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Topic: 10 Misconceptions About ESAs

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10 Misconceptions About ESAs

10 Misconceptions About ESAs


Ever since emotional support animals have started to gain some attention, the misconceptions concerning them have come to the surface. People are accepting the ESA therapy as a means to cope with mental and emotional health issues and have let go of the stereotypes that made them neglect their psychological well being. In this article, I will help you clear all your misconceptions relating to ESAs so you can effectively benefit from this therapy.

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Read through the list below and see if you have any of these misconceptions as well or not.  

Misconception # 1: ESAs can accompany you to hotels and restaurants

Many ESA owners believe that they can openly travel with their pets to private properties like restaurants, hotels, and superstores but that is not the reality. It is one the sole discretion of a private property owner to decide if he or she wants to permit pets on the premises or not. Even if you have the ESA Letter , your pet can still be denied access to hotels and restaurants. So no, your pet cannot accompany you to such public places.

Only ADA accredited service dogs are allowed to accompany the pet owners, because they are sufficiently trained to behave in such places. Since those service dogs are a necessity for the owner so they can join them wherever they go without any restriction.

Misconception # 2 ESAs are service dogs

This one is among the most common misconceptions among people and is absolutely not true. Federal, as well as state level laws, do not recognize emotional support animals as service dogs because they are not trained to provide any service rather they provide comfort and support to their owners without any special training. Thus, they cannot be regarded as service or therapy animals.

Misconception # 3: ESA laws are similar for each state

This thinking is only partially true because there are a few federal-level laws that govern certain elements of ESAs such as the Fair Housing Act and the American Disability Act. Apart from these two laws, there are tons of state-level laws that are specific for each state and given the housing and traveling of pets in those states. So, the common belief that all states treat ESAs similarly is not true.

Misconception # 4: Any mental health professional can provide the ESA referral letter

This misconception has caused people to waste a lot of time and money on fake referral letters because they did not know that not every mental health expert is authorized to issue the letter. Only a licensed mental health professional holds the authority to issue an realesaletter . If anyone else is claiming to provide you the letter then it is certainly a scam, and you need to stay far away from such ESA agencies.

Misconception # 5: Landlords can charge accommodation fees for ESAs

Both federal and state-level laws mandate landlords and other housing facility owners to accommodate emotional support animals free of charge. With the letter, you can house your pet even in a condo or any housing facility where pets are generally not allowed. However, there are certain conditions under which a landowner can deny the accommodation of an EAS pet. Those conditions include an undue financial burden on the household as a result of the pet or the risk of causing harm to neighboring people.

If your landlord asks for an additional fee for the accommodation of an ESA pet, you can report it to the regulatory bodies overseeing ESAs in your state.

Misconception # 6: ESA registration and certification are legitimate

Another common scamming practice that has emerged is claiming to provide ESA registration or certification instead of the letter. However, no federal or state level law recognizes them as a license to keep ESA pets. The only legal document is an real esa letter which is issued by a certified professional. No other document can replace it.

Misconception # 7: Everyone can get an ESA

This is another one of the common misconceptions. Not everyone can keep an ESA because there is an eligibility criterion that an individual must meet before he or she is authorized to acquire these pets. One of the primary criterion elements is a psychological disorder or emotional condition that necessitates ESA therapy.

Misconception 8: Any type of animal can be registered as an ESA

Many people believe that since ESA pets are meant for emotional support and comfort, any kind of animal that can perform the role automatically qualifies as an ESA. However, this is not the case. There are a few types of animals that cannot qualify as an ESA. Those include mega-sized animals like horses and cows. Besides, violent or venomous animals also cannot qualify as ESAs such as a lion, tiger, or poisonous snakes.

Misconception # 9: You can online acquire the letter through physical interaction with the counselor

You do not have to always visit your counselor or therapist physically to get the letter because these services are now easily available. However, when receiving the service from an online ESA agency, be wary of scammers.

Misconception # 10: ESAs should always wear vests to show their status.

No, you do not have to always keep your pet in a vest to prove its status as an ESA. The only evidence that you need is the letter.

I hope you find this guide helpful, and it removes all your misconceptions concerning ESAs.

More Resources :

How to train your ESA: tips and guidelines

Top 5 Best pet transporters for your ESA

Rundown of laziest canine varieties to stay away

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