is what an emotional support animal does.