How to Get An Emotional Support Animal in Toronto

[2020 UPDATE] How to Get An Emotional Support Animal in Ontario

Emotional support animals (ESAs) have quickly become a leading source of support for those who suffer from emotional and psychological disabilities. Studies show that living with a pet can assuage anxiety, depression, and an array of other psychological and mental disabilities. Owners of emotional support animals across Toronto, Ontario attest to the impact of the presence of animals on the human spirit.

So you want to travel but have a disability that requires you to have an emotional support animal? Are you familiar with the requirements for traveling in Windsor, Ontario with your emotional support dog/pet? We’re going to tell you about the requirements of having an emotional support pet as well as what is acceptable verification for the airline to allow you to bring the pet onboard.

Top Traveling Tricks for an Ontario Emotional Support Animal

Your emotional support dog/pet can be very helpful in making you feel more secure while traveling. Emotional support dogs can aid their owners with the following emotional/mental disorders:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • PTSD
  • Personality disorders
  • Fear/phobias
  • Other emotional/psychological conditions

If you or someone you love has any of the above disorders, then you are aware of the struggles it can be to travel without your beloved pet for support. Therefore, airlines and other modes of public transportation are becoming familiarized with the increasing need of passengers; and will allow you to bring your Emotional Support Animal on the aircraft as long as you have the proper documentation.

Why is an ESA letter necessary?

Your doctor recommended an ESA letter will confirm your mental disability to others (landlords, airlines staff, etc.).

This letter will:

  • Recognize that you’re under the care of a licensed mental health professional’s for an emotional or psychological disability
  • Confirm your emotional disability limits your day-to-day activities, which in turn adversely impacts your mental health.
  • The ESA recommendation is a mandatory reinforcement for your emotional impairment.

Existing Emotional Support Dog in Ontario

At the time of this writing, substantial law exists which protects individuals with disabilities who retain service animals.

A study by the World Health Organization found that people who had diabetes, angina, asthma, or arthritis were more likely to suffer from depression than people without these conditions.

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If you suffer from an emotional or psychological disability that would be significantly reduced by the companionship of a Toronto, Ontario ESA, you are eligible for an ESA note.

A psychological disability is defined as a mental abnormality that affects the day-to-day function of your life as the result of persistent, destructive behavioral patterns. Such disability would include intellectual disabilities and autism. Studies show that ESAs have a calming effect on people with these conditions.

Getting an Emotional Support Dog in Ontario

An emotional disability is one which impacts an individual’s ability to recognize, express or control their emotions. In many instances, the companionship emotional support animals provide mitigates depression.

Legal problems can sometimes bubble up when dealing with the nuanced differences between service and support animals.

Service animals, which are traditionally dogs and horses, are highly trained to perform a particular skill, for example detecting a seizure, pulling a wheelchair, and guidance for the visually challenged.

Comparatively, emotional support animals (dogs, rats, cats, birds, and others) require no specialized training. Specialized documentation proving the disability and the need for the support animal may be required in some instances.

Flying with your Ontario Emotional Support Dog

In the air, the strict rules of the Federal Air Carrier Access Act govern emotional support animals.

Folks flying with a support animal must have written documentation from a licensed mental health professional declaring the traveler’s disability and the need for the animal. This letter must be issued within the past year, on the professional’s letterhead, and indicate the type of provided health care. Typically, airlines require at least 48 hours notice you’re traveling in the company of a support animal.

Emotional support animals are not granted unlimited legal protection. In Toronto, Ontario, only service animals, and not support animals, are offered unfettered access to a public place.

This exception is not based on breed or size; the threat to property or safety must be specific to the animal in question.

Typical airline traveling requirements

  • One emotional support animal per person
  • Animal must be clean and well-behaved
  • Animals must be able to fit at your feet, under your seat or in your lap (lap animals must be smaller than a 2-year old child)
  • If the animal is in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of you with the animal in it

Emotional support animals cannot:

  • Be seated in an exit row
  • Protrude into or block aisles
  • Occupy a seat
  • Eat from tray tables

If your animal doesn’t fit within the allowed spaces, you may need to:

  • Rebook on a flight with more open seats
  • Buy a ticket for the animal
  • Transport the animal as a checked pet

Conclusion for an Emotional Support Animal for travel

An Emotional Support Animal is not the same thing as a service animal. A service animal provides assistance to an individual such as what a seeing-eye dog of an epilepsy dog does. Emotional Support Animals or E.S. A’s provide emotional support to an individual who is suffering from some form of mental or emotional disability.

Some see an emotional support dog as being a “pet”, whereas, a service dog is an essential aid to the person’s livelihood. For anyone who is suffering from mental illness, they know that their ESA is also a critical part of their life. If a person is suicidal, often their emotional support animal can comfort them and soothe them into not taking their own life. An emotional support animal is very much a part of the emotionally disabled person’s therapy regimen.

The United States and Canadian government’s identifies with the fact that animal therapy is an aid to a person’s physical health. We all know the sense of relief we feel when petting our loving pet dog or cat. The actions of petting an animal we love releases endorphins, which are hormones in the brain that make us feel good. When an emotional or psychologically disabled person has a pet to help them forget about their disability for just a little while, it aids them in feeling good and enjoying life.

Everyone deserves to enjoy their time while traveling and be able spend it with a loving companion. Whether that be of the two or four-legged variety. If we feel safe with that companion, shouldn’t they be allowed to accompany us in our travels?

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

We have rock-solid ethics, a great ethos, and amazing reviews.

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.

Consider:

  • 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.

Consider:

  • 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.

Consider:

  • 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.

Consider:

  • 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.

Consider:

  • 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.
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ESA Letters: Buyer’s Checklist

Here’s everything you need to know about how to secure a legitimate emotional support animal letter:

  1. How this works: Our therapists will take you through three easy steps, to assess your need for an assistance animal.
  2. Who we are: Learn more about our organization, ethics, and ethos.
  3. Legitimate versus fake letters: Learn insider tips and tricks to avoid getting scammed.
  4. Reviews: Check out our amazing authentic reviews.
  5. ESAD Shopping Guarantee: Your complete satisfaction is our top priority.

Get Pre-qualified

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 speedpass 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.

Davida Johnson
Davida J.
Jenna Moldowsky
Jenna M.
I’m so grateful I found ESDA Intl. Both Chaz and the doctor that I worked with were very professional and responsive. I had my letter within a couple of days and I couldn’t be happier with my experience. I highly recommend this service!
Amanda Lynch
Amanda L.
The process with ESA doggy was simple, straight forward and professional. The manager is a kind man who is a good listener.

About ESADoggy

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.

Active in the industry.

  • Member, American Mental Health Counselors Association (54568015)
  • Member, American Counseling Association (6513039)
  • Member, National Association of Social Workers (886784059)

Locations

ESAD Intl.
980 N. Federal Highway, #110
Boca Raton, FL USA 33432-2704

Offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Toronto, and across the globe.

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