What is Pet Therapy?
Pet Therapy has become a fast growing form of therapeutic interventions. Pet Therapy involves the use of a trained animal to provide emotional support, comfort, company, love, and much more to aid in the treatment of a client’s mental health concerns. Here at the center we are firm believers in the power of Pet Therapy, and we have on site multiple therapy dogs to provide comfort and support to our clients. Our resident therapy dog is Yogi who is a Corgi. A therapy dog is trained to not jump on people, to be playful, and to be able to be easily touched and cuddled. (insert picture of Yogi smiling)
What is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal is an animal that is trained to provide emotional support to its owner who suffers from a mental health concern. Most commonly this animal is a dog, but often a cat or other animals may be approved as an emotional support animal. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the owner of the emotional support animal can not be refused housing in non-pet friendly buildings (with some exceptions), as well as being able to fly with your animal if it is clinically indicated that it is needed for the owner to fly.
How do I get my Pet Certified as an Emotional Support Animal?
If you believe you would benefit from an emotional support animal, you will need to have a letter from your clinician certifying your need and the potential benefit of a therapy animal you would receive. We will gladly provide this letter for clients who truly would benefit from an emotional support animal. We feel it is very important to respect the institution of an emotional support animal, and will only certify the need for an emotional support animal when clinically indicated. Our policy is that we will only provide the certification for ongoing clients in order to prevent people from abusing the system.
There may be more verification needed depending on what you intend to use the emotional support animal. When it comes to flying you will need a letter from your clinician, a certification from your pet’s veterinarian certifying your pet is up to date on vaccines. It is also imperative to provide your animal with the appropriate behavioral training to be an emotional support animal. IN order to fly, it is now required that your provide certification of their training.