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Here’s the bad news – everything you’ve learned to date about Vancouver, British Columbia emotional support animal letters is likely wrong.
Also, the ability to buy a “cheapie ESA letter online that works”, works being the operative word here, is quickly coming to an end. And, if you’re not engaged in an ongoing therapeutic relationship with your clinician, there’s a fast-increasing chance your airline will deny your reasonable accommodation request.
On the plus side, continuing reading and we’ll help you navigate the churning and chummy waters of today’s Vancouver, British Columbia emotional support animal letters.
Let’s get started, shall we?
With a vast plethora of Internet-based businesses selling quick fixes, fraudulent ID cards, meaningless registrations, and get-out-of-fees letters, airlines are closely scrutinizing emotional support animal letters of recommendation.
Breaking out a fine-tooth comb, phrases such as “therapeutic relationship,” “under the treatment and care,” and “in the position to know” have become part of our daily conversation around the office.
You see, anyone with a printer can “create an ESA letter.” And trust me, many fraudulent websites do just that — they’ve long mastered the basic idea of an emotional support letter (therapist name & license, something (snicker) about the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, maybe the animal’s weight, so forth and so on). And, as long as the letter’s on the therapist’s letterhead, you’re golden, right?
Sorry to say, but no thanks to peacocks on airplanes and instant pet certificates, a perfectly executed emotional support animal letter isn’t the Wonka Golden Ticket anymore.
Let alone those $79 jobs… Yeah, good luck with those.
As mentioned, it’s about the ongoing client/therapist relationship, and to build out a nationwide network of clinicians capable of engaging in therapeutic care takes lots of work — lots of elbow grease, a few keyboards worn out, tons of talent, and an excellent infrastructure — and we know, since we’ve built Canada’s largest ESA clinical network.
As we move further into 2018, we expect reasonable accommodation requests submitted with ESA letters without a therapeutic basis to be routinely denied. Simply stated — if you buy an ESA letter without additional therapeutic sessions, you’re rolling the dice.
Simply put, your “cost-effective” ESA letter will likely meet the round file.
Pro-tip: If your housing provider requires verification, then you should strongly consider purchasing therapeutic care. If you’re unsure at the time of purchase, or your landlord springs it on you “after the fact,” then you can order these sessions at that time.
Pro-tip: Avoid websites selling “ESA products.” If they’re peddling leashes, they’re probably peddling junk all across the board.
The Wild Wild West Dot Com
These days, access to the Internet and a credit card will likely qualify you for an assistance animal that’s verified with zero healthcare evaluation and no relationship with the therapist.
Allow me to repeat that, as it bears repeating. The majority of online ESA vendors will approve individuals for an emotional support animal relying solely on a self-reported assessment.
No meeting, speaking or reviewing medical history. No diagnosis, evaluation, visit, or treatment. Take a cheesy 5-minute assessment, drop down your VISA, and you’re all set!
Therapy goats, support peacocks, heck, we even had our 11-ton elephant (aka Muffin Top) approved.
Like Service Dog fraud, we staunchly believe these false certifications do a horrible disservice to the genuinely disabled — it’s a black eye to individuals with a legitimate need for service and emotional support animals.
We Can Help
We can appreciate and understand the difficulty and challenges facing those impacted by COVID-19.
To help those in need, we're offering the following:
What All This Means For You
Go ahead, google “emotional support animal letter,” and review the first page of search results. Chances are you’re going to run into trouble with nearly all of those vendors.
Pro-tip: We know of an ESA website that’s operated by a convicted child molester.
They’re probably going to sell you an ESA letter based on a non-existent relationship. If you’re wicked lucky, you’ll have a therapist who practices within your province. You’ll save time as your therapist won’t even bother to call, won’t reach out to you, they will merely assess your “needs” based on that cheesy exam you completed.
By the way, about that exam, you know — the one you might have poured your heart into answering … maybe chronicled some deep secrets you’d like to keep, well, secret — remember that?
- Do they look like someone you’d trust with your darkest secrets?
- Do you know who now owns your protected health information? Any ideas? Are they even located in the US?
If it’s starting to have an “ah ha” moment, or worse, now’s the time to wonder how your protected health information was stored, saved, and accessed.
Imagine it appearing on the Dark Web for sale.
That is not how we do business at ESADoggy.
We connect individuals struggling with the challenges of life with licensed mental health professionals. All across North America and Canada, people rely upon our service to help them qualify for legitimate emotional support animal letters.
We Can Help
We can appreciate and understand the difficulty and challenges facing those impacted by COVID-19.
