Emotional Support Animal

drew54

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I'm a behavior specialist and I work in the mental health field. Any animal can qualify as an emotional support animal because they don't require any special training. Those internet sites that want you to pay for a letter are mostly scams and you can't use them. What you need to do is talk to a therapist or s psychiatrist and see if they will write a letter for you and they can also give you more direction on how you can use it. In order for you to qualify though, your animal will have to prove it can help with anxiety and that is determined by the therapist or psychiatrist. I hope that helps.
 

KarenSoCal

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No apology necessary. This is your opinion and feelings based on your life experiences. Thank you for sharing.

Now this is the point of human behavior that fascinates me: Now what do we do? You don't want dogs in restaurants and supermarkets. You have your reasons. I do want to take my dog out to eat and to the supermarket, and I have my reasons. At what point does one human's wishes win out over the others? We can't both have our way, so who wins? What does the loser do and how do they feel? If you force your will on me through legislation passed by elected leaders, I will feel trod upon, resentful and angry. Likely, you'll feel the same if the elected leaders go my way. We can both try to articulate our arguments and convince people to see it our way, but someone is not going to get their way and they are not going to be happy.

I don't have the answers. Its the discussion and people's varying views on matters like this that fascinate me. How on earth have we survived as a species for so long this way? One could study this conundrum for a lifetime and only scratch the surface.

How on earth have we survived as a species for so long this way?

Interesting escalation here, Tom.

Sometimes diplomacy works, sometimes a fistfight works, and sometimes it takes a war to settle these disputes. But as you said, no matter what "solution" is employed, the end result always includes an aggrieved party.

I'd like to say that respect, common sense, and love for our fellow man is the answer, but I fear I am way off in idealistic lala land with that.

You are so correct! How HAVE we survived this long?
 
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I just ignore it, if it's not affecting me. As most people do.
I brought up the dog in the restaurant because the wineing and yipping caught my attention that was when I noticed she was feeding it at the table. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have even noticed it.

Animals have been allowed on planes as long as I can remember. From the horror stories I've heard about what can happen when they are below I'd rather then be with passengers. I've never flown and listen to an unruly animal. Now, unruly kids, people, yes. When you have a problem animal, it's usually the owner. I remember when I did obedience school with my golden. The instructor said, the animals are easy to teach, the owners are the problem. I agree.

Now you do get some that get on a bandwagon, protest and make an issue. If my issue was deaper, like fear or allergic reaction maybe I'd join that wagon. Just like cigerates. You couldn't eat without someone smoking near. Now it's odd to smell smoke. I find it funny sometimes what some do and what sets them off.
My client with the 23 year old, she gets on the wagon, but she does it because of her daughter's health. Her service dog's fur is hyper allergenic, but others are not. So they have to keep a supply of epipens.
Although I do agree, California is about overboard with some rules, laws, regulations. I'm greatful on the non-smoking laws. A few years after it went into affect I was in Arkansas eating with my mother in some restaurants. I smelled smoke which took me by surprise, my mother said, your not in California, lol
Smoking/non-smoking same room different tables all breathing same air, lol Now, I know the smokers feel angry that their freedom was taken. So yes, no matter the outcome someone is affected.

I will say, the discussion here has been good. No-one mean or nasty. Opinions are good, sometimes because we are reading words, things can be taken wrong, then clarification is given. We can all agree to disagree, and I do appreciate other points of view.
 

Minority2

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I just ignore it, if it's not affecting me. As most people do.
I brought up the dog in the restaurant because the wineing and yipping caught my attention that was when I noticed she was feeding it at the table. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have even noticed it.

Animals have been allowed on planes as long as I can remember. From the horror stories I've heard about what can happen when they are below I'd rather then be with passengers. I've never flown and listen to an unruly animal. Now, unruly kids, people, yes. When you have a problem animal, it's usually the owner. I remember when I did obedience school with my golden. The instructor said, the animals are easy to teach, the owners are the problem. I agree.

Now you do get some that get on a bandwagon, protest and make an issue. If my issue was deaper, like fear or allergic reaction maybe I'd join that wagon. Just like cigerates. You couldn't eat without someone smoking near. Now it's odd to smell smoke. I find it funny sometimes what some do and what sets them off.
My client with the 23 year old, she gets on the wagon, but she does it because of her daughter's health. Her service dog's fur is hyper allergenic, but others are not. So they have to keep a supply of epipens.
Although I do agree, California is about overboard with some rules, laws, regulations. I'm greatful on the non-smoking laws. A few years after it went into affect I was in Arkansas eating with my mother in some restaurants. I smelled smoke which took me by surprise, my mother said, your not in California, lol
Smoking/non-smoking same room different tables all breathing same air, lol Now, I know the smokers feel angry that their freedom was taken. So yes, no matter the outcome someone is affected.

