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.