Emotional Support Boa Info/Help

Keep going and don’t stop until you get there!


They may have a reason to not allow boas, but it isn’t a good reason. A Retic, Burm or Asian Water Monitor sure, but a boa? I mean if you moved in with a giant female or something maybe?

Idk, to me that’s just silly. It’s not a free roaming animal. But alas I asked before I move din to my place if they’d allow a snake, they agreed (it just so happens to turn into snakes plural lol) As far as “don’t ask don’t tell” I suppose in this instance that is an option, tho usually I highly recommend against that - but the consequences are usually a lot worse (imo) than just having to move. Like, the animal being put down. (Hence why I don’t have a Super Dwarf Retic in Iowa… Stupid Iowa laws make no sense lol)

All that said, I wish you luck. A boa to me, if bought just as a pet, can be kept the size of a BP (dwarf boa, or even a male pure Colombian is close if not overfed as a baby with smaller genealogy etc) I suffer from quite severe mental health stuff (tho these days it’s much more managed, PTSD, anxiety and panic disorders, OCD, recovering addict sober 5+ years, etc etc) along with working in the field, and when the consequences of not being up your mental health wellness in general is more severe than others, things like pets or hobbies can be hugely important. So hopefully you get something worked out. Here’s to non-traditional support animals!


My goodness dear one! God bless you for your courage and success! BELIEVE ME when I say I KNOW how hard it is. I will leave it here.

Caron :heart:


Since texas law prohibits it, nothing you can do except change the law. There has been a lot of abuse of the ESA laws, and thanks to that it is being ( rightfully so) cracked down on. Contact your representative to work on changing the law


I’m a big believer in interacting with animals as a means of looking after one’s mental health. I don’t think it’s coincidence that my mental health is currently the best it’s ever been, and I have the most pets I’ve ever had. :joy: I mean, there have certainly been other things that have had a positive impact (getting out of the bad situation I was in for years, therapy to deal with trauma, having a stable living situation, finding a good job, etc.), but my animals have definitely helped a lot, and have become an important part of my coping mechanisms to manage my mental health, especially as I’ve moved away from relying on medication (no judgement on anyone who takes meds and is helped by meds, it just wasn’t really the right long-term solution for me). Plus my animals give me a tangible reason to look after myself and keep myself healthy and in a good mental place, because I know they rely on me. I have to take care of myself so I’m able to take care of them.

While many people recognize the mental benefits of pets, it can be frustrating when people think it’s only cute, fury, “normal” pets that have those benefits. Any animal you like and enjoy interacting with is beneficial. Heck, even my spiders affect my mental health in a positive way, even though I don’t really handle them. Most people probably find the concept of an “emotional support black widow” to be ridiculous, but not me! :joy:


Yeah that’s what I thought too regarding boas? The boa I’m going to have is a male and given the sizes his parents are at (5’7”, 6’0” respectively, per his breeders) he’d probably be only 5-6ft tops? Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s about ball python size yeah? Maybe female ball python at most? I certainly won’t be power feeding him when I have him and just feeding him at a rate that promotes healthy weight/steady growth.

But yes I am far too afraid of the repercussions of policy breaking to do a don’t ask don’t tell. At a previous complex, when I was younger, my family had done that with our dog and it was stressful indeed. Your frustration with the laws sounds very relatable - I understand there’s a reason for everything but man some of them are just far too limiting/restrictive, especially for people who aren’t being reckless and know what they need to do regarding their reptile(s).

Thank you so much for the support and well wishes! I’m really hopeful with the apartment complex I found and hope my letter obtaining /move out goes smoothly. I’m glad you’ve been able to reach a manageable level with your mental health and I really am just eager to be able to have my boa be another supplemental source to help me manage my own.


The whole time I was properly looking into ESAs I kinda felt like slapping myself? I was just thinking, “Why the hell did I not realize this sort of therapy would be a huge, immense help to me sooner??” Im pretty much the same thought: I have my therapist, I do my best to work out, make time to engage in my hobbies, etc. but animals just are great supplement to all of that, I know my late dog and parakeet did that for me in my younger years. As I work a nightshift job, so I’m not home often, my pet allergies have worsened, so my boa would just work well for my needs.

Im also the same where medication (also yes I do not judge anyone for being on medications either, this is just me and my personal health) just isn’t good for my health long term and do my best to find means and alternatives and this would really be a helpful alternative.

Oh god I could only imagine how hard it would be to accommodate or get a letter for a spider? I could definitely see the benefits be it on the companionship/care and etc like you’ve mentioned. I do hope one day there can be a nice balance of not being too restrictive for the people who aren’t trying to be fraudulent with ESAs but enough to counter those who are exploiting the system.


Fortunately for me, the condo I rent is owned by my mom, so I have a very understanding landlord. Any time she’s raised an eyebrow about any of my pets, I just remind her that she raised me, so she only has herself to blame that I turned out like this. :joy:


Wow! That’s just not right! :joy: But it’s funny! :heart:


Okay i have been particularly invested in the topic of esa snakes for many years now. Their deep pressure therapy and generally calm/still behavior provides a different kind of sensory stimuli than any other pet. Stimuli that can be exceedingly beneficial for individuals who could not handle the comparatively hyper and demanding behavior of fluffy pets. They can be exceptionally beneficial for neurodivergent/ADD/ADHD/ASD children and adults, moreso than fluffy companions due to their unique disposition and less demanding behavior.
Here’s an article, although i don’t vouch for any of the husbandry information, because it has been a while since I’ve read it in earnest, it does touch on this topic quite well.



I remember seeing this article pop up in my research! I just hadn’t had the chance to read it since I was trying to find more info about ESA laws.

Having read that article it was — yes iffy husbandry advice aside — very nice to see it being validated that snakes can be of use therapy wise as well any other animal. I’ve only been recently learning about reptiles, ESAs, etc. But has there always been more of a stigma and etc against any ESAs that aren’t the typical dog, cat, bird, pig, etc?


In my limited experience, yes. But for reptiles specifically, i see it as simply more of the same general ignorance based stigma reaching into the field of medicine and therapy through the the practitioners licensed to grant ESA’s themselves.
That is to say the good part is that for as many mental health professionals out there that would probably recoil at the sight of a garter snake, (let alone acknowledge it as being someone’s reason to live,) There’s eventually going to be one that is open to the idea. Especially so if there is any real length of time behind your professional relationship.

ESA’s don’t have to he trained like Service animals, the license just prevents landlords from refusing to house the animal in certain states. In theory, as long as you can represent yourself and your animal, prove that they are vital to your mental/medical success, and the animal is legal to keep in your home, then any animal within fair reason could become an ESA. I do believe there was an ESA Alligator at one point named Wally that was internet famous for a time. You can still find his story, of course. Wally might have passed away, i honestly can’t remember. But if you want an example as to how far the ESA titles can go in terms of eligible animals? With the right animal, situation, and mental health professional, I’d say pretty far.

I want to get two of my snakes registered for ESA, my first, and my oldest. Because I can’t live without my first, and my oldest is true therapy snake material inside and out. Obviously not there yet, but step #1 for me is to find a qualified therapist that matches well. Then build a professional relationship with them over an extended period of time. State my case, and see what they say.


The very best of luck to you @auriea! God bless you and your journey! :heart::pray: