Letters for emotional support animals
This Policy does not apply to service animals
Definitions: An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. The animal is part of the treatment plan for a person who meets the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The animal would address specific functional limitations to allow the person to live independently.
Policy: Increasing numbers of students request letters from our providers for their pets. While we understand that a pet can be an important source of support during stressful times for many students, emotional support animals are not prescribed or specifically recommended by OSU SHS clinicians. Therefore, the clinicians at OSU Student Health Services do not provide letters for emotional support animals.
Sometimes students seeking a letter have already made the decision to bring an animal into their housing without landlord knowledge or proper documentation and find that they need documentation quickly or they face fines, eviction or loss of the animal. This is also not a situation under which our providers will write a letter.
If a mental health professional outside of OSU Student Health Services has prescribed or recommended an emotional support animal, they may be willing to write a letter that will meet the requirements.