In many instances, emotional support pets help their owner to level out their moods. They give their owner a strong sense of purpose, and provide comfort and companionship - very much like a friend, loved one or brother or sister might. Emotional support animals (ESA) can help with emotional issues or problems. ESA’s can’t completely cure emotional stresses and issues, but they can be part of a successful treatment plan for living a happier and more stress-free life.
Pets can improve your daily living, and your overall sense of well being. They may help you to get through your days and nights as comfortably as possible. Your pet friend can help you to calm yourself, to bring joy and laughter into your life when you’re struggling with tough times, to help with loneliness or isolation, and to help bring your stress level down.
An ESA is a person’s pet that has been prescribed for them by a licensed mental health professional, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist (usually, your medical doctor does not qualify because they are not a trained mental health provider). The animal is seen as part of the treatment program for this person and brings comfort and support to them. The animals help to calm and minimize the difficult situations in a perons' life.
If you have any condition that makes it difficult to perform, or limits an important life activity, you may be qualified.
The life activity might only be a problem during certain times of the day or month, and may have various levels of severity.
What kinds of conditions or issues would qualify you for a letter for an emotional support animal?
Click here for some examples.
According to Florida law, "a person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and must perform 30 hours of community service for an organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than 6 months." - 2016 Florida Statutes, 413.08 (9).