Avoiding ESA Scams and Fraud

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 recommended an" letters, just run away.


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

Emotional Support Animal “Registration” Services. Somehow their "animal registration card" confers magical legal rights to Mr. Fluffy. Totally bogus. Assistance animals are not required to be registered, there's no government agency oversight, there's no legitimate approved list.

It's some nerd who connected a database to a website.

Instant Approval. We find it unlikely that any reputable therapist or doctor would instantly approve an emotional support animal based.

Bargain or low cost verification letters. You get what you pay for ...

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

Experience the ESADoggy difference.

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

Download our sample emotional support animal letter.

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.

To wit, meet Harry, our “registered” Emotional Support Sasquatch; yet another bogus product to add to our bad letter library.

Connecting people to empower health.

At ESADoggy, we do it the right way. We have rock solid ethics, full HIPAA compliance, guaranteed protection for your financial transaction, and a network of licensed local mental health counselors. Our team has helped thousands of individuals and families achieve their goals.

Let us help you.

Emotional Support Animal Letters.

Emotional Support Animal letters of recommendation (“ESA letters”) level the playing field, protecting individuals from “no-pets allowed” policies, and will widen options for air travel.

  • Issued by a licensed mental health care therapist located in your city or state
  • Contains every written element and requirement demanded under federal law
  • Master-crafted by fair housing and air travel experts
  • Our ESA travel letter have never been rejected by any airline
  • Regularly updated and fully comply will all recent changes to federal law and guidelines

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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.

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.







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!


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 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.


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.”

Looking for an ESA letter this week?

1. Purchase your ESA assessment. Your order is subject to our cancellation and refund policy.

2. Complete an online mental health exam (30-45 minutes).

3. With a licensed therapist from your city/region/state, you'll discuss your disability and disability-related need for an emotional support animal.

For those who qualify, a letter of recommendation will be securely delivered electronically and via postal mail.

How long does it take?

Orders are typically fulfilled within four to five business days. Expedited service is available (additional fees will apply).