Support animals can be really helpful to people with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. If you have a pet snake that already helps with these things but you want to be able to take it along with you, then there is a process to follow.
How can you register a snake as an ESA? If you want to register your snake as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), then you can set up an appointment with a mental health professional, have them confirm that you qualify for an ESA, and receive a properly formatted letter from the professional allowing the ESA.
It should be noted that legally, you don’t have to register your snake as an ESA to use it as one. However, there are legal benefits to registering your snake and the process is pretty simple, so it is recommended.
3 Steps to Register Your Snake ESA
Some websites claim that you don’t need to have a letter from a mental health professional to register your snake as an ESA. You may be able to get ID tags and certificates claiming your snake is an ESA, but it is only legally an ESA when you register it with the qualification from a mental health professional.
Here are the steps to register:
- Set up an appointment with a mental health professional, like a therapist or psychiatrist. This is super important to the process. For your pet to legally qualify as an ESA, you need to speak with a mental health professional who will determine if you qualify to have an ESA. For help in setting up an appointment, follow this link and go to the question about how to register. They have a way to help you find a mental health professional.
- Qualify for an ESA. Once you meet with a mental health professional, they will determine if your needs qualify you for an Emotional Support Animal. If they decide you do qualify, they will give you a letter that states that you can register legally for an ESA. Please realize that there is no guarantee that you will qualify for an ESA. The mental health professional may decide that your needs don’t qualify you to have an ESA. You can still have a great pet, but you won’t be able to legally register.
- Go online to register your ESA. Again, there are several websites that claim to register your snake but may not do so legally. Also, you will need to get your own snake if you don’t already have one. ESA animals are not provided after you qualify. More specifics about where to register and some other important things to know are below.
Where to Register
Once you have your letter from a mental health professional qualifying you for an ESA, you can register online. We recommend this website because it is run through the United States government and requires that you legally qualify with a mental health professional before you register. This ensures that the registration of your ESA snake is legal.
Some websites will not require the qualification from you, but that doesn’t make the registration legally binding. You may be able to get ID’s, certificates, cardholders, and who knows what else when you register through these websites, but the safest thing to do is to register with a website that makes your ESA snake legal.
ESA Legal Rights
It may seem unnecessary to register your snake as an ESA, but if you do suffer from mental illnesses, you may want to take your snake places that snakes aren’t normally allowed. Registering your snake as an ESA allows you to carry your snake in many public places legally.
When your snake is an ESA, you are legally allowed to carry it with you on a plane. Emotional Support Animals are only required to be manageable in public and snakes are certainly that. If you have legally registered your snake as an ESA, the airline must allow you to carry the snake on the plane, but you will need to notify them beforehand that you are bringing a pet. The airline may also ask to see an ESA evaluation letter to ensure the snake is an ESA. They are legally allowed to request this letter from you, so be prepared to submit it to them.
Aside from travel, you are also allowed to have your ESA in any housing situation. Landlords cannot deny you housing, even if they have a no pet policy. They may have certain regulations for you to follow, but you will be able to bring your snake with you. The landlord also can’t charge you pet fees for an ESA.
Despite these benefits, there are still places you may not be able to take your ESA snake even when it is registered. Some restaurants, for example, have no animal
Why Snakes Are Great ESAs
A lot of animals can be Emotional Support Animals, but snakes make particularly good ones. They are relatively easy to control in public because they aren’t very social creatures. You shouldn’t have to worry about them trying to escape. It might just be that you are a comfort to your snake in public the same way it is for you.
Snakes are also hypo-allergenic. This means that a snake won’t cause allergic reactions in people like a dog or cat might. This makes snakes a safer pet to have in places like apartment complexes where preventing allergic reactions is a high priority.
Some animals need food several times a day, so taking them in public requires carrying extra food for your pet. Snakes, however, only eat once every one or two weeks in general, so you won’t need to carry food along with you when you leave home with your ESA snake.
Snakes are easily mobile, like to stay near, and won’t cause physical distress to most people. They make a great ESA, so if you are looking to register your snake, don’t worry about whether it will cause problems or not. Some people may express fear or discomfort at you carrying a snake, but if you have legally registered your snake, there is no reason that you should not be allowed to carry it with you in public.
Can a snake be a service animal? No, because a service animal is not the same as a support animal. Most animals can be emotional support animals, but to be a service animal, the animal needs specific training. Snakes are unable to provide the kind of services that a service animal can. Snakes make great pets or support animals, but not service animals.
Are there service snake vests? No, there are not service vests for snakes. Snakes cannot be service animals, so there is no need to give them a service vest.
Can snakes be trained? Yes, snakes can be trained to be handled by people and kept as pets. Some may be more difficult than others, but most snakes that can be kept as pets can also be tamed.
Can you train a snake not to bite? Snakes can be trained not to bite, but the training mostly comes from teaching the snake that it is safe with you and that it doesn’t need to defend itself from humans. Handle the snake carefully and gently, interact with it frequently, and it will learn to trust you over time.
What are the friendliest snakes? Some of the friendliest snakes to have as pets are the corn snake, the rosy boa, or the California kingsnake. The best thing to do is research a bit about each type of snake you are interested in having as a pet to find out which is the best fit for you.