For years, we’ve been complaining about the vast array of scurrilous online vendors peddling bogus emotional support animal products.
Case in point, meet David Keller of Prescott Arizona who recently registered a beehive as a trained service animal. Under Federal Law (Americans with Disability Act or ADA), service animals must be allowed entrance into businesses and other places that normally prohibit pets.
Keller visited USA Service Dog Registration, paid a few bucks, submitted a photo of a beehive, and voila! – the beehive is now listed as a trained service animal.
Due to the lack of a governing body supervising the licensing or labeling of service animals, Internet sites can issue fraudulent certification without verifying the animal’s ability to perform a task on queue.
Per US law, only dogs and miniature horses can be service animals. Emotional support animals, which provide well-being, comfort, or companionship — therefore are not performing work or tasks — are not considered service animals.
Many states have civil penalties for fraudulently misrepresent a pet as a service animal.
ESAD Int’l strongly supports increased legislation aimed to prevent organizations like USA Service Dog Registration from selling meaningless products and services.
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
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:
- a physician or other medical professional;
- a mental health service provider; or
- 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.
Chaz Stevens is an entrepreneur, former journalist, and well-known activist who has appeared on the front pages of Time, Miami Herald, Guardian, Slate, and the Huffington Post. He’s also appeared on The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and Fox News.
Chaz lives in South Florida with his two rescue dogs. Before launching ESAD International, he could be found working on IT for IBM, Microsoft, and The Walt Disney World Company. But his favorite job is the one he’s now doing full time — helping people get to a better place.