What is an Emotional Support Animal?

It’s an animal that has been registered as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) by a licensed therapist, psychologist, doctor, psychiatrist or any other licensed mental health professional. They provide comfort and minimise negative symptoms to a person with an emotional or psychological condition.

Unlike working Service Dogs ESA’s do not need any specific training as they don’t perform specific tasks or provide their owners with any service other than soothing their symptoms. The only requirement is that the animal is in full control in public and does not create a nuisance in or around the domestic environment.

All domesticated animals may qualify to become Emotional Support Animals however this depends on who you register your animal with. Currently the Emotional Support Companion Registry UK only allows Cats and Dogs to be registered online but encourages people wanting to register other types of animals to get in touch.

What rights do they have?

Currently Emotional Support Animals do not have the same legal rights as Service Animals in the UK. Registering your Animal may help you take your Emotional Support Animal shopping, travelling and living with you. However you can be refused as access to any business is legally their decision due to Health laws and regulations. In other words It’s best to check ahead of time.

The Emotional Support Companion Registry UK has an app which allows you to easily look up ESA & Dog Friendly businesses within the UK and EU. These businesses also have discounts available for ESA Registry members and their ESA companions.

How to register

To Register an Emotional Support Animal you must:
 1. Get a Medical Health Professional’s Prescription Letter
 2. Complete the registration form and payment

 

Once completed, ESAUK will issue an ESA identification card, an ESA Certificate, an ESA Certification Letter, entry into their Worldwide ESA database and online validation search feature, membership access to business access and discounts.

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