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I have virtually no experience personally with this (outside of considering the same thing for Tucker until he started barking at everyone) but I have met one person with a sort of in between Service and ESA. His doctor prescribed him to get a dog due to "job interview anxiety" and he just went to a local rescue, picked out the only dog not barking, and totes that little thing around with him everywhere using it as I guess an ESA. Now, I don't know how official that is but I feel like you'd have a much easier time getting your dog allowed places if your doctor recommends or prescribes it. Basically kind of confirming what other people on the thread have said.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
thanks again for all the support everybody. I am planning to call tomorrow about enrolling in the CGC prep course which starts on the 10th, and my meeting w/ my psychiatrist is on Thursday, I will let you all know how it goes. I'm crossing my fingers super hard. I am planning to take her to the park for an hour beforehand to tire her out so she will be on her best behaviour, though she always listens very well, she just gets very focused on her environment when she's indoors in new places, not when we are walking around, like in pet stores etc she is 100% attentive to me, it's just when we sit down somewhere she starts looking around and wants to explore, though like I said she still listens very well to everything I tell her right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Okay, this is more of a vent than anything.
I talked to my psychiatrist and while he agreed she is extremely well behaved and well trained, he doesn't see why I need to take her w/ me places. Just like he doesn't see why I need real anxiety medication. Gosh I am just about fed up w/ him and am have been seriously considering finding a new psychiatrist if it wasn't such a hassle. My anxiety is absolutely crippling me right now, it's so out of control and I don't think he realizes this nor does he realize one of the best remedies(aside from real anxiolytics) for it was sitting right in front of him licking my face. I tried to explain but I don't think he understands. He was more interested in giving me a hard time about my eating and some of the medications another doctor has me on that I desperately need and he thinks I've been on too long.
He did say that before the next time I fly or if I moved into an apartment he would definitely write me a letter certifying Nika as my ESA, but he didn't really see the need before then. He said we could talk about it more in a month. I'm planning on bringing Nika back next month in order to help further sway him, he kind of implied I could bring her to all my appointments if I wanted, at least I think he did, so that's good at least. I know in his mind I only need the ESA certification for flying and apartment buildings but there are quite a few businesses that allow ESAs to my knowledge, plus I know this sounds really shady, but I feel like if I just brought her in w/ a vest they wouldn't ask if she was a service dog or an ESA and would just let her in. Obviously if they asked I would tell them she was just an ESA, or if we started service dog training I would tell them she was a service dog in training, but if they didn't ask I would not advertise the fact that she was not a full-fledged service dog. I don't know.
I'm disappointed.
 

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I'm sorry :( anxiety can be so frustrating, especially if your helpers dont seem to be on your side.

I don't know much about the law, but do you really need anything to "prove" your dog is a service dog? I thought my father (he works for our county) told me once that all you had to say was that your dog was a service dog, and as long as your dog wasn't making a scene, they couldn't ask any further questions. But maybe that's just in my area.
 

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I, too, am looking into acquiring a dog to help me. For me, though, I would require an actual (P)SD to help with both my mental/psychological and physical problems. Your thread isn't the place for me to get specific, so I'll leave it at that.

ESAs are completely legitimate and there is a need for them. You shouldn't make your dog anything for the sole reason of never being denied housing or airplane accommodation (public access does not apply to ESAs as they are still considered pets by law and not medical equipment like SDs). You should have an ESA because it, first and foremost, helps your emotional/mental/psychological pains.

There is no certification or registration for Emotional Support Animals or Service Dogs. They're all scams. Most "registration" websites for Service Dogs allow you to certify anything as a "SD", whether it's a dog, cat, monkey, or umbrella. They exist solely to steal money from people and make it easier for pet owners to fake having a Service Animal.

If you feel like your psychiatrist is not taking you and your problems seriously, definitely start looking for someone to switch to. Psychiatrists are supposed to help people, not make them feel like they aren't being listened to.

Absolutely do not go out and buy equipment so people assume she is something required by law to be there... that is the kind of thing that is making it difficult for real disabled persons and legitimate service animals. Find a different psychiatrist who will help you. Hopefully they can make the proper call whether or not your issues warrant an animal to help you. Depending on how your problems affect you, an ESA or SD could be "prescribed" (for lack of a better word). It's difficult, but not impossible, to self-train a Service Animal (though some states do not recognize handler/owner-trained animals as legal service dogs). They have to be evaluated to see if they are a good candidate.

Good luck! I know I'll need it myself... having to wait until I can afford to move to an animal-friendly accommodation.
 

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To me you sound like a fine candidate for an Emotional Support Animal and this means you'd have the right to have your dog in any living conditions you found yourself.

