Emotional Support Animals | Pennsylvania Assessments

girl holding dog finding comfort

Depression….Anxiety…..Phobias……they all have one thing in common. They hurt. And it makes it hard to function. Emotional Support Animals help to take the pain and fear away by providing companionship and support for any one who needs it. If you or some one you love suffers from a mental or emotional disability, an emotional support animal may be the piece that completes your puzzle. An Emotional Support Animal (ESA), also called, a Comfort Animal or an Assistance Animal is a therapeutic companion whose purpose is to calm the ailments of various mental illnesses. Makin Wellness counselors are here to answer any questions you have and will provide you with your formal Pennsylvania ESA letter within 24 hours after assessment. It’s that simple!

Emotional Support Animal qualifying conditions include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse (alcohol and/or drugs)
  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Autism
  • Learning disorders.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder also known as ADD
  • Sexual disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Gender identity
  • Cognitive disorders

Commonly asked questions about ESAs:

What are the benefits of an emotional support animal?

  • Your ESA will support you.
  • They are an animal of your choice.
  • They will love you unconditionally.
  •  Proven to help calm those with anxiety and phobias (among many other debilitating conditions)

 An ESA letter will allow your animal to be considered a “reasonable accommodation” in living situations where they would otherwise not be allowed. Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), people can travel with ESA’s without any extra charge and are not required to place the animal in the cargo hold. It will also give your comfort companion the right to wear a support vest.

What kind of animals can be emotional support animals?

Most support animals are dogs or cats. However, other animals are accepted. Exotic animals can sometimes pose potential dangers. So like you, your ESA will undergo an individualized assessment to assure they pose no health or safety threats to others. Don’t count them out though! In York Haven, PA an alligator by the name of Wally is registered right now.

Are Emotional Support Animals the same as Service Animals?

No. Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.

  • ESAs do not require individual training
  • Emotional Support Animals are here to provide you with a sense of safety and companionship.
  • Public establishments are not required by law to allow ESAs as they are not considered “Service Animals”
emotional support cat and dog

VS

  •  A service animal is any dog individually trained and certified to perform beneficial tasks for an individual person with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities.

What does my Pennsylvania ESA letter need to include?

A Makin Wellness counselor will work with you and your ESA to acquire the proper documentaion under Federal and Pennsylvania law. Your letter is a prescripton from your mental health professional stating recommending the need for your comfort animal. This letter will include:

  • Your diagnosed mental health condition or mental health-related disability
  • Statement explaining that the emotional support animal accompanying you is necessary for your mental health and/or treatment
  • The breed of your ESA animal
  • The issuer of the letter is a licensed mental health professional, and you are under their treatment or care for a mental health disability
  • The issuer’s license number, type of license, the license issue date, and the state or jurisdiction where it was issued

Should my ESA wear a vest?

It is not required by law for your Emotional Support Animal to wear a vest, but it will cause less issues for you if your friend is recognized as a support animal. Just remember, public establishments are not required by law to allow emotional support animals within their establishment.

Makin Wellness Pennsylvania ESA Assessments

If you or a loved one would like to complete the ESA assessment, please call a Makin Wellness counselor today at (412)- 532-1249. Our team will walk you through the process and before you know it, you and your Emotional Support Animal will have the freedoms to live life in a way that is conducive to your healing and long term mental well being. Healing happens here… for you and your furry friends!

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