With the recent passage of legislation in Illinois and upcoming changes in Federal law, the online emotional support animal business should finