One of the many challenges of pit bull rescue is finding homes that allow our beloved breed. Many potential adopters say, “I can just register the dog as an ESA — my landlord has to allow them.”
That’s just one of the myths around ESAs, or Emotional Support Animals. The Love Pit believes that animals should only be considered ESAs if there is a genuine need and the dog fits the criteria. TLP does not support labeling a dog an ESA to get around breed restrictions.
Here are a few more #TLPFacts about ESAs that we wish everyone knew. This knowledge will help you make an informed decision and keep you, your family and your pet safe.
IF you truly are in need of an ESA, PLEASE do your research. Your mental health provider must deem it necessary, your ESA MUST be well behaved, potty trained, and must NOT be considered a danger to residents in your home/apartment complex/ neighborhood.
ESAs of any age who are a nuisance, a danger, or not potty trained can be evicted, resulting in owner surrenders at the shelter. As we all know, owner surrenders = higher risk of euthanasia for shelter dogs.
ESAs provide companionship & sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities, as service animals do. Misrepresenting your pet as an ESA OR service dog is WRONG. Don’t put the public at risk, and don’t set your own pet up for failure. Every dog deserves to be well trained and truthfully represented by their humans.
Many loving animals do not have what it takes to complete professional service dog training, and are better suited to be “professional” couch potatoes! Please don’t anticipate using service dog status as a loophole for breed restrictions, air travel, or access to public spaces.
ESA and service dog are titles reserved for truly qualified working dogs. They should never be used to work around breed restrictions or score unnecessary special accommodations. When bringing a new pet home, always be honest with yourself. It’s the best way to set you and your new friend up for a long, healthy and safe life!