Dogtor is an organization that offers legal assistance and support for animal approval service in the US. Their operational manager George Lewis recently interacted with journalists and shared more details about emotional support pets that health professionals recommend.
On being asked about the photograph featuring lady with her pet turkey on Delta airlines flight that made it in headlines during January this year, Lewis pointed out that people usually carry their pet cat or dog as emotional support animal. Turkey and other pets are rarely carried. He suggests that airlines created fuss about such passengers because they actually do not support points from Air Carrier Access Act that allows people to carry their emotional support pet in the flight with them.
Documentation plans an important role
Dogtor’s expert also pointed out that individual can keep his/her emotional support pet in their house under the Fair Housing Act even if their residential society does not allow residents to keep pets.
People suffering from panic attacks, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, anxiety or suicidal thoughts can immensely benefit from emotional support dog. If someone wants to go for emotional support pet, the first step that he needs to take is request their mental health professional to give them a letter about how this pet can benefit their health. The letter should also mention the medical condition that the person is suffering from.
“Such animals do help people suffering from depression and anxiety to relax. Owners of such pets report reduction in symptoms of anxiety, stress, and other mental issues.”-said Lewis while sharing some case studies and emotional support dog information with journalists.
People trying to misuse laws
It is very unfortunate that some people give incorrect information about their mental health to healthcare experts in order to get emotional support pet related letters. So, the emotional support concept is getting a bad rep.
“Patricia Marx, New Yorker’s contributor has proved in October 2014 that such laws can be easily misused. She got letters from healthcare professionals to keep some unconventional pets as her emotional support animals”- says Dogtor’s expert.
Some people also try to enter areas that do not allow emotional support pets. When it comes to service dogs, these pets can help visually impaired, handicapped, or people with other disabilities in their day-to-day life. So, they are allowed to go almost everywhere, including public places. But, emotional support animals are just covered under Air Carrier Access Act and Fair Housing Act. In spite of this, people try to enter hotels, shopping centers, trains and other places.