So, first off, sorry for that this is a long post but there’s a ton of info here. Anyway, by now, some of you may have noticed my posts regarding my prescription for an ESA. I’ve had some people come forward and ask me to explain what an ESA is. Although I do on the page the link in my posts take you to, I felt it might do some good to have a separate post about it.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, an ESA is an Emotional Support Animal, also commonly known as a companion animal. A lightbulb just went off for some of you and you’re thinking, “Oh! So it’s a pet.”
ESAs are not pets. Again, they are not pets. They have a legal standing that is federally and state recognized.
ESAs are legally defined as, “an animal that helps provide needed companionship and emotional support to patients with mental health issues.” Under the laws pertaining to them here in the US, it is outlined that Emotional Support Animals are indeed not pets, but rather mitigators of various factors that inhibit a patient and make their lives harder by helping to alleviate the health issues facing them. They are therefore deemed necessary for a patient’s treatment, no differently than medications, a walker, or an oxygen tank. What those various factors might be is, of course, dependent upon a patient’s situation.
In my case, it’s that my anxiety and depression are getting worse, which causes a lack of sleep, all of which cause seizures. Then I have a seizure (or many), and there’s stress added to the situation which just makes the vicious cycle even more cruel because I start getting anxious about having one, which makes me stress more, which then impacts my depression, and then bada-bing, bada-boom, I’ve had another grand mal! Adding to this even more is that when I’m at home, I’m isolated because I can’t drive and all my friends from classes live at least an hour away. Since my neurologist won’t let me work, that just escalates this whole deal.
So, back to my psychologist. They prescribed me an ESA back on June 30th, as some of you may remember because I was nervous that whole week and then elated that day. But that very same day some things took a MASSIVE dive for the worse that day and they’ve only just this week begun to pick up. Everything isn’t coming up daisies, but things aren’t looking quite as bleak. Forgive me, but as those events involve others, I don’t feel I’m at liberty to discuss them publicly.
Despite seeing the sun again, my psychologist still feels I need to get an ESA. Some of you might be thinking I’d get a dog due to their being covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Unfortunately, I’m allergic. It’s crazy because the allergy–like my epilepsy–developed as an adult. But, due to this, I’ll be getting a kitty!
If you know anything about me at all, you’ll know that I’m gaga for cats anyway. No doubt Sailor Moon, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Buffy, and many other shows are partly to blame for that. I’ve also never met a kitty that didn’t like me, whereas dogs are debatable–I’ve legitimately prayed that people’s dogs would like me before.
Now, some of you may remember Elektra and Cleo, the two kittens I rescued last November and recall that my landlord made me get rid of them. Others of you may remember little Ollie, the kitten I rescued this summer and had for a few hours before taking him to the shelter because he was very sick and I wasn’t sure what was needed to help make him better. He sadly, didn’t make it…
Back to my point though: landlords cannot deny a person an ESA, charge them a pet deposit fee, add a monthly charge, or well, do much of anything against a patient once that tenant makes a request for the reasonable accommodation to have an ESA, as outlined under the laws regarding and protecting ESAs and their owners/the patients prescribed them. Landlords also cannot deny this request under the FFHAA and the Rehabilitation Act. There are a number of other things that these laws protect for patients and their ESAs and don’t let landlords do. So the above situations regarding the two times I rescued and had kittens won’t be an issue as 1). The landlord can’t do shit, and 2). Animals adopted from shelters are screened, current on vaccinations, dewormed, undergo vet exams, and all that is before you adopt them! Once you do, they’re spayed/neutered checked again by a vet, microchipped, and then you can finally take them home!
Also, small side note, I’m moving out of these apartments with the asshole landlord on September 30th. Our lease is FINALLY up on October 1st. We’ve been here a year and are almost done dealing with this jerk!
So, now you know what an ESA is and why I need one! You may recall that in my intro paragraph I mentioned posting about this on Twitter and Facebook. At the encouragement of a friend, I created a gofundme page (hyperlink page here). Adoption, as we all know, is a rather large one-time expense. I can take care of a cat. That I know I can financially do, either through my (hopefully) soon to be picking up editorial services, or with Mum’s help. I also have a bed, food bowls, dry food, cans of pates, toys, a scratching post, and all of that stuff that I bought a little at a time since finding out about ESAs this Spring. What I don’t have are the funds to overcome this one-time large expense hurdle.
If you can help me by donating, that’d be great! If you can help you spreading the word, that’s vastly appreciated, too. Click here to go to the gofundme page.
Should you be a writer needing help with your manuscript and feel the express need to help me reach this goal overnight, then please feel free to book me as your freelance editor! Compare my rates to others and you’ll see I mean it when I say I price things for students.
Thank you for anything you can do, and may many blessings come your way this week, Lovelies!
PS: if you have fur babies, give them some extra loving today.
PSS: I’m not a lawyer or any sort of legalese person. I’ll happily provide you with links to ESA laws and such here in the US, but please do not use my blog as some form of documentation to get an ESA yourself.