Is someone you know suffering from mental illness, loneliness, or depression? Or it’s your ultimate problem? No worries, we’ve got a perfect way out for you -speak to a mental health professional about getting your emotional support animal.

Are Emotional Support Animals Only for Older People?

The benefits of pet ownership in maintaining or slightly enhancing ADL levels of older people are undeniable. But, you might get surprised to learn that even students find their college life easier if they have an emotional support animal. Naturally, emotional support animals can help you significantly reduce stress, loneliness, depression, as well as anxiety.

Needless to add, there is a constantly- growing trend of people applying for emotional support animal (ESA) letters nowadays. And there are numerous reasons for that. Apart from actually bringing huge benefits to a particular person’s well-being, an emotional support animal brings a number of advantages to its owners. Do you know that you can easily take your registered emotional support animal on board of the aircraft absolutely free of charge? This fact alone is a powerful stimulant to get your pet friend registered at once. Let’s check out the main reasons people want to register their pets as emotional support animals.

Why would you want to register your pet?

  • To have a stress-free journey for both of you: your pet and you. As it was already mentioned, your animal can travel in an aircraft with you, not in the cargo section. 
  • To save on buying special tickets to transfer your pet. If you have an ESA letter, you don’t need to pay for the pet you travel with.
  • If you reside in a home that has a ‘no pets’ or ‘no animals’ policy, your landlord is required to exempt you from this policy. In other words, you can easily stay with your emotional support animal during your travels.

How to get an ESA letter

Today, this process is convenient, fast, and rather easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Speak to your local mental health professional and ask for the prescription.
  2. Find the legal establishment that can issue an ESA letter.
  3. Take the pre-screening test online.
  4. Wait till it gets approved and make a payment.

Get the ESA letter.  By default, regardless of the service you choose, your emotional support letter will be delivered within 2-to-5-period-of-time. Not to mention that you get the electronic copy immediately. That’s it! Easy, huh?

The ESA letter and the State of Hawaii

There are always those crazy pet-related events going on in Hawaii. People here adore animals. So, if you live here or when you are just planning to visit the state, you can easily take your pet with you. 

The state of Hawaii dictates that any person suffering from a mental illness (from post-traumatic stress disorder to anxiety), has the right to request an emotional support animal from their licensed mental health professional.

Are you now wondering what emotional support animal could be? Good news, today, it’s possible to register not only dogs or cats as Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Animals, but also other animals, such as birds, horses, pigs, and even ferrets. Moreover, even if you have a miniature horse, it’s possible to register it as a service animal. Still, it should be added that when it comes to emotional support animals, dogs and cats are most common. 

Before you get your ESA letter, you have to know your rights and obligations as an emotional support pet owner. Here are some useful facts you should keep in mind if you do want to get your animal registered: 

Before check-in:

  • You need to have the proper documentation issued by a licensed mental health professional that meets the requirements described in the 14 CFR (Section 382) Department of Transportation’s regulation.
  • When traveling with a support animal, online, mobile, and kiosk check-in are unavailable.
  • When traveling abroad, don’t forget that not all countries accept animals. Thus, ensure to check out all the required documents and requirements necessary for traveling with animals to your destination country.
  • If you are taking your animal with you, at least 48 hours advance notice to a prospective airline is required.
  • It’s imperative to sign an animal behavior and liability waiver when you check-in.
  • Bear in mind that if you take your pet with you, apart from the ESA letter, any support animal requires an animal health certificate and any documents required by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
  • If your flight duration is more than 8 hours, the airline has the right to request documentation indicating that the assistance animal will not relieve itself.

During your flight:

  • It’s evident that your emotional support animal is expected to behave appropriately and not cause a disruption, otherwise, your animal can be taken away. 

Others:

  • Your emotional support animal letter expires in a year after the date of the issue. Then, you can renew it, usually with a discount.
  • By default, you cannot take your ESA anywhere the public has access. To avoid any misunderstanding, it’s best to pick a pet-friendly establishment.
  • Property managers can ask for a note from your doctor to waive pet rent or pet deposits. 
  •  Your ESA will not be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As you can see, it’s rather easy and convenient to register your pet as an emotional support animal if you tend to move or travel a lot with it. But don’t get too excited right away. There are still some restrictions you should know. Let’s name the most important ones.

Why your emotional support animal can be denied in the state of Hawaii:

  1. Your animal is a threat to others.
  2. Your animal is causing destruction to the property.
  3. You have a solid balance of unpaid rent.
  4. You have failed to provide the needed documentation.

Moreover, if you happen to knowingly misrepresent your emotional support animal, you can be punished for less than 6 months imprisonment or a fine between $250 to $1000 if it’s your first offence; and up to $2000 if it’s your second offence and thereon after correspondingly.

The Bottom Line

Your emotional well-being does matter and luckily, you can now get assistance when needed. Emotional support animals in Hawaii are protected under the federal fair housing act and the Air Carrier Access Act. But bear in mind that your ESA will not be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Anyway, if you register your pet as an emotional support animal, you can enjoy a bunch of benefits, not to mention the sharing of those special moments together. So, don’t wait any longer, register your pet as the Emotional Support Animal and enjoy peace of mind along with multiple benefits that come along.