While many Canadians are used to seeing emotional support dogs, one Canadian city is looking at expanding the certain type of animals that are fit for the role. The city of Calgary is now allowing emotional support livestock to help those who suffer from a variety of illnesses such as anxiety. These livestock animals even include emotional support chickens.
According to CTV News, the change was prompted by a Calgary woman who has multiple chickens that provide emotional support to her. Through her pleads, the city of Calgary voted to amend its pet bylaws in order to allow farm animals to live in urban homes under certain conditions.
Of course, there are a few rules that the people of Calgary need to follow before they are allowed to have livestock living in their urban space for emotional purposes. The city states that those who wish to have an emotional support livestock animal needs to get a permit.
In order to achieve this permit, the applicant needs to have a letter by a licensed psychologist that informs the city that this person needs this animal to help treat a mental-health condition. The city also needs to ensure that there is enough space in the urban home for this animal to live comfortably and that it has access to the proper care that it needs.
This means, that those who are looking for a therapy animal to help treat their mental illness are now open to a larger variety of animals and able to pick a companion that best suits their needs.
Some of the more popular livestock animals that can be used as emotional support animals are expected to be chickens, pot-bellied pigs, and even miniature horses.
As for the woman who prompted the change, CTV reports she has already been using emotional support livestock for quite some time. Nikki Pike has three hens, Nugget, Nibble, and Noodle who help her with her mental illnesses.
She states that these animals have been able to help her through some tough times with both her anxiety and depression. Since having these hens, she has been able to form a connection with them that has helped her discover a peaceful feeling that calms her mental illnesses.
The access to emotional support animals is becoming easier as more cities and locations begin to acknowledge the positive impact that animals have on humans.
Narcity recently reported on how the Toronto Pearson Airport has gained 15 therapy dogs that are available to keep travellers company while they wait for their flights.