Emotional Support Animals
Whether it’s a passenger fearful of flying, someone coping poorly with a past traumatic situation, or a student who gets nervous before taking tests, an increasing number of people are leaning on animals to provide comfort.
So what animals should qualify as ESA’s? While generally, they are dogs or cats, ESA’s can be any domestic animal, including not only rabbits, mice, ferrets, and guinea pigs, but also snakes, ducks, and potbellied pigs. The only stipulation is that the animal can’t be a health or safety threat to other people and that the owner must be able to keep it under control in public so it doesn’t become a nuisance. The animal also can’t be illegal to own, such as an exotic or wild animal.
ESA’s do not require special training to do their job. The idea is that their mere presence helps someone with an emotional disability live independently and adapt to stressful situations.
Many people can benefit from the companionship of an emotional support animal, reducing or eliminating the need to take medication, such as for anxiety or depression. In 2013, the American Heart Association even found that pet ownership was linked to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and blood cholesterol. If you think you have a legitimate need for an ESA the team at Corewood suggests seeing a mental health professional who can evaluate you and provide you with numerous ways to cope. In the meantime, you can always schedule a visit from one of our team members and we might just bring along our therapy dog, Pickle!