[JULY 2020 UPDATE] Service Dog Fraud

In many states, 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.

When you consider a service dog, many people imagine a large breed dog assisting its visually-challenged hander.

These highly trained animals perform a variety of valuable services to disabled individuals, such as assisting with emotional and psychological disorders, hearing, seizure and other debilitating conditions.

Now for the bad news.

Bogus Online Service Dog Registration

Your rescue animal, saved from the pits of hell, with zero professional training does not magically transform into a “service animal” merely because you spent $100 buying various knick-knacks from the Internet. I mean, you’ve got that certificate from a “national service animal registry!”

According to one popular website, “By registering your service animal or emotional support animal in our registry and having proper credentials, 99% of businesses won’t even bother asking you about your service animal.”

Certification does not mean an individual dog is a service dog. Neither does registration or an official looking ID. There are several businesses selling fake certification, registration and IDs over the internet. The dog is never tested and nor is the disability verified.

Bogus. Totally bogus.

Sure you’re liable to “game the system,” you’ll “get one over” on the restaurant owner, and the what-not. And in the meantime, you’re making it that much harder for those folks with a legitimate need for an assistance animal.

So bravo to you!

LEARN THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ASSISTANCE ANIMALS.

Service Dog Certification

Here at ESAD Int’l, we don’t certify your service dog, we can’t register your emotional support animal, and within the pages of this site, you won’t find us selling emotional support dog vests.

Our job is simple.

We follow Federal Law, qualifying and approving individuals who suffer from a variety of emotional disabilities and who enjoy some respite from that turmoil through the love, attention, and affection of their animal.

When we first launched Boca Raton-based ESAD Int’l, we imagined a steady stream of self-entitled individuals, looking to save a few bucks on airline fees. And, oh there’s no doubt, those “self-entitled” individuals come our way. In fact, we regularly turn away clients, as it’s very apparent their duplicitous intentions.

Emotional Support Dog Registration

If you find websites offering service dog registration, animal registry, or the like, there’s an excellent chance you’re going to be taken to the cleaners. Your landlord will deny your request (and put a red flag in your file), and the airline will say no and stuff Fido down in the cargo hold.

And quite honestly and sorry to say, but landlords and airlines are entirely within their right to do so.

Please avoid the following:

  • Service dog registration
  • Service dog certification
  • Service dog for anxiety
  • Emotional support dog registration
  • Emotional support dog certification
  • ESA registration

Our business is emotional support animals. Under federal law, ESAs enjoy two rights.  On the airplane with you, and in no-pets-allowed housing (no pet fees, around the pool, etc.).  You can’t take the dog with you, not to the market, not to the bank, none of that.

Don’t blame us for people taking advantage … we tell ’em no, you can’t do that.  We’re very aware of the needs of the physically challenged.

Here at our office, you’d not believe the horror stories all too often shared with us. These are truly gut-wrenching tales, direct from the mouths of wounded warriors, sexually abused victims, and people genuinely suffering from various emotional maladies.

The stories of soldiers coming back from overseas are particularly harrowing, and it just really breaks your heart.

Need More Information?

An emotional support animal is a type of assistance animal that is recognized as a “reasonable accommodation” for a person with a disability under the federal Fair Housing Act.

Getting qualified for an assistance animal is as simple as 1-2-3.

1: Place an Order.

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2. Complete an Assessment.

After you place an order, you'll complete our proprietary HIPAA-compliant comprehensive online assessment.

3: Engage With an Expert.

Finally, you'll engage in therapeutic care with a local, licensed health care provider via secured video technology

Being Approved.

An emotional support animal is a type of assistance animal that is recognized as a “reasonable accommodation” for a person with a disability under the federal Fair Housing Act. An emotional support animal is not a pet. An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability.

New HUD Guidelines.

HUD's new rules are an update to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that sought to equalize the ability of people with disabilities to enjoy housing. Under the law, housing providers had to exempt those with disabilities from “no pet” rules and pet fees. But some of the gaps in the rules have been abused by those simply trying to bypass pet rules and fees. Others who are providing the letters have exploited uneducated consumers To comply, Housing Pro 2020 provides multiple clinical sessions between client and an in-state licensed provider.

Therapeutic Relationship Required.

Documentation submitted in support of an assistance animal request must come from a person who has a “therapeutic relationship” with the resident seeking the accommodation. A therapeutic relationship is “the provision of medical care, program care, or personal care services, in good faith, for and with actual knowledge of, an individual’s disability and that individual's disability-related need for an assistance animal by:

  1. a physician or other medical professional;
  2. a mental health service provider; or
  3. a non-medical service agency or reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual's disability.”

Because a therapeutic relationship requires that care services be provided, in good faith, for an individual’s disability, documentation submitted on the basis of a single visit to a health care provider solely to obtain a “doctor’s note” will generally not be legally sufficient.

Emotional support animal letter for travel.

An emotional support animal provides comfort to support a customer’s diagnosed mental or emotional disorder. Emotional support animals need not have specific training for that function. All must be trained to behave appropriately in a public setting. Acceptable ESAD Int'l emotional support animals are limited to dogs and cats. Your animal must behave appropriately in a public environment. If your 10-pound Chihuahua acts like Cujo, running around the airport on attack mode, the "best ESA letter in the world" won't matter. To qualify, an individual must have a health professional verify:

  • A mental health-related disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM IV).
  • A need for the emotional support or psychiatric service animal to remedy the disability’s effects during air travel and activity at your destination

The passenger/client must be currently under the care and treatment of a licensed professional. To comply, Travel Pro 2020 provides a clinical session between client and an in-state licensed provider. Read: ESAD Int'l's service dog fraud policy.

Learn more about qualifying for an assistance animal.