Avoiding ESA Scams and Fraud

As a licensed mental health care provider, ESADoggy is bound by Federal and state law. In other words, if we conduct ourselves improperly, fraudulently, or illegally, a complaint can be filed against our license. 

And to date, we've never had a single issue.

When shopping on the Internet, we understand and share your concerns, so here's a simple rule to help you find legitimate ESA online businesses.

If a website is selling ESA vests, ID cards, certificates, registration, along with "doctor prescribed" letters, just run away.

Image

Watch Out For Red Flags

Many websites claim to “certify” or “register” emotional support animals.

Here are the facts:

  • No Federal or State agency certifies emotional support animals, nor designate any business as an official registrar.
  • Any site claiming to certify your dog is a fraud, likely selling worthless paper and products to people who believe an ESA must be registered.

Unfortunately, our industry is filled with unscrupulous individuals and sketchy websites that are nothing more than offshore call centers. With that in mind, here’s a short list of red flags to consider when reviewing your options:

  • Dirt-cheap documentation
  • Instant certificates
  • ESA registration
  • ESA certificates
  • ID cards
  • Lifetime letters

All of the above, in our opinion, is a dead giveaway, so caveat emptor.

Your most trusted source for emotional support animal letters.

We build relationships.

Let’s talk networks. Put your cell phone down, we’re not talking those kinds of networks. We’re talking about ESA licensed therapist networks. It's is a bit like that coverage map, only instead of better download speeds or less chance of dropped calls, coverage refers to which trusted therapists you can connect with to get the most out of your ESA letter.

States

50

Covered

Licensed

241

Therapists

Only licensed mental health care professionals and physicians are qualified to provide authentic and genuine ESA services.

Service Dog Registration

Be advised, in many states is it now a crime to refer to your untrained family pet as a “service dog.” If you spent money on service dog registration and certification, demand a refund.

Automated Online Services

Beware automated (24/7) online services claiming to provide “real” ESA letters of Recommendation. Also, vests, ID cards, etc. are unnecessary and bogus products, and in no way “certify” your pet, as there isn’t a national ESA registry.

Avoiding Internet scams, and they’re all over the place.

There are plenty of other Internet-based ESA letter services, some legit, some not.

In general, we’ve found online companies offering instant approval, lifetime letters, or animal registrations to be a scam, as their letters are not legally binding. Even worse, they may very well be breaking the law.

Every day we sadly hear horror stories, read deceitful emails from our competition, and sympathize with those who have (incorrectly) placed their trust in deceitful online ESA vendors.

Just Three Simple Steps.

Three Steps To Get Your ESA Letter

Once you complete our intake assessment, you'll speak with a licensed mental health professional from your local area/state, discussing your disability and disability-related need for an emotional support animal. If needed, follow-up sessions and optional aftercare may be suggested.

If your therapist determines you would benefit from an Emotional Support Animal, a letter of recommendation will be issued -- securely delivered and also sent US Mail. Your therapist will continue to maintain a relationship with you throughout the year to assess progress made in addressing the symptoms of your disability.

Here are a few red flags to might help you avoid pitfalls and traps.

Do I need to use an “ESA registration” site?

No, that’s not a legal requirement for an ESA, and quite often, those sites are a complete scam.

Will I need additional accessories like vests and an ID card?

Again no, not a legal requirement.

That being said, we recommend making your assistance animal easily distinguishable, particularly when flying.

Many airlines agree.

A brightly-colored ESA vest can help indicate to landlords and airline personnel that your ESA is more than just a pet.

We suggest the Emotional Support Dog Harness With Reflective Straps (on Amazon).

Beware of false advertising.

Recently, a popular online vendor sent an email informing us, “Did you know that airlines are now requiring all travelers to bring their Emotional Support Animals in an approved ESA travel bag?”

And great news, they’ve got a bag to sell you — for $100!

What?

A review of Southwest Airlines reveals (as we knew beforehand) there is no demand for this sort of nonsense. It’s all a money grab, a ruse to pad the ESA vendor’s bottom line.

Responding back, we ask for an explanation, to which they replied, “That’s actually becoming more true, as time goes by because of rising concerns for the safety of other passengers & Pets also on the plane. BUT it’s still not considered as Mandatory, as of now.”

First, it’s required. Now, it’s not mandatory, but becoming more true.

Unhappy with the reply, we email, “How was that not false advertising, and why would I want to do business with your company if you engage in such practices?”

Pet registrations are a scam.

Don’t, just don’t. Whatever you do, please don’t register your ESA pet, as EVERY SINGLE registration is a scam.

Under Federal Law, an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) provides therapeutic benefit to its owner through affection and companionship. ESAs are not required to be registered nor have specialized training.

Never use a pet certificate.

Completely worthless — avoid using them at all cost, as they’re a dead giveaway you’ve dealt with a letter mill.

A Medical Doctor needs to sign the letter.

False.

Here’s the governing Federal regulations for that, “Accordingly, persons who are seeking a reasonable accommodation for an Emotional Support Animal may be required to provide documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional that the animal provides support that alleviates at least one of the identified symptoms or effects of the existing disability.”

ESADoggy Coverage Map

Creating a higher standard.

Get a premium emotional support animal letter from a top licensed therapist in your state.

Enjoy the nation's largest network of ESA mental health care professionals, offering concierge-style VIP service, emphasizing quality, not quantity of care, along with a personalized touch.

We help our clients live a better life and hold ourselves to the highest ethical and business standards.

You'll benefit from our expertise in the mental health field and fair housing law. Experience therapists who take the time and care to understand you and your mental disability.

Get qualified today.

Without ever leaving the comfort of your home or office, you can qualify for an Emotional Support Animal. To qualify, you must complete the following steps.

  1. Shop ESA letter consultations.
  2. Complete an online HIPAA-compliant mental health exam.
  3. Consult with a licensed professional.
Get Help Now!

Here’s what our clients have to say.

All reviews have been submitted by patients after seeing the provider.