Emotional Support Animals

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a pet that has been prescribed by a licensed therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist as part of a treatment program. Therapists prescribing an ESA must have extensive knowledge of research supporting the use of the ESA and utilize the ESA as a treatment modality. Before receiving documentation for the recommendation of an ESA, a student must be engaged in on-going therapy with a mental health provider and the ESA must be identified as an essential treatment for the student’s diagnosed emotional or psychiatric disability. Most students will not meet all of these criteria.

The University Counseling Center staff does not generally provide letters recommending emotional support animals.  Rather, we help students find referrals in the community to address requests for support animals.  Please visit our Community Provider Database to locate a local therapist. 

Students, Faculty or Staff needing accommodation regarding emotional support animals are encouraged to contact Disability Support Resources.


Additional Resources:

Psychology Today

Americans with Disabilities Act

National Service Animal Registry 

Page last modified April 13, 2018