What’s the Difference?

Darla Harrison, College Residential Assistant, was attacked by an emotional support dog at OK hall, but generally, ESAs at Haskell Indian Nationa University are not a problem and are welcomed if you need them. They are, however, a responsibility for those who have them. 

ESA stands for Emotional Support Animal; people who have mental health issues use ESAs to  comfort them and help them feel better. Whether it’s from social anxiety, panic attack or separation anxiety, the ESAs are there to help the person calm down. In order to get an ESA you must have a condition that requires one. Then you’d need to get a letter from your doctor or therapist for Dr. Perry Graves. He is the one that will see if all the paperwork is correct. Dee Hernandez has a cat as her Emotional Support Animal. She has stated that her cat, Sasha “…helps to calm me down and helps to talk about serious topics”. 

ESAs are not commonly talked about like service animals are. ESAs and service animals are very different; service animals are DOGS that are specially trained to perform tasks that benefit a person with disabilities. Although ESAs and Service Animals may seem similar they receive different treatment from businesses and people. Service animals are allowed in buildings and businesses while ESAs are not always allowed in. This is because service animals are specially trained for their owners. Since Service animals are working when with their owners you are NOT allowed to pet them; they will see you as a threat and act to protect their owners. An ESAs owner will tell you if you are okay to pet their animal. Remember ESAs are not service animals, they are for comfort and care for the person that owns them.

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