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Emotional Support Animal Certification Specialist

Mark Rybakov, DO

Adult, Adolescent, and Child Psychiatrist located in Brooklyn, NY & Manhattan, New York, NY

By their very presence, emotional support animals (ESAs) or now known as psychiatric support animals, have the ability to ease anxiety and depression and help you function better in your daily life. But you can’t just decide to call your pet a support animal. You need Dr. Mark Rybakov, DO, to verify that you qualify and issue emotional support animal certification. If your emotional health improves thanks to your pet, book an appointment online or call the nearest New York City office. Dr. Rybakov has two offices, one on Saint Mark’s Place in the East Village of Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn.

Emotional Support Animal Certification Q & A

What is emotional support animal certification?

If you want an emotional support animal, you can’t just get a pet and call it an ESA. You must have a qualifying mental health disorder and have Dr. Rybakov certify your animal as an ESA.

To get ESA certification, Dr. Rybakov performs a complete psychological evaluation, diagnoses your mental health condition, and determines if an ESA helps relieve your symptoms.

If you qualify, he writes the required ESA letter, which verifies that you need the animal and recognizes your pet as an ESA.

ESAs don’t require specialized training because they’re not service animals. Their purpose is to give you companionship and support that eases your emotional distress.

What conditions qualify for emotional support animal certification?

Having a pet can soothe anxiety and stress, diminish depression, and help you feel less lonely, to name just a few of the benefits.

A few examples of mental health disorders that can qualify for an ESA include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorders

Nearly any psychological disorder that affects your ability to thrive and succeed in daily life can qualify you to get an ESA.

What are the benefits of emotional support animal certification?

An ESA letter allows your pet to accompany you in places that usually don’t allow animals. For most people, this applies primarily to apartments, condos, and co-ops with “no pet” policies.

Under New York law, you have the right to live with your ESA. However, your ESA must be well-behaved. Your landlord or manager can deny your pet if they damage the property or pose a safety threat to other residents.

The process is simple. You only need to give your ESA letter to your landlord, homeowners association, management company, or co-op board. Then they should give you approval for the pet.

Does emotional support animal certification allow my pet on planes?

As of January 2021, new regulations allow airlines to treat ESAs like regular pets, which means they can charge you and put the pet in the cargo bay. 

But airline companies have the leeway to decide if they want to recognize ESAs or enforce the new regulations. Call your airline ahead of time to learn about its ESA policy.

If you want emotional support animal certification, schedule an appointment online or call Dr. Mark Rybakov, DO.