A goat is chewing the grass.

Top 15 Craziest Choices for The ESA People Make

5 min read

Emotional support animals are not just pets — they do an important job and help their humans cope with a variety of mental health issues from anxiety to PTSD. But on the other hand, they are still pets and thus the most popular choice for the ESA are dogs and cats because who else would you want to live in a house with you? But it looks like not all the people can agree with this as there are many more unusual choices for the ESAs. Let’s look at the craziest of them. 


A pig is running in the grass.
Pigs are tiny cute creatures that love playing.

Some people believe pigs to be too dirty to even touch them, let alone cuddling and hugging, but in fact, they are extremely clever and kind animals. That’s why more and more people are getting pigs as their ESAs which’s causing a lot of troubles for the airlines. And while an idea of a big pig in an apartment might sound a bit extreme, mini-pigs become a popular choice as they rarely exceed a medium-sized dog in weight and height. 


When you think of an emotional support animal, you more likely imagine something soft, warm, and fluffy which is definitely not a lizard. But not everyone can agree with you. There are people who chose lizards as their ESAs and there was even a story of a teenage girl who had no less than a bearded dragon to help her anxiety. 


Well, now it’s finally something fluffy but still kind of surprising. Kangaroos are definitely not the most popular choice among emotional support animals and that’s probably for good, otherwise, we’d have people trying to visit public places with their huge jumping friends. In 2015, one woman was already denied access to her local McDonald's as she tried to enter it with her ESA kangaroo. 


A woman is holding a snake in her hands.
You can hold a snake in your hand, lay with it in bed, or even play with it.

Got some rest, and now we’re back to the slithery stuff. While some people are having nightmares about seeing or touching snakes, the other keeps them as emotional support animals and see nothing weird in cuddling with their lovely knot. Some owners even tried to bring snakes aboard during their flights which resulted in several companies issuing official prohibitions.


The sounds of a cat purring or a dog quietly snorting can be so calming and relaxing but what if your emotional support animal is a loud turkey? We’d tell their voices are far from being pleasant if we didn’t know that there are people who actually own turkeys as their ESAs. 


A peacock is walking in the yard.
A peacock is so bright and colorful that it can make the owner smile.

Peacocks are beautiful and it’s easy to believe that watching their bright tails can be somehow tranquilizing and hypnotizing. But they are also birds, and not the most trainable ones, to tell the truth. That’s why those having peacocks as ESAs would be more likely to decline entry to public places and planes as it happened with a woman who tried to bring her ESA peacock on board of United Airlines flight in 2018.


Marmosets are small and cute monkeys — what would go wrong if you get one as an ESA? Well, monkeys are known to be very active and playful which is not always suitable for the occasion, especially if you need an emotional support animal to ease your anxiety during flights. Thus, an ESA marmoset on a plane heading to Las Vegas in 2016 caused so much trouble that the owner was greeted by a police detail. 


A chicken might not sound like the craziest idea for an emotional support animal (at least when compared with a kangaroo) but it’s only until you learn that there are people who keep 20 of them at a time. It’s no wonder that it leads to a lot of problems with neighbors. 


Geese don’t really differ from chickens in terms of having them as pets besides the fact that they are even louder. Nevertheless, geese are still kept as emotional support animals and, unlike peacocks, are sometimes even welcome aboard. 


A goat is chewing some grass.
It's good to walk with the goat in the backyard.

Goats can help you keep your loan trimmed but it looks like they can also help you deal with mental disorders. At least it’s what people who own goats as emotional support animals claim. Not everyone is a fan of this idea so both Alaska Airlines and American have already banned ESA goats from their flights. 


Squirrels don’t only add to the fauna of your local park but also can provide emotional support, even though some people don’t believe it to be a reasonable thought (like some Florida landlords who tried to ban an owner of an ESA squirrel from their housing). 

Mini Horse

Even though it may sound a little weird, mini horses are often kept both like emotional support and service animals. They are gentle, friendly, and even allowed to planes.


We can bet that “emotional support tarantula” sounds like a perfect example of an oxymoron for most of the people. But not for those who actually keep those huge hairy spiders as their ESA pets. 


A goldfish is not something you can pet or hug and it is not something that will at least somehow respond to your friendly signs. But it doesn’t prevent people from keeping goldfishes as the ESAs. Maybe the very process of watching a fish swimming is calming enough or maybe it’s all about the meditative qualities of an hour-long cleaning of the aquarium.


A donkey is standing on the grass.
Donkeys are cute and adorable animals.

We’ll end this list with a weird but great emotional support animal — a donkey. Not only it’s kept by individuals in need of emotional support, but there is also a whole center in Belfast, Ireland that uses donkeys in their special kind of “donkey-assisted therapy”. 

It looks like no animal is too weird to be an ESA — as long as you love it and as long as it makes you feel safe and loved. 

by GetESA

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