A Mini Pig Can Be an Emotional Support Animal
Pigs are intelligent pets that are actually clean and hygienic when kept that way by
their owners. Pigs have been rated in some studies to be more intelligent then some breeds of dogs and as least as intelligent as any dog. Pet pigs have been known to have saved people's
lives. Pigs have individual personalities and idiosyncrasies and some believe them to be very good and interesting pets and happily keep them in their homes.
Although pigs may not be common as an actively trained service animal, they are intelligent enough to do so. There have been pigs that have been trained to perform many of the functions that an assistance dog would.
There are three classes of an assistance animal.
1. A guide animal to the blind
2. A signal animal for the deaf or hearing impaired
3. An animal that is able to do chores or abilities for the deaf,
blind or handicapped
The service animal is a highly trained and specialized pet that can assist those with disabilities and be able to respond in a health crisis in order to save someone's life. Service or assistance animals also may assist people with neurological problems, learning disabilities or psychiatric problems, and autism.
The most popular assistance animals are dogs, followed by the Capuchin monkey, domestic cat and miniature horse. Why not pet pigs?
Capuchin monkeys are trained to assist with grasping of items and performing manual tasks such as opening door, fetching items and the like.
The miniature horse is trained to pull wheel chairs, guide the blind and provide support for those with problems standing upright.
Cats can often naturally predict seizures and can signal their hearing-impaired owners when they hear certain sounds.
The pig can do as much as the very popular Seeing Eye dog. They can perform tasks for their masters that the human has difficulty doing. They can guide the blind, and signal the deaf about
sounds. Although they are not a generally accepted animal for this purpose, they are capable of performing all of the same tricks and feats as an assistance dog.
Although it is not generally accepted, you can train your pet pig to do these tricks. In particular, Pot-Bellied Pigs are becoming more and more recognized for their abilities, personality and
heroism in some instances. Pigs have often made the news for saving their owner's life by warning of a fire, pulling them from the water, alerting to coming epileptic seizures and the like.
One even made the news for fighting off several dogs that were attacking its owner.
In order to get a seeing-eye or service pig you will have to train it yourself at this time. But in the future, if enough people promote the idea to the government, we may in the future see someone guided by a pig or assisted by a pig.
Emotional Support Animals provide some therapeutic benefit to a person with depression or anxiety. Types of animals that can be registered as Emotional Support Animals include dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, monkeys, bearded dragons, and pigs, etc.
Federal law does not require these animals to have any specific training. The animal must have good social skills and not be aggressive toward people or other animals. The animal must be under your control at all times.
We begin our list with an animal that is unconventional but not too crazy. People have been keeping pigs as pets for millennia. Recently, it has become quite trendy to stroll around Soho or Malibu with a pig by your side. Mini pigs are super-intelligent and friendly. They love interacting with humans, and they adore cuddling and bonding, which is why they make wonderful emotional support pets. Taking care of a pig is a big commitment. They need regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. All in all, a mini pig is a great choice for an emotional support animal.
Despite the total freedom you have to choose an Emotional Support Animal, it’s important not to get carried away. Make sure you choose the right animal for you. You need an emotional support animal that’s genuinely going to support you and ease the symptoms of your particular mental disorder. Make sure you have a long, hard think about what type of animal you can provide for and look after before you go mad and register an emotional support mountain lion as your new companion.
Only certain types of animals are allowed to travel in the airline cabin or travel for free. Please check with your airline prior to travel for their specific rules regarding service animals.
There are two federal laws which grant special rights to owners of Emotional Support Animal:
The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988(42 USC 3601, et seq.) allows you to live/stay anywhere you like without pet fees. Any home, any lodging – even ones that specifically prohibit Dogs.The Fair Housing Act requires Landlords to modify policies, procedures, or practices to permit an individual with a disability to use, own, and live with a service and/or emotional support animal when doing so is necessary to provide a tenant with an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling. Landlords must make reasonable accommodations.
The Air Carrier Access Act allows you to travel on any airline without paying any pet fees and your Emotional Support Animal is allowed to accompany you into the cabin.
