--When you think of an emotional support animal you probably think of a dog or a cat. But with support animals there are no breed or species restrictions. A young woman who has emotional support guinea pigs explains how they've changed her life.
Emotional support animals don't have to be just dogs. They can be cats, rabbits, fish, birds, even snakes. Emily Brawn, a sophomore in college has her very own emotional support guinea pigs and says she doesn't know where she'd be without them.
"Especially with the depression something like having my guinea pigs with me helps because that kind of gives me a reason to get out of my bed and keep going because I have something that's kind of dependent on me," said Brawn.
Brawn was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression her sophomore year in high school.
"It was really that when I was going into college that I realized that they could be beneficial as support animals," said Brawn.
So, she started the process to get her guinea pigs to college.
"I did have to go through the disabilities office, I had to get a note from by doctor stating that I do have a medical reason for these and that she thought that they would be beneficial," explained Brawn.
Since getting permission, Emily says her guinea pigs have been a huge help.
"The ability to have them with me when I've started to have some issues with the anxiety and depression when I go to school which has happened every semester I kind of hit that slump and it's hard to get through. But I have noticed a big difference from when I have them with me and when I don't," said Brawn.
And with four little ones depending on her, she says they give her purpose.
"They also remind me that there is a reason why I am around. And there's at least a couple of things counting on me to kind of keep going," said Brawn.
So whatever the size, shape or species. With emotional support animals what counts is the love, joy and companionship they bring.