Chaz Stevens, CEO

How Real a Problem Are Fake Emotional Support Animals?

One online provider of emotional support animal verification letters, ESAD International, pitches itself as the wheat among the chaff. Chaz Stevens, the company’s CEO, claims that many of the company’s competitors are illegitimate.

ESAD International, whose fees start at around $200, connects customers across the country with licensed mental health care providers in their area for evaluations. Once the provider determines that the customer in fact needs an emotional
support animal, ESAD provides a verification letter that can be presented to a landlord.

The problem with less conscientious procedures, as Stevens sees it, cuts both ways. “There are individuals who come to us that are just looking for a cheap fix because they don’t want to pay a pet fee,” he said. “So it creates a backlash for those who are truly in need.”

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