I will say, the discussion here has been good. No-one mean or nasty. Opinions are good, sometimes because we are reading words, things can be taken wrong, then clarification is given. We can all agree to disagree, and I do appreciate other points of view.

The problem with some of these legislative policies is that the legislators often do not do their research. Many of them have no idea what they're talking about or claim to know. Either they're riding the bandwagon of the often ignorant, social media or they're being bribed to push some law that only benefits their corporate masters.

California is a very good example of this. I'm not going to go further because I don't wanna incite any political talks. I will say that a pygmy hedgehog would be just dandy to own in California... if only they allowed us to do so.
 
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Off topic, it seems there's a lot of activity here so I apologize up front for not starting a new post for my question. I'm new and I'm only 5 days into having a tortious. Today didn't get hot, maybe 70°? I was surprised to see Harley out but he was. I put some food out but he never made his way back to his home for the food.
1. Should I be bringing his food to where he's at or him to where I'm feeding him or just let him figure it out?
2. Ants! I thought I had the solution I bought a large saucer that goes under a pot, filled it with water and a smaller one that I could flip so I could place a round piece of slate on top so Harley can eat with out issues because of that ledge (sorry, don't know technical name) under his chin. Well just went out to check on him and the dish is full of ants! I had even sprinkled DE around. Help? How do you fight ants eating your torts food?
3. Am I being over protective? It's still early but getting cooler. 5:30 an 66° I just picked Harley up, placed him closer to his house, then he walked in. Should I just let him figure it out or do you all make sure your torts are snug in bed each evening?

Help, I feel like a new parent with a baby, lol
 

south12_9

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Off topic, it seems there's a lot of activity here so I apologize up front for not starting a new post for my question. I'm new and I'm only 5 days into having a tortious. Today didn't get hot, maybe 70°? I was surprised to see Harley out but he was. I put some food out but he never made his way back to his home for the food.
1. Should I be bringing his food to where he's at or him to where I'm feeding him or just let him figure it out?
2. Ants! I thought I had the solution I bought a large saucer that goes under a pot, filled it with water and a smaller one that I could flip so I could place a round piece of slate on top so Harley can eat with out issues because of that ledge (sorry, don't know technical name) under his chin. Well just went out to check on him and the dish is full of ants! I had even sprinkled DE around. Help? How do you fight ants eating your torts food?
3. Am I being over protective? It's still early but getting cooler. 5:30 an 66° I just picked Harley up, placed him closer to his house, then he walked in. Should I just let him figure it out or do you all make sure your torts are snug in bed each evening?

Help, I feel like a new parent with a baby, lol
No don't apology I did this post 4 fun and No one is arguing.. I like everyone's input
 
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C81668A2-E3E5-49BC-983B-B52E7C8C273B.jpeg CABE1B83-0A00-4B49-A42C-C0B7999B004A.jpeg
The problem with some of these legislative policies is that the legislators often do not do their research. Many of them have no idea what they're talking about or claim to know. Either they're riding the bandwagon of the often ignorant, social media or they're being bribed to push some law that only benefits their corporate masters.

California is a very good example of this. I'm not going to go further because I don't wanna incite any political talks. I will say that a pygmy hedgehog would be just dandy to own in California... if only they allowed us to do so.
Hedge hog, ferret, axoloti so many illigal animals and unsure why we are the only state almost only state that you can't have them in?

Story, skip if you don't want to read my ramblings, lol
I've already stated I owned 2 Ferrets, now gone to Ferret heaven. Illigal in California, so I was careful. Glad pet stores had food, now you've got the internet, even easier. Anyway, I use to live in Orange County @ 60 miles away. This story is a part of the reason I now live here, not the whole reason. I lived next to a Mrs. Kravitz's and across the street from the mayor of my city. One day I was having a discussion with my then boyfriend and we realized my girls were not playing around my feet and noticed the back door was not closed all the way. My gut said they got out so I ran out front. I took my noise making food can that usually had them running to me and began shaking frantically. Along pulls up animal control, I knew someone had them. Unfortunately, Jeff, I mean Mrs. Kravitz's did and he was smiling at me as he passed a trash can to the officer. I begged for my girls explaining how harmless they are. His response was, they are illigal and they will be down at animal control. I was in tears, I called my parents and the next day we went to the city pound. Luckily the person I spoke with was nice and careing. The law was against me but if I wanted to hire a currier to transport them to Arizona where someone could take control there then they would allow that. So that was exactly what I did. It cost me almost $1000.00 between currier, up to date shots and paperwork, but I took custody and put them in my parents care until I felt they were safe. I was already in the process of moving because of these men, this just hurried that process. They were friends with my ex-hubby and were finding any way they could to make life hard. Those are stories in themself. Moving to Murrieta was a blessing, being away from those men, was a blessing. I got 7 more stress free years with my girls.