To help those in need, we're offering the following:
Finding Your Way to a Legit ESA Letter
We’ve shopped around for emotional support animal letters that claim to get your assistance animal in the door of a rental, condo or HOA dwelling or onboard for travel. So we know all the ways online ESA vendors are taking people like you for a ride and exploiting your desire to have your furry or feathered friend by your side.
Some things to remember:
- Our service focuses on the mental health assessment and therapeutic care of an individual, not “certifying a dog.” Any services that claim to register a dog as an ESA is counterfeit. Federal and state rules for ESAs have to do with the animal owner’s mental health care needs, not the animal’s training or skills.
- To stem the booming cottage industry of faked emotional support animal letters, federal and state ESA laws have dramatically tightened, making it more time-consuming and costlier for a consumer to acquire the documents that stand up to legal challenges.
- Since ESA letters now require actual mental health care and consultation, there is no such things as a $22 letter that legitimately exempts your assistance animal from pet fees or rules prohibiting animals in housing or travel accommodations. They just don’t exist.
When you get the documents that will get your assistance animal in the door, or onboard, you’re not buying just a letter. As the law requires, you’re engaging with a licensed clinician who will clinically assess your condition. And if that professional believes you’d benefit from having an assistance animal to help reduce the symptoms of your disability, then the clinician will issue the proper documents.
We’re not cheap but following the letter of the law in a way that stands up to legal challenges rarely is. We have over 1,000 clinicians across the globe, we’re fully HIPAA-compliant, our highly trained experts are available live to answer your questions, so, in the end, you will truly get what you pay for; one way or the other.
We do it right.
Fair Housing for an emotional support dog in 2020.
Emboldened by changes in the law, landlords, condo associations and HOAs are now applying more stringent standards (sometimes going overboard) when approving a resident’s request for an emotional support animal.
Recently, HUD updated their rules (FHEO2020) so that people could no longer transform their pet into an assistance animal with the click of a “submit” button on an online form. Now licensed mental health providers to have “personal client knowledge” and an “ongoing treating relationship” to write an ESA letter that stands up to challenges. To comply, our Housing Pro 2020 product provides multiple clinical sessions between client and an in-state licensed provider.
Seven Mistakes To Avoid When Buying An Emotional Support Animal Letter
Getting what you need to document how your assistance animal is a reasonable accommodation for your disability can evoke so many feelings. You are excited that at last your needs will be legally protected. Yet, the challenges you may face in this journey may fill you with trepidation.
The rampant fakes online that even seasoned buyers fall for certainly magnifies what you are feeling. There’s so much to consider.
We’ve have compiled a list of common mistakes in getting an ESA letter, and the best ways to prevent the pitfalls in this journey. Be sure to avoid:
MISTAKE 1: Choosing the cheapest route to getting an emotional support animal letter
Why spend any money on a letter that doesn’t meet the basic requirements of the law? You are opening yourself up to having your legitimate need challenged and denied. That’s never a good way to start off when you’re moving to a new place or making a point.
By definition, getting an ESA letter that meets the letter of the law involves getting seen and evaluated by a licensed mental health professional. There’s no way that happens for $22, even if those dirt-cheap letters you find online promise that.
MISTAKE 2: Not knowing the online vendor’s physical location
You need to weed out those companies that are operating out of a Post Office box in a UPS store. You do that by looking carefully at the company’s website. Is an address listed? Be sure to Google that address to see if the company is in an actual building.
- Google mapping the location.
- Looking for a corporate identity.
- Looking for an actual named person on the company website.
MISTAKE 3: Not connecting offline
Make sure you can speak with someone. When (and if) you get them on the phone make sure you find out where the company’s clinicians are located (they must be based and licensed in your state). Also, ask them for the company’s physical address.
- If there was a clearly labeled “contact us” part of the website.
- Whether someone answered the phone, or returned your message.
- Was the call center U.S.-based?
MISTAKE 4: Forgetting to check on security and privacy.
You’ve already gotten those calls asking if that’s really you in Paris buying that $94,000 Hermes Vintage crocodile Birkin and definitely don’t want to do that again. Having your credit cards compromised is always a hassle and that’s why we’ve taken the steps to make sure it won’t happen as a result of your transaction with us. Our service, vetted and certified with Norton Secured, meets the highest standards for protecting consumer information.
Unfortunately, most all other ESA vendors will try to make you think they’ve done this by illegally cutting and pasting the McAfee Trusted logo onto their website.
