Boca Raton, FL., March 16, 2019 – Spurred by the ballooning number of online services that exist solely to provide paperwork deceitfully qualifying pets as emotional support animals (ESA), recent legislation introduced in the Florida Senate would stop bogus operations in their tracks, says a good government advocate and owner of a business that connects patients with licensed therapists.
Florida Senate Bill (SB 1128) would require documents supporting a patient’s need for an emotional support animal cannot be prepared by a licensed practitioner engaged for that sole purpose (known as selling an ESA letter for a fee).
“As an advocate for good government, I’m delighted Tallahassee is finally cracking down on spurious Internet-based operations pumping out fraudulent ESA letters,’” said Chaz Stevens, founder of ESAD.
Since 2015, Stevens’ Boca Raton, FL-based ESAD has connected people who have a disability-related need for an assistance animal with local, licensed mental health care professionals who provide a wide variety of therapeutic care offerings.
Too many unethical operators are looking to exploit the laws’ recognition that pets often help people with disabilities function and therefore should not subject to a community’s pet rules, Stevens said. The law correctly recognizes that people with disabilities who need this support should not be discriminated against.
But devious operators are giving emotional support animals a bad name.
“Typically operated out of a rented mailbox, these operations are profit-driven and not client-centered. False advertising, false claims, and fictitious documents that don’t comply with federal law. Letters that are routinely rejected. Out-of-state therapists who are illegally practicing within the state. No therapy options offered to clients,” Stevens said.
“No sessions, no care, no concern for their mental health. Forget HIPPA compliance. It’s just bogus,” he added.
ESAD rises in strong support of Florida Senate Bill 1128, Stevens said.
“We believe the emotional support animal industry needs more regulation from Tallahassee, and across America,” he added.
“Unfortunately, the online emotional support animal letter business is chock-full of ethically flexible vendors, therapists, and customers,” said Stevens, “To wit, I’ve personally qualified ‘Harry Henderson, an emotional support Bigfoot.’”
“On the other hand, I’ve regularly witnessed how an animal can make all the difference in the world. For our clients that needed a helping help, the transformation is breathtaking.”
Located in Boca Raton, Florida, ESAD is a global-minded, innovative company looking to drive positive change and solve social problems with the use of technology.
ESAD is committed to creating a world that works for everyone. Our mission to improve the online mental health care business using cutting edge technology, rock solid ethics, and a strong moral compass.