Getting an ESA in Miami
Emotional support Animals offer emotional support and comfort through love and companionship to individuals dealing with different emotional and mental disorders and conditions. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals are not required to carry out special tasks that will benefit their handlers and are therefore not considered a medical aide.
They are solely meant for pleasure and emotional stability. A growing
number of mental health professionals are recommending emotional support animals to their patients as they help alleviate symptoms of different mental disabilities and conditions, like depression, anxiety, mood disorder/ bipolar disorder, phobias/ fears, and any other emotional and psychological conditions.
Just like in any other state and city, Miami also requires a person with an emotional disability to get their pet verified as an emotional support animal by a doctor or a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. This letter should state you indeed have an emotional disability and that your ESA offers you therapeutic benefits and helps you cope with the illness to an extent. You may be asked to show this letter to your landlord, airline staff or anyone else requiring confirmation.
According to the revised Florida law, any public place may ask if your ESA is necessary for your condition. For people looking for accommodation in buildings managed by the Florida Condominiums and Homeowner Associations, they might be inquired further if their disability is not apparent. If HOAs and Condo Associations have a reason to question an individual’s disability or ask for an emotional support animal, they have the right to ask for additional information before the Association can properly assess an accommodation request.
Renting A Home: Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act, individuals have the right to reside with their ESA whether the residence or building has pet-friendly policies or not. Building landlords or managers are required by law to not refuse your emotional support animal. However, you are liable to show a current letter from a health professional prescribing you to an emotional support animal.
During Air Travel: Under the Air Carrier Access Act, individuals are allowed to bring their emotional support animals on airplanes when traveling. Again, a letter of prescription will be required that is not more than a year old. Another important factor is your ESA’s behavior. All emotional support animals are required to behave well in public places to prevent the risk of chaos.
Some airlines may charge you an addition fee for your travelling pet, but most don’t. You are also required to inform the airlines 2 or more days before your scheduled flight that you are bringing an emotional support animal so you can make proper arrangements.
When planning to travel with an emotional support animal, keep in mind the following domestic airlines facilitate people who wish to take their ESAs along with them on board. However, it is important that you keep all the relevant information and it is a good idea to contact the airline and confirm in advance if they will still allow your ESA on your route. Listed below are a few American airlines that allow individuals with emotional disabilities to travel with their ESAs:
- US Airways
- American Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Virgin America
- Allegiant Airlines
Emotional Support Letter Requirements
- The certification must be on the health professional’s letterhead and issued in the past twelve months
- The prescription should highlight the need for your Emotional Support Animal, both throughout the travel and once you have reached your final destination.