It's a rule rebellion thing but now my son is raising 2 axolotls, they are interesting. Not warm and fuzzy like my ferrets, but he likes them, lol
 

SweetGreekTorts

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This has been a great conversation. Very thought provoking. I've enjoyed reading each person's POV and sharing mine. Like so many issues in our country right now, so many people have a different take on things.

My opinion on this matter can only be seen as skewed due to my career and the experiences it has brought. I traveled here to Atlanta with my two malinois sitting in first class seats. Here is a whole new category to introduce into this discussion: "Celebrity Dogs". We traveled with the Target dog in first class for years with Delta. Someone must have complained to the FAA, so the FAA called Delta and said it wasn't allowed despite Deltas insistence that they wished to continue to allow it. The FAA lawyers, Delta Airlines lawyers, Target lawyers and my boss had to draft up guidelines and regulations for flying celebrity dogs around the country. FAA approved the new regs and we went back to business. This was years ago, but there are now guidelines for people in my business to fly with animals in the cabin on commercial flights. My buddy flew to NYC with a monkey last month. The response from most people is overwhelmingly positive. Lots of smiles and picture taking. But every once in a while I see a scowl.

I'm just trying to go about my business, but those scowls always stick with me. Makes me wonder... My philosophy is live and let live. I don't care what other people do as long as they are not hurting anyone. Animals are such a part of life every where on this planet, that I just can't conceive how anyone would try to legally dictate that I can't take them wherever I want to. Within reason, of course. My dogs are at home when groceries come home and when meals are prepared, as they are in most of the homes across the country, so why can't they be at the store too? Everyone has their hang ups, but our hang ups shouldn't dictate the lives of others, should they? More than anyone, I realize some people don't like dogs. So what. Stay away from them then. There are lots of things I don't like, but I don't get to go around telling everyone else what they can and can't do all the time. I resent it when people try to tell me what to do because of their own preferences, biases or politics. I believe in freedom for all, and that all should be responsible, courteous and careful with that freedom. My dogs bother no one in public. They don't bark unless I tell them to. They don't make a mess. They potty in appropriate areas and I clean up after them. Heck, I clean up after OTHER people's dogs so I don't get blamed for it. I thoroughly enjoy having my dogs with me everywhere I go. Its my job to do so. I buy vehicles for this purpose and outfit them appropriately. I see nothing wrong with it.

To the point of safety at home, I'd have to argue otherwise. Most pet accidents and injuries happen at home. Of course things can happen when outside the home too, but ask any vet where bad things happen to pets, and the answers will be all over the board. The happiest, most content and well-adjusted animals are working animals that go everywhere. Service dogs, police dogs, movie dogs. A life of traveling and working with your pack and pack leader is superior to a life spent at home in the back yard in every way. This does depend on each dog's individual temperament and personality, and I'll grant that there are exceptions, but my dogs love traveling with me, working for me, and being with me. Its apparent to everyone who sees them. Its my job to keep them safe and be responsible with them. So far so good with that.
You reminded me of an experience I once had on Delta Air Lines...

I used to breed and show Scottish Fold cats. I was friends with other ladies who also bred various types of cats, one of which was the sphinx (completely bald/hairless). Wherever we flew for cat shows, we would have our cats in carriers and take them in the cabin with us.

Well, the sphinx breeder friend had a kitten one time that she made wear a cloth diaper during travel. It weaseled it's way out of the carrier, wandered under the seats about 7 rows up, then jumped up on someone's lap.

A small, naked cat...in a diaper.

The horrific scream startled it, and it took the whole plane about 20 minutes to catch the poor thing!

