CertaPet Supports Move to Further Define the Role of Emotional Support Animals

HOUSTON, TX, August 17, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Today, CertaPet.com, a tele-mental health support service for those in need of Emotional Support Animals, provided its support for the recent policy change at Southwest Airlines.

Southwest, in response to a growing number of difficulties involving individuals having exotic pets as ESAs, has put into place a new policy limiting approved ESA species strictly to cats and dogs on flights.

As a service connecting individuals suffering from a qualifying mental or emotional disability to licensed and credentialed mental healthcare professionals, Certapet strongly endorsed the changes put into effect at Southwest.

Haley Neidich, LCSW, Certapet’s Director of Clinical Development states, “We are excited to see more airlines putting these restrictions in place that ultimately help to protect the Emotional Support Animal designation.”

“Our current policy is to only consider cats and dogs for Emotional Support Animals, and that policy will continue. While we understand that meaningful bonds can form between any animal and their caregiver, peacocks, snakes and rodents and other animals that may not be safe for air travel should not be considered Emotional Support Animals.”

Beginning on September 17, 2018, Southwest Airlines will use the following guidelines in approving an ESA, along with all previous guidelines:
– The ESA must be either a dog or a cat.
– Each Customer may bring only one ESA on the flight.

The ESA must be in a carrier that can be stowed under the seat in front of the Customer or on a leash at all times while in the airport and onboard the aircraft.

“Our company strives to support airline’s efforts to further legitimize ESAs and we hope that other airlines will follow Southwest’s lead,” Haley stated.

With the primary goal of helping those in need of an Emotional Support Animal, Certapet strongly believes that having an ESA is beneficial, valuable, and can foster an overall positive change in a person’s mental health. From depression to PTSD to anxiety and more, Emotional Support Animals assist their owners in managing their mental or emotional condition and can potentially reduce the symptoms these individuals experience. CertaPet connects individuals who have a disabling condition or mental health diagnosis with a Licensed Mental Health Professional who provides an evaluation and treatment for the individual through a secure online platform.


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