Emotional Support Animal Regulations

Pets may be man’s “best friend” but now people are turning to pets for therapy and support. Most know that service animals have been supporting humans for years; however, recently, airlines and other businesses have been regulating what animals qualify for special privileges.

The main difference between emotional support animals and “service animals” is that service animals are trained to perform human-like task that a certain individual cannot perform, whereas emotional support animals are strictly for emotional support therapy.

Emotional support animals aren’t usually allowed to go and enter anywhere alongside their assigned individuals. Service animals are allowed to go anywhere alongside their individuals by law.

Emotional support animals on the other hand, are not considered as important as a service animals and do not have the same rights. Some humans have abused the emotional support recommendations and used the term “emotional support” to justify taking random animals with them through their daily activities. United Airlines promptly changed its service animal policy after refusing an emotional support peacock and another man made it onto the no fly list after sneaking his emotional support monkey onto a Frontier flight according to Travel Noire.

Since regulation and paperwork for service animals has not been closely regulated, taking your pets to the grocery store, Target or even work has never been easier. All you need to do is buy an emotional support animal vest off Amazon, claim your pet as support companion and boom, you are free to take them wherever you go. Legislators are trying to close the loophole with a national registry of service animals, but consequences for breaking the laws with unauthorized pets looks to be minimal. Most new legislation looks to educate pet owners about appropriate training and situational awareness rather than penalizing fake service animals with steep fines.

Even though emotional support animals do not receive any specialized trading and don’t actually even need any, they do require a therapist letter in order for them to be valid therapy dogs.

Raelene Corbin claimed, “I have never had a service or emotional support animal, but I have heard about them. I think they’re kind of cool since they help people, but I would never want to need one. I have never seen or met someone who had either.