ESA Application Process

Many people enjoy the warmth and comfort of animals, and they often find them helpful in coping with life’s many stressors. However, the majority of individuals, even those with diagnosable mental health conditions, do not require an emotional support animal (dog, cat, rabbit, etc.) to afford them an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their room or apartment.

While emotional support animals (ESAs) are recognized as reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities for the purposes of housing and travel, the term “disability” refers to a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and the term “substantially” means that the limitation is not just a matter of discomfort, but rather a psychological disorder or problem that interferes with the ones ability to perform in those major life activities.

In order to live on campus with an ESA, follow the five-step process below.

Step 1 - Apply with the Accessibility Resource Center


Step 2 - Documentation of Need

To consider a student’s request for an animal-in-residence based on disability or chronic health condition, the Accessibility Resource Center at FLC requires documentation from the student’s licensed clinical professional or health care provider thoroughly familiar with the student’s condition and their functional limitations and/or restrictions.

Note: ESA Certificates or letters purchased online, relationships based on limited contact, or a relationship initiated for the sole purpose of acquiring ESA documentation do not provide the necessary information to support a student’s request.

Supporting documentation must:

  • Be submitted and granted approval 30 days prior to the start of the Semester.
  • Be written on professional letterhead, signed and dated within the last month, and contain the provider’s contact information and License number.
  • State the recommendation or prescribed therapy, including the student's DSM-5 diagnosis, the severity of the diagnosis, and how the diagnosis/disability is substantially limiting one or more major life activity
  • Answer the following questions:
    • How Long has the student been in treatment with the medical provider or clinical professional? Please provide the date you first began treating the student for this condition.
    • Please provide diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment pan. State specifically how the animal is part of the treatment plan.
    • Please provide information regarding the treatment plan while the student is on campus.

If you did not submit this documentation with your application to the Accessibility Resource Center, upload the file here:


Step 3 - Student Request Form


STEP 4 - Intake Meeting

Schedule an appointment for an intake meeting. Contact:

Kristin Polens, M-ED, Director of the Accessibility Resource Center

STEP 5 - License and Records

Upon approval, you will need to submit your animal’s vaccination/health records, License with LaPlata County Humane Society (for canines) and Completion of Housing paperwork prior to move-in.