At the end of the day, animals can be a lot of fun, but it’s the effect they have on you that matters.
Let's look at what the law says about Emotional Support Animals:
* Charge pet rent or pet deposits for Emotional Support Animals
* Require an Emotional Support Animal to have any specific training
* Inquire about the extent of the disability or ask for detailed medical records for the individual requesting the service or emotional support animal,
but the property manager can ask for a note from a doctor or licensed therapist.
* Airlines cannot charge a cabin pet fee for Emotional Support Animals
* The airline will ask for a note from a licensed therapist or doctor
* Dogs and cats do not have to be in a carrier but they must be on a leash. The pet can sit on your lap during the flight.
* Notify the airline when making reservation that you are traveling with an Emotional Support Animal. Check with the airline if you are traveling with a pet that is not a dog or cat. There may be restrictions on the types of pets that can travel in the cabin of the plane.
Therapy Pets: Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond
The bond between humans and animals is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship that positively influences the health and well-being of both. While many of us understand the benefits of positive interactions with animals in our lives, an emerging body of research is recognizing the impact the human-animal bond can have on individual and community health.
Just a few examples of therapy animals improving the physical, social & emotional health of clients:
•A therapy pet has a positive effect on patients’ pain level and satisfaction with their hospital stay following total joint arthroplasty (Harper, 2014) . •Fibromyalgia patients spending time with a therapy animal instead of in an outpatient waiting area at a pain management facility showed significant improvements in pain, mood and other measures of distress (Marcus, 2013) . •A walking program that matched sedentary adults with therapy animals resulted in an increase in walking over a 52 week graduated intervention with the participants stating their motivation for adherence was “the animals need us to walk them” (Johnson, 2010) . •The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors among children with autism spectrum disorder (O’Haire, 2013) . •Children made fewer errors in match-to-sample categorization task in the presence of a animal relative to a stuffed animal or human (Gee, 2010) . Similar studies may indicate presence of a animal serves as both a source of motivation and a highly salient stimulus for children, allowing them to better restrict their attention to the demands of the task (Gee, 2012) . •Therapy animals in pediatric cancer studies improved motivation to participate in treatment protocol, to maintain their motivation over time, and to want to “get better” or stay optimistic (Sobo, 2006) , (Barker, 2008) .
Could Your Pet Mini Pig be a Therapy Animal?
We have research several pet therapy providers and here's what we found:
• Pet must be at least 1 year old at the time of evaluation.
•Have lived in the owner’s home for at least 6 months •Must be reliably house trained. •Be currently vaccinated •May not be fed a raw protein diet •Have no history of aggression or seriously injuring either people or other companion animals. •Demonstrate good basic obedience skills, such as walking on a loose leash, and responding reliably to common commands such as “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “come” and “leave it” •Welcome, not just tolerate, interactions with strangers •Be comfortable with wearing Therapy Animal equipment
Thinking of Registering Your Pet Pig as a Therapy Animal, but He Has an Illness?
Asking animals to make therapy animal visits when they are not healthy increases stress and can lead to a worsened condition. Additionally, you may visit clients with compromised immune systems who would be at risk for transmission of zoonotic diseases.
If your animal is taking antibiotics, anti-fungals or immuno-suppressants they will be unable to register and visit until they have finished treatment.
Pets with a Disability Can be Therapy Animals
Animals with disabilities can register as long as visiting does not aggravate the medical condition.
Do You Want to be a Therapy Animal Handler?
Successful handlers will be able to:
•Read their animal’s particular body language and recognize when their animal is stressed, anxious, concerned, over-stimulated or fatigued •Demonstrate positive interactions with their animal by praising, cueing, encouraging and reassuring the animal as needed •Cue or redirect their animal without raising their voice, forcefully jerking on the leash or offering the animal food or toys •Make casual conversation with those they meet on visits while still being attentive to their animal •Guide the interactions of others with the animal in a professional and polite manner •Advocate for the safety and well-being of their animal at all times