If you live in Alaska and have been diagnosed with a mental or emotional illness, you may qualify for an emotional support animal (ESA) or service animal. ESAs and service animals typically help their owners with symptoms directly related to their illnesses. However, support and service animals are vastly different, and pet owners have specific rules to follow that ESA owners do not.
To have an ESA live with you and accompany you to public places, you must obtain an ESA letter. To obtain an emotional support animal letter in Alaska, you must be evaluated by a mental health professional licensed in your state. A licensed mental health professional can be a psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist, therapist, or primary care physician. With the availability of telehealth services, such as Pettable, you can complete this entire process without ever having to leave the comfort of your home!
Answer a few questions about your ESA needs
We'll match you to a professional in your state
Receive it within 24 hours of getting approved *
We'll help with any extra forms you need signed and our therapists are available to talk to your landlord anytime, for an additional fee.
* For California residents, effective January 1, 2022, new law AB 468 requires those seeking an ESA letter for dogs to establish a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing documentation, which will result in having two consultations before qualifying.
Few states recognize emotional support animals as service animals, and Alaska is no exception. This means that emotional support animals are not granted access to all public places in Alaska, unlike service animals. That said, if it is essential to bring your ESA to a specific area, the owner of public accommodation may still allow you to get your emotional support animal into the space, but this situation will always be on a case-by-case basis in Alaska.
Alaska state and federal law recognize these benefits and protect your rights to live anywhere with your ESA, provided you have a valid ESA letter.
As long as your ESA is in your personal space and can behave appropriately, you are a qualified individual to have an ESA, and you have a legitimate ESA letter, many public places will have customer advocacy. However, it depends on the public place and where you want your ESA to accompany you.
According to the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), anyone with an assistance animal – an emotional support animal or service animal – must be reasonably accommodated by their housing provider to live with them. An official emotional support animal letter is all you need to reap these benefits as an ESA owner. This also allows you to be exempt from any pet fees or breed or weight restrictions from your landlord.
Only service animals must be admitted to most public places, including workplaces, restaurants, stores, airlines (under the Air Carrier Access Act, or ACAA), theaters, museums, etc. However, these establishments are under no obligation to accept emotional support animals. If you wish to go somewhere with your emotional support animal, present your ESA letter and see if the establishment owner might choose to accommodate you. Otherwise, leave the animal at home or visit a pet-friendly establishment instead.
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), emotional support animals are considered assistance animals. All animals that offer assistance, including ESAs and service animals, are protected under the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act mandates landlords and property managers to make reasonable accommodations for all emotional support animals, even if a landlord's policy prohibits pets. The Fair Housing Act intends to give everyone equal access to housing, including individuals with mental and emotional disabilities.
To comply with these laws, landlords in Alaska must make reasonable accommodations for individuals with emotional support animals. Reasonable accommodation means changing, adjusting, or making an exception to a rule, policy, or practice. This would include a "no pet policy" exception for individuals with emotional support animals. ESA handlers should also be exempt from paying pet fees or deposits. That said, all requests made by emotional support animal owners must be within the realm of reason.
According to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, it is the policy of Alaska Housing to comply with federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws, including HUD's regulations governing Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. These regulations prevent landlord's in Alaska from discriminating against anyone based on age, race, color, sex, religion, and disability, among other things.
There are only a few rare instances where a landlord can deny an emotional support animal. Firstly, if you present your landlord with an illegitimate emotional support animal letter, your landlord has grounds to deny your ESA. A landlord can also deny your ESA if it poses any type of danger, health risk, or disturbance to your neighbors. If your ESA causes any undue financial strain on your landlord, your landlord also has the right to reject your ESA. Lastly, if your ESA is too large for the accommodation you are staying in, your landlord may also reject your assistance animal.
To qualify for an emotional support animal in Alaska, you must be determined by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) to have a mental or emotional disability and a disability-related need for the animal. Individuals who struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, among other mental health disorders, may qualify for an emotional support animal. However, your assistance animal must help alleviate one or more mental or emotional illness symptoms to be deemed eligible for an ESA.
A common misconception is that you must already have a cat or dog to qualify for an ESA. This is not the case. While some people have a pet before seeking an LMHP, others obtain an ESA letter before purchasing or adopting a pet.
