Having an emotional support animal provides so much comfort, peace, and joy; why not have more than one? There are some laws, rules, and general considerations to take into account if you are thinking about getting another emotional support animal. Here are some basic guidelines to think about before adopting another one.
Do State and Local Laws Apply?
There are no rules or laws about how many emotional support animals you can own. Most states have laws against owning exotic animals and animal hoarding, which should be taken into consideration when adopting another animal. As long as you abide by these state and local laws, you can have as many as you want. However, this does not mean you should go out and adopt fifteen cats. Only adopt the number of animals you can reasonably care for and provide for.
What Care and Expenses Should be Considered?
Consider the work necessary to care for another animal, such as feeding, grooming, cleaning up after, etc. Also, calculate the financial cost of having another animal. Costs include food, cages, toys, vet bills, and more. Taking care of an animal is a lot of work, so it is wise to only adopt what you can handle. Emotional support animals are meant to relieve stress, but if you have too many, they may end up adding to your anxiety.
Do I Need a Letter of Certification?
Additionally, your therapist or a licensed health professional must agree that an additional support animal will benefit you. Once they have discussed the pros and cons of an additional support animal with you, they can write you a letter of certification for your new ESA. Here at United Support Animal, we would be happy to help you get an ESA certification letter for your new support animal.
Does My Landlord Have to Accept Additional Support Animals?
Your landlord must allow you to have your emotional support animals unless they cause undue hardship, as defined by the Fair Housing Act. This means that if your ESA would cause a massive disturbance or damage in any way, the landlord has the right to refuse it. For example, six large dogs who constantly bark in a tiny studio apartment would obviously not be reasonable. Support animals such as ponies, horses, or goats could potentially cause damages, making them too high a risk to have in an apartment or condo. As long as your ESA is reasonable for your living space and you have proper certification, you should have no problems.
In conclusion, you can have as many support animals as you would like, as long as you stay under state and local laws, can reasonably care for more animals, and your therapist or medical professional agrees you would benefit from more support animals. You will have to notify your landlord of any additional animals, but this should not be an issue as long as you have proper certification. The new ESAs will not cause damage to persons or property. As you go through the process of adopting another ESA, let United Support Animals help you by providing a letter of certification. Contact us today, and we will connect you with a licensed professional.