It’s easy to verify the truth, however, simply by clicking on the logo. If it’s legitimate, it takes you to the McAfee site where the vendor’s information is displayed.
- Whether third-party security logos like Norton and McAfee are clickable.
- For California residents, does the vendor have a California Privacy Rights policy?
- What answer you get when you Google "who is" along with the domain name. Does the location and name match up?
- If the domain privacy protected.
MISTAKE 5: Accepting any therapist
When you sign up with us, you get licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).
Whoever evaluates your disability and needs must practice in the state you live in.
- Where the mental health professional practices.
- How far the therapist is from where you live.
- If the vendor offers more than just an evaluation of your disability for the ESA letter.
- What comes up when you Google the name of your therapist.
MISTAKE 6: Assuming your sensitive medical information is safe
We built a state-of-the-art platform for our operation with one thing in mind: protecting your privacy and safeguarding the information you provide as if it were our own. We are in complete compliance with HIPAA, the law that governs patient information.
- Whether they have a published HIPAA compliance statement.
- Inquiring about policies in the event of a data breach.
- If there are physical security safeguards in place.
- Who has access to which parts of your information.
MISTAKE 7: Believing online reviews
Those reviews you see posted on sites like TrustPilot and SiteJabber are not always what they seem. The truth is, anyone can post a 5-star review with no validation or verification that he or she is actually a customer.
The incentives to post fake reviews compound with every comment. For each additional post, ESA vendors can multiply visits, traffic, sales, which means adds up to more money for them.
Here are some hints that the reviews you’re reading are not the genuine article:
- Sudden cascade of reviews that show up in a short amount of time.
- Overuse of “I” and “me” and a lot of verbs.
- The same phrase repeated over and over.
- Reviewers with generic names, such as “Susan Jones,” and/or photo-less profiles.
- Few middle-of-the-road reviews.
ESA Letters: Buyer’s Checklist
Here’s everything you need to know about how to secure a legitimate emotional support animal letter:
- How this works: Our therapists will take you through three easy steps, to assess your need for an assistance animal.
- Who we are: Learn more about our organization, ethics, and ethos.
- Legitimate versus fake letters: Learn insider tips and tricks to avoid getting scammed.
- Reviews: Check out our amazing authentic reviews.
- ESAD Shopping Guarantee: Your complete satisfaction is our top priority.
We offer a short test to help determine if you might qualify for an emotional support animal. The instructional test lists a few of the major life activities that qualifies as a disability and a disability-related need and for each, asks three questions:
- Intensity: how significant is this issue
- Happens: how often does it occur
- Mitigation: how well does your animal help lessen the symptoms
How This Works
There are three steps to being issued an emotional support animal letter of recommendation by a licensed provider:
Step 1: Place Order
We make use of best-in-class security tools and practices to maintain the highest level of security.
Step 2: Take Exam
Our streamlined process is your speed pass to a perfect emotional support animal letters.
Step 3: Get Engaged
We connect clients with a licensed provider in your state or province.
Our credibility matters down the line.
We’ve been helping clients for a long time and maybe we could get away with selling bogus products maybe once, maybe twice.
But it would catch up to us, and the Internet never forgets.
Our credibility as a reputable provider of emotional support animal services is based upon our client’s trust.
And that’s crucial to our success.
ESAD Intl. is a global healthcare technology company with a mission to provide bespoke emotional support animal training, education, and wellness. Every day through our online platform, we connect clients with therapists who provide emotional support animal letters of recommendation and offer COVID-related mental health therapy.
We offer access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited medical doctors, Doctor of Nursing Practice, psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).
Shop with confidence.
Get 90-days of Identity Protection for up to $100,000 with every purchase.
ESAD Intl. Shopping Guarantee™
With the ESAD Intl. Shopping Guarantee, you know you’ve made the right choice about where to shop. Your complete satisfaction is our top priority; which includes our lowest price guarantee. All completely free.
Our media coverage.
From Fox News to MTV to the Huffington Post, we're always in the news.
- [AUDIO] Interview with Chaz Stevens, CEO of ESAD Intl.
- Healthline: To Crack Down on Fake Emotional Support Animals, Experts Issue New Recommendations.
- Travel Weekly: Interview with Chaz Stevens, Founder With newly introduced bill, Michigan aims to crack down on fake support animals
Active in the industry.
- Member, American Mental Health Counselors Association (54568015)
- Member, American Counseling Association (6513039)
- Member, National Association of Social Workers (886784059)
980 N. Federal Highway, #110
Boca Raton, FL USA 33432-2704
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.