Licensed mental health professionals will also factor in an individual’s ability to care for an assistance animal. In some cases, an individual’s mental illness may be too severe for them to have an animal in their care. For example, if an individual is suffering from agoraphobia, they may be unable to take their dog on daily walks.
Emotional support animals may not have as many rights as service animals, but that doesn't mean they are less important. For individuals with anxiety or depression, an assistance animal can help structure their daily routine. An emotional support animal can encourage someone with depression to get out of bed in the morning, exercise, and get outside.
Emotional support animals are healthy distractions in more ways than one. They can help stabilize their handler's intense emotions during tough times. If someone is dealing with severe depression, an ESA can be a good distraction. No matter how tired or down they feel, it's hard not to feel uplifted coming home to your furry friend.
If you have an emotional support animal, you never have to decide between home and your furry friend again. Emotional support animals are protected by the Fair Housing Act, meaning landlords must grant your ESA housing rights, even in buildings where pets are prohibited.
The path to obtaining a psychiatric service dog (PSD) letter is similar to getting an ESA letter. Like ESA letters, psychiatric service dog letters can only be written by licensed mental health professionals. Thus, if you are seeing a therapist or psychiatrist already, you can speak to them about whether you are eligible for a PSD and whether they can provide you with a PSD letter.
Many online services, like Pettable, can also prescribe PSD letters. After completing a short questionnaire, a team will match you with an LMHP in your state. This healthcare professional will then meet with you for a brief consultation and decide whether or not you are eligible for a PSD or if another course of treatment would benefit you. It’s important to keep in mind that even though the process of obtaining a PSD letter and an ESA letter is similar, ESAs and PSDs are not the same types of assistance animals.
With a world-class team of trusted therapists, you're sure to get the care you need from Pettable. And with the legal support always willing to go the extra mile, you can rest assured that we'll do everything within our power to ensure your PSD or ESA letter works for you. Pettable’s customer service team is well-versed in ESA laws and best practices and is happy to lend you a helping hand, even after you have received your ESA letter.
Our 100% satisfaction guarantee is proof—your letter works for you, or your money back.
1. We Guarantee Our Letters Will Work For You
We believe you should not have to worry about your letter working or not. That's why at Pettable we offer a satisfaction guarantee - meaning your letter works or you get your money back.
2. World Class Mental Health Professionals
We have built a team of world class mental health professionals who can write you a PSD Letter prescription guaranteed to work anywhere you go.
3. Unparalleled Customer Support
We know getting your animal approved to travel or live with you can be stressful, which is why we invest so much in our team of dedicated support specialists to make sure you are always taken care of and have the support you need!
4. Licensed in all 50 states
Our network of mental health professionals is deep and spans across the entire country. Additionally, we have a deep team of mental health professionals to make sure we can meet any timeline.
5. Best In Class Legal Support
We are here to make sure your housing and travel needs are taken care of so you don't worry. Our legal team is dedicated to having your back should you need it!
6. Human Connection & Legitimate Evaluations
In order for your letter to work you need to have a live consultation with a mental health professional. At Pettable we make sure our clinicians adhered to HUD standards and conduct consultations over the phone to get to know you and your mental health situation well.
Even if you live in a densely populated city like Los Angeles or Chicago, it can be difficult connecting with an LMHP who can provide you with an ESA letter. The difficulty of this task increases tenfold when you live in a smaller metropolis or a remote town in Alaska.
Pettable’s network has licensed mental health professionals in every state, including Alaska. Not to mention, every Pettable therapist has experience drafting ESA letters. Connecting with a therapist in Pettable’s network will save you the time and stress of finding a therapist in your hometown or city.
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Jennifer Bronsnick is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Anxiety Treatment Specialist, & Heartmath Certified Trainer. She provides customized workshops and trainings to working professionals and teams to help build resilience and reduce stress with practical strategies.
I graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before obtaining my Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2021. I have eight years of experience in the mental health field working in and with various populations, including case management, intake coordination, and residential, inpatient, and outpatient programs. I am certified in Brainspotting to help individuals deeply process negative emotions and trauma/significant life events. Additionally, I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and safety planning in sessions/groups.
LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I offer extensive experience supporting individuals in both outpatient and residential settings in the fields of social work and mental health. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor-II, Substance Abuse Professional, Certified First Responder Counselor, and Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider.
As a clinical social worker, I have been able to work within multiple types of settings, such as hospitals, community centers, and family welfare. I enjoy having the clinical and administrative experience to holistically serve those I work with.