However, that doesn't mean you should be planning on taking the dog into areas where dogs are not normally allowed, which is going to be most businesses.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks everybody. It looks like I will be moving into an apartment in a couple months (major drama w/ my roommates, they are drug users and have been manipulating me and have stolen my medication) and so I may be able to get my psychiatrist to certify her for that, especially since the apartment I'm looking at has a 40lb weight limit on dogs and my dog is 53lbs.
@Larkspur, I really want her certified as an ESA because she helps me so very much and I feel like this will validate what she does for me, of course the protections that come along w/ her being an ESA are good too.
@PoppyKenna, they are allowed to ask "is this dog a service dog?" and "what tasks is it trained to perform?" that is it. no other inquiries on service dogs are allowed.
 

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@supaflyskye

Not really on topic: I hear you on housing. My housemates all smoke marijuana and I'm like the only person here who has never touched any drugs other than prescription (legally, of course). I constantly have them shoving junk in my face trying to force me to do this stuff... I can't wait to get out of here. I also cannot get a service dog here because the ADA has an exception for single family homes where you rent a unit (don't want to make waves).

Back on topic: Again, certification and registration doesn't exist for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals. All you need is a note from your psychiatrist saying that your dog benefits you as an Emotional Support Animal. I would also highly suggest keeping both that note and a printout of the ADA on you at all times. I do not actually think the ADA regulation on questions people can ask applies to ESAs, because they're not Service Dogs and they are not trained to perform tasks. Regardless of whether someone has an ESA or a SD, I would keep those papers on me so I can whip them out when the going gets tough.

The only rights you have with an ESA are the rights for housing and airborne travel. Areas where normal pets are not allowed, ESAs are not allowed. When in doubt, just ask a manager. If they do not allow pets or ESAs, don't push the issue. I hope I wouldn't need to say it, either, but you really never know with people anymore... I wouldn't say she's a Service Dog just so she could go places with you. Even though Emotional Support Animals do not perform tasks, I would still get her well-trained and pass the Canine Good Citizen test.

If you are caught deciding between ESA or PSD, I suggest making a chart like I have. I listed all of the psychological problems I have as well as my neurological disorder, how they affect my daily life, and to what extent. Since Service Dogs require task training, I have a separate section detailing what tasks a dog can perform to mitigate my problems (ex: bracing or counterbalancing when I'm in a dissociative seizure, interrupting and redirecting my self-destructive OCD tick). Only your psychiatrist can make the call whether or not your problems are bad enough to warrant you being legally disabled and being a candidate for an actual Service Dog.
 

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Hello :) I know quite a bit about service animals and ESAs. I have a service dog, and an ESA kitty.

First there is no certification. All you need is to be legally disabled and have a letter from your doctor.

While anxiety and your other issues can be considered disabling for some people, they are not always so. So you should discuss with your doctor if they are disabling to you.



Well housing can deny in a few exceptions:
1.Buildings with four or fewer units where the landlord lives in one of the units.
2.Private owners who do not own more than three single family houses, do not use real estate brokers or agents, and do not use discriminatory advertisements.
3. Hotels and Motels are considered public access instead of dwellings. They are covered under the ADA & not the FHA, so service dogs are allowed but ESAs are not.

There can also be species and breed restrictions. Reasonable Accommodation, means just that. If an animal can not be reasonably kept because of its species or causes undue burden they can deny it.
This also goes for dog breed restrictions as it relates to insurance. For example if your service dog or ESA is a breed that is often denied and the insurance company would raise or deny coverage, then they may deny you. This is something to consider when choosing your breed if you rent.

As for being in public.... it is a heated subject in the service animal community. ESAs are only allowed in public places where pets are allowed. In public they are treated the same as any other dog. Some businesses may allow pets, but there are also some that have health codes that mean they can not enter.

If you need your dog in public with you, I suggest looking into service dogs instead of ESAs.

I actually just recently wrote a blog post on ESAs, the end related to rats but it is all the same info. And has some links to more info as well
Once Upon a Mischief Rattery: Emotional Support Animals

My ESA has saved my life. Technically, now he is just a pet as I have no plans to fly with him & own my own home so being an ESA is kindof moot lol. But my pets are lifesavers. I am bipolar, extreme anxiety and agoraphobia.

If u have any specific questions, I'd be happy to help!
I adopted a dog recently that is mixed with a restricted breed. I didnt know it at the time. She is my ESA and I am afraid if being evicted over her but dont want to be without her. The whole ordeal has made my anxiety much worse and my body is doing things it normally doesnt.
 

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This is an ancient thread, so I'm going to close it.

@Impetuous me , perhaps you should speak to your medical professional? And describe your dog to anyone who asks as a boxer mix?
 
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