Emotional Support Rabbits as Emotional Support Animal
Rabbits are agile and speedy. They have a strong sense of smell which helps them to find food and avoid being prey.
They lack the strength, vicious teeth, and sharp claws to defend against aggressors in the wild. It is their exceptional senses that sets them apart in the wild.
Rabbits can hear, see, and smell things beyond the comprehension of human beings. These abilities give them the power to respond quickly to evade dangers in their surroundings.
When you pair these qualities with their quiet ways, gentleness, and detailed attention to the environment, you will find that they possess just the right attributes to be emotional support animals.
Can a Rabbit Be an Emotional Support Animal?
Emotional support pet provides support and companionship to individuals suffering from various mental health conditions.
They usually form part of the treatment plans to help the patients cope with certain symptoms of their conditions.
Cats and dogs are perhaps the most common types of emotional support pets that many people know.
However, a rabbit can also be a great emotional support animal. They are exceptionally adorable. The fact that they have great awareness of their environment also makes them easily bond with humans.
They are also not overly excessive, and won’t cause commotion around the house. If you are considering a rabbit for your emotional support, then you can look forward to very gentle moments with a friend that will bring you lots of awesomeness around.
Simply put, rabbits qualify as very good emotional support animals. If you have a pet rabbit, and you would like it to be part of your healing process, then simply get an ESA letter and make it your emotional support pet.
Why Get an Emotional Support Rabbit Today
A rabbit may not be your conventional service animal, but having them comes with a humongous range of benefits.
Here is a brief look at some of the mouthwatering reasons why a rabbit can be a great emotional support animal-:
They are gentle and loving creatures
Dealing with mental health conditions is never a walk in the park. Depending on the condition and the specific symptoms it presents, the last thing you need around you, especially from your pets is chaos. Rabbits are gentle and loving creatures.
They are affectionate and very docile. Since they know how to form quick and strong bonds with human beings, most people see them as the ideal emotional support animals.
They will not only recognize your face but also your voice and immediate surrounding and make themselves comfortable as soon as possible.
Additionally, they are very social and this makes them just the right companion to help you deal with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Rabbits are inexpensive
If you are dealing with mental health conditions, then you will always strive to avoid circumstances or situations that may cause you undue stress.
These include having to cope with a financially straining pet. But the good news is that therapy rabbits or emotional support rabbits are affordable to acquire and maintain.
There are so many places where you can find them for adoption without breaking the bank. Once you bring them to your house, taking care of them won’t be straining in any way.
Pet rabbits are quiet
Do you long for an emotional support pet, but you don’t love the idea of a dog barking or whining associated with some service animal in your home?
If so, then you should entertain the thought of having a therapy rabbit as an emotional support animal.
Rabbits are extremely quiet. You can comfortably live with them in apartments without bothering your next-door neighbor.
Whether indoors or outdoors, during the day or at night, rabbits will always provide you with total silence.
This is instrumental in coping with certain mental health conditions such as anxiety and stress disorders.
Rabbits require a small space
The space requirements for a service animal such as a service dog and a rabbit are worlds apart.
With an ESA rabbit, you won’t have to worry about a lot of space. They require so little space that whatever you have at home will always work.
With them, you don’t need to make any significant changes to the available space before you bring them home.
Rabbits are social animals
Rabbits are primarily companion pets. They are very good at forming strong bonds quickly if given the right treatment.
Most breeds for emotional support rabbits will normally sit by your side for many hours at a go.
They are not physically demanding
If you have an emotional support animal like a dog, you will have to plan and take them out for walks. Also, you must provide them with enough space in your yard for them to run around.
Rabbits, on the other hand, are not physically demanding. They will happily remain indoors with you for as long as you want.
Hoping around the house is already enough exercise for them. Just ensure that they will have decent room to hop around.
Rabbits are easy to train
It is surprisingly easy to train rabbits. You won’t have any trouble teaching them to use the litter box. They also respond very well to positive reinforcements, making it easy to teach them how to respond to commands or even perform tricks.
Bunnies are clean animals
You don’t have to clean rabbits to keep them clean. Once you have given them proper litter training, you will no longer have to worry about a dirty or smelly indoors.
Laws that Protect Emotional Support Rabbits
There are laws in place to protect the rights of emotional support animals, including pet rabbits. Sadly, many people think that with an emotional support animal, you are free to go with them wherever you want. However, this is never the case. Emotional support rabbits have very limited protection under the law.
The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords, property managers, and housing providers from discriminating against individuals because of their disability.
According to this act, landlords and housing providers cannot deny you accommodation because you have shown up with your emotional support animal.
If you have a valid ESA letter for housing, the law requires the landlords and housing providers to offer you and your pet reasonable accommodation.
Additionally, will not have to pay any pet fees or pet deposits. And you will also be free to get reasonable accommodation even in places with strict no-pet policies.
The rights of ESA owners under the Fair Housing Act
There are several rights under the Fair Housing Act that you can enjoy if you have an emotional support animal letter for your rabbit. According to the act, you will enjoy the following rights as an ESA owner-:
- The right to keep your emotional support rabbit in your home, even if the property prohibits pets.
- You will be free from restrictions on breeds and the weights of pets.
- You will not have to pay any kind of pet-related fees, including pet deposits, pet cleaning deposits, and additional rent for your pet.
The Air Carriers Access Act
The other set of laws looking out for emotional support animals and their owners is the Air Carriers Access Act.
According to this act, airlines and air travel providers cannot discriminate against individuals because of their disabilities. The act compels airlines and air travel providers to provide reasonable accommodation for travelers with disabilities.
Initially, if you had an emotional or a mental disability, and you wanted to fly with your emotional support animal in the cabin, you could do so without paying any extra charges.
However, following amendments to this act in 2021, it is no longer mandatory for the airlines to provide reasonable accommodation for travelers with emotional support animals.
Currently, the Air Carriers Access Act doesn’t provide any specific rights to travelers with emotional support animals.
The law, however, still covers service animals. The act also doesn’t compel airlines not to fly individuals with an emotional support animal.
There are airlines with ESA programs that will gladly fly you with your emotional support animals without any extra charges.
If you are unlucky to find such airlines at the time of your travel, then you may have to fly with your emotional support rabbit the same way you would with a normal pet.
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What is not the legal right of an ESA?
Apart from housing accommodation and airlines, there are no comprehensive state and federal laws protecting emotional support rabbits.
Other forms of transportation and establishments don’t have any legal mandate to accommodate you and your emotional support animals.
Some of the places where you may not enjoy legal protection include hotels, buses, libraries, trains, parks, restaurants, beaches, malls, and shops among others.
How to certify your rabbit as an emotional support animal
As you already know, any pet you have at home can become an emotional support animal. All you have to do is get an emotional support animal letter from a licensed mental health expert. There are two ways to go about this:
Get the ESA letter from your current therapist
If you currently have a therapist who has been evaluating you, you can talk to them about having therapy animals to help you cope with your condition.
If they approve you for one, then they will issue you with an ESA letter for your rabbit. With that, you can enjoy all the privileges and the legal protection that comes with the letter.
Get ESA Letter Online
With services such as ESAPet.com, you can easily get an ESA letter for your emotional support animals such as bunnies without any trouble. All it takes is the following three simple steps-:
Complete a two-minute survey
Take a simple survey, answering a few questions about you and your need for an emotional support rabbit. This survey will help us determine how suitable you are for an emotional support animal.
Talk to a licensed mental health professional
Once you complete the survey, we will match you to a licensed mental health expert. We have a pool of various licensed practitioners all over the country.
They will get in touch with you for a live consultation.
This consultation will help them determine your condition and also ascertain that having an emotional support rabbit will come with real therapeutic benefits.
Some of the conditions likely to qualify you for an emotional support animal letter include-:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Postpartum depression
- Anxiety disorder
- Panic attacks
- Social Phobia
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Other forms of fears and phobias
Get your ESA Letter
Following a successful consultation with the licensed mental health expert, they will approve you for an ESA letter.
You will normally get this letter within 48 hours after approval. Once you have this letter, your rabbit will now become an official emotional support animal.
You can then use the letter to get reasonable accommodation even in places with strict no-pet policies.
Where to get Emotional Support Rabbits
If you don’t already have a rabbit at home that can be an ESA rabbit, there are quite a number of places that you can check out. One of the best places worth considering is your local animal shelter or rescue group.
You will not only find good rabbits from such places, but also you will get a lot of information on how to get the most from the pet.
You can also check a reputable rabbit breeder for some very good breeds of emotional support rabbits. The breeders will give you solid recommendations on the kind of breeds to consider, based on your emotional needs.
Avoid buying rabbits from pet stores. This is because the breeds you find at the stores may have come from a mass-breeding facility. They are mostly keen on making profits instead of breeding rabbits with real therapeutic benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get a rabbit as my emotional support animal?
To have a rabbit as your emotional support pet, you must have a valid ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. Once you the letter, you can get a pet rabbit from a rabbit breeder, an animal shelter, or your local animal rescue group.
What qualifies me to have an emotional support rabbit?
To qualify for an emotional support rabbit, you must be suffering from an emotional or mental disability. A licensed mental health expert must examine you for such.
The professional must determine that you need the animal to help you cope with the condition. They will then go ahead and issue you an ESA letter.
Does the ESA letter for rabbits expire?
Federal law requires that you renew your emotional support animal letter annually.
Will my ESA rabbit make my house stink?
Rabbits don’t have a body odor. They are also easy to train so that you won’t have to worry about your house stinking poop or urine. Should you notice any smell coming from the rabbit, then you should check it for infection.