...memories. ROFL!!!
 

south12_9

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I'm a behavior specialist and I work in the mental health field. Any animal can qualify as an emotional support animal because they don't require any special training. Those internet sites that want you to pay for a letter are mostly scams and you can't use them. What you need to do is talk to a therapist or s psychiatrist and see if they will write a letter for you and they can also give you more direction on how you can use it. In order for you to qualify though, your animal will have to prove it can help with anxiety and that is determined by the therapist or psychiatrist. I hope that helps.
Hello drew54... Well I just got a letter for my RES Big Sexy to be my ESA form my Family Physician... I suffer from Depression & Anxiety... I'm a single 40 yearold with custody of two little girls 11 & 14... Hella Yes I'm depressed cuz no matter what I do it doesn't seem like it's good enough for a 13 and 11 year old girls... I thar Anxiety because they are growing up to be young adults... ( I know as a dad I can't keep him in a little bubble forever )... so as alternative medicine my doctor prescribed me a ESA my Red red-eared slider as a beneficial sure to my depression and anxiety.... ( Out RES Big Sexy you can say that I am his favorite person in the household... Me and Tom are the only two men in the house of two female dogs two little girls and a grandmother... so you could say the estrogen outweighs the testosterone over her....lol... My question to you is since you're in the healthcare field now what since I have the doctor's authorization..... with the same doctor's note how do I go about making my red eared slider big sexy my emotional support animal....

Thank you ahead of time for taking time I'm reading this and to respond thank you sincerely Edward F Tomaszewski
 

drew54

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Hello drew54... Well I just got a letter for my RES Big Sexy to be my ESA form my Family Physician... I suffer from Depression & Anxiety... I'm a single 40 yearold with custody of two little girls 11 & 14... Hella Yes I'm depressed cuz no matter what I do it doesn't seem like it's good enough for a 13 and 11 year old girls... I thar Anxiety because they are growing up to be young adults... ( I know as a dad I can't keep him in a little bubble forever )... so as alternative medicine my doctor prescribed me a ESA my Red red-eared slider as a beneficial sure to my depression and anxiety.... ( Out RES Big Sexy you can say that I am his favorite person in the household... Me and Tom are the only two men in the house of two female dogs two little girls and a grandmother... so you could say the estrogen outweighs the testosterone over her....lol... My question to you is since you're in the healthcare field now what since I have the doctor's authorization..... with the same doctor's note how do I go about making my red eared slider big sexy my emotional support animal....

Thank you ahead of time for taking time I'm reading this and to respond thank you sincerely Edward F Tomaszewski
So, here is the information you requested. It can be found in avma.org

Assistance Animal “Any animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability,” as defined by the ADA.4 “Individuals with a disability may be entitled to keep an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation in housing facilities that otherwise impose restrictions or prohibitions on animals. In order to qualify for such an accommodation, the assistance animal must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the housing service or program. Further, there must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides. If these requirements are met, a housing facility, program or service must permit the assistance animal as an accommodation, unless it can demonstrate that allowing the assistance animal would impose an undue financial or administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of the housing program or services.” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (FHEO-2013-01)
Service Animal “Any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.” Miniature horses have been added as a specific provision to the ADA. The miniature horse must be housebroken, under the handler’s control, can be accommodated for by the facility, and will not compromise safety regulations. Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (Section 35.136)
Any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a qualified person with a disability; or any animal shown by documentation to be necessary for the emotional well-being of a passenger… Psychiatric service animals are recognized as service animals, but are considered to be emotional support animals and, therefore, subject to the applicable regulatory requirements, i.e. documentation. Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and CFR Part 382
Emotional Support Animal An emotional support animal (ESA) may be an animal of any species, the use of which is supported by a qualified physician, psychiatrist or other mental health professional based upon a disability-related need. An ESA does not have to be trained to perform any particular task. ESAs do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but they may be permitted as reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act. The Air Carrier Access Act provides specific allowances for ESAs traveling on airlines, though documentation may need to be provided. Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. Part 3604) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and C.F.R. Part 382.117
Therapy Animal A therapy animal is a type of animal-assisted intervention in which there is a “goal directed intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. Animal-assisted therapy is provided in a variety of settings, and may be group or individual in nature.” Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and CFR Part 382; AVMA Animal-Assisted Interventions: Definitions


Essentially, just carry your ESA letter for documentation for housing and flights. Hope this helps.
 

drew54

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Oh! Important note: Your turtle iss just and ESA! It's not a service animal which is totally different. Your ESA does not get the same rights as a trained service animal, so don't get that confused. If a place refuses to let you bring your pet in that's their right and you must follow the laws and the store/restaurant policies.
 

scorey

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not sure about tortoise or turtles but know snakes can be
I actually, when I have not been around any for a while, seem to get what I call turtle and tortoise withdrawal. I then have the need to go to a zoo or a pet shop to actually see some. That only happens when I,m travelling away from home, because my Turtlearium is full of my turtles and tortoises. Definitely they qualify as emotional support animals!!
 

queen koopa

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I agree with Bee62. But as we know and must remember a tortoise is NOT a social animal, feels less stress when he/she is in their own habitat, and are sensitive to cliamte and temperature change. I feel one would cause “emotional” (or their equivalent) damage to the tortoise if they were to attempt to travel with it during normal everyday “human” errands or plane trips.
 

Yvonne G

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I agree with Bee62. But as we know and must remember a tortoise is NOT a social animal, feels less stress when he/she is in their own habitat, and are sensitive to cliamte and temperature change. I feel one would cause “emotional” (or their equivalent) damage to the tortoise if they were to attempt to travel with it during normal everyday “human” errands or plane trips.
I totally agree with this. People who want to designate their tortoise as their emotional support animal are being selfish and not taking the tortoise's well being into the equation at all.
 

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I totally agree with this. People who want to designate their tortoise as their emotional support animal are being selfish and not taking the tortoise's well being into the equation at all.
I agree in general too, but I remember Jacqui recounting how she travels all over the country with tortoises in her husband's truck and they animals were fine. I have no personal experience to draw from with tortoises, but might some of them desensitize and be okay with it? I'm reminded of Jenna's SA leopard that eats while suspended in air. Then as an experiment they tried it while driving in a car and the tortoises was munching down the food while suspended in air in a moving car. Both suspension and cars are thought of as stressful for tortoises, but this one was totally fine and not bothered by either at all.

I'm also reminded of how Maggie carries her babies around with her and they end up getting used to the handling and tend to become very outgoing pets.

Its not my cup of tea, but I'm not ready to condemn the practice wholesale and consider it selfish in every case. Just my thoughts on this matter...

I do think a snake would be better suited to this than a tortoise, based on my experience with both, but I think it could work with tortoises.
 

Maro2Bear

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There’s a new story out this week on a squirrel ESA...causing flight delay.

“Emotional support" squirrel and its owner ousted from Frontier Airlines flight

A woman told Frontier Airlines she was bringing an emotional support animal along when booking a flight from Orlando, Florida, to Cleveland. But the airline says she neglected to mention a key detail: Her animal companion was a squirrel.

Cats and dogs are allowed in the cabins of Frontier flights, but squirrels and other rodents are not. The carrier said police were called when the unidentified woman boarded with a squirrel and refused to leave the plane after airline employees explained the policy to her Tuesday night.

Flight 1612 from Orlando to Cleveland was delayed nearly two hours as law enforcement arrived on the scene, asking other passengers to exit the plane as they contended with the squirrel owner, according to local media outlets. The woman and her furry friend were eventually escorted off the flight.

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/emotional-support-squirrel-owner-ousted-from-frontier-airlines-flight/
 

drew54

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On a behavioral view I can say that any animal can adapt, be tamed, etc. I can say that a tortoise can be trained to sit, lay, stay, etc. I can say that a caiman can be taught the same things and be an ESA. However, as a behaviorist I can say that just because the animal can be tamed, trained, etc. We still have to take a lot of things in consideration. One, I personally don't think traveling with any animal is a bad thing as we all know every species I this earth adapts and as long as it's cared for. But I would say that I wouldn't try to take my ESA to any public places other than outside for saftey reasons. Not saying hey don't take your animal on a flight, but I would say it should be separated from everyone else and put with other animals unless it's in an animal crate appropriate for the animal. If I'm on a flight and my animal is an ESA and not a service animal then I would take into consideration the species and others on the flight. I wouldn't have my tortoise or squirrel just freely out. That's one careless two it's a risk with any animal. Also, I would not take my ESA into a grocery store or a restraunt. It's unsanitary and a risk. ESA are only for support and they should be treated as such. Mainly they are only used for housing and flights and that's if they are approved. They don't have to be approved even with a letter. They don't have the same rights as a service animal. Service dogs are specially trained animals ranging from 25k-$100k and to qualify to get one is a rigorous process. ESAs are misused and misunderstood by the general public. Again, don't mistake them for service animals and use common sense when taking them places in public.
 

drew54

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ESA are wonderful for anxiety, but it's important to consider what you wnt to be an ESA, practicality, care of the animal, well-being of the animal (is this environment going to stress my little dude out, stress others out, safe for my little dude and others, sanitary, etc.), overall common sense. It does you no good if your animal is stressed out and/or stressing others out. Take all this into consideration when deciding on an ESA also the laws. I'm beating a dead horse but it's important if you want an effective and positive experiences for you, your little dude, and others.
 

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