Updated November 2019: You are permitted to have more than one Emotional Support Animal. However, the Department of Transportation recently released new information clarifying that the airlines can limit the number of Emotional Support Animals you may fly with. If this impacts you, learn more about Flying with your ESA.
As the stresses of this world seem out-of-control, there are more and more people turning to the aid of a companion of a different kind, the emotional support animal.
Whether it be a dog or cat, or one that sports a body full of feathers or scales, the Emotional Support Animal is providing those individuals that struggle with an emotional disability the help they need in troubled times.
In this post, we will cover some important facts about the difference between an Emotional Support Animal and the Service Animal, as well as answer the question of; can I have more than one ESA?
If you are ready to qualify for an emotional support animal, complete the questionnaire in the link below and connect with a licensed mental health professional.
ESA or Service Animal?
There may be some confusion when it comes to the difference between an Emotional Support Animal and a Service Animal.
The ESA does not need to be specifically trained, whereas a Service Animal (which is usually of the canine species) requires special training.
Service Dogs provide those with physical disabilities the ability to live a normal life by guiding (as with the blind), opening doors, or pulling wheelchairs. These working dogs are also given full access rights because they are a necessary part of the individual’s way-of-life.
The Emotional Support Animal, albeit just as important, does not need to be specifically trained. For this reason, the ESA is only legally allowed into “no pets” policy rental units and into the cabin of an aircraft.
Why Do Some People Need More than One ESA?
It is acceptable under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for a person who has been diagnosed with a legitimate condition to have more than one Emotional Support Animal. Since an ESA can be of any species, a person may feel at peace when listening to the gentle chirping of a songbird, but bringing this type of feathery friend into public would not be advised. This person may then opt for another ESA in a small dog that can travel with them when out-and-about.
Second, although landlords and building owners must make “reasonable accommodation” for an Emotional Support Animal, when it comes to a number of animals, both the tenant and the landlord would have to agree to the terms (i.e., the person will have complete control over the animals, so they do not pose a threat to the other tenants or the property).
Having multiple animals may not always be beneficial or even advisable. Depending on the person’s diagnosis, having multiple animals to care for may be too much stress which can burden the individual further, causing even more emotional distress.
When Would Multiple ESA’s Be Too Many?
Having multiple animals to care for can be time-consuming. Feeding, bathing, walking, cleaning of cages, etc., are all tasks that will need to be performed on a daily basis. For some people, these extra chores can become burdensome.
Having animals also require additional finances to feed and provide them with veterinarian care. For those folks on a fixed income, this extra expense can be too much.
Lastly, if you are in a small apartment or share a space with a roommate, keeping a large number of animals may not be wise or even permitted.
Deciding what is right for you
If you have been prescribed an Emotional Support Animal by a licensed mental health professional, then be sure to choose one carefully. Having multiple animals may seem like a good idea but remember they will each need time, space, and money to keep them happy and healthy for the duration of their lifetime.
Complete the questionnaire below to qualify for an ESA:
Get the Love and Support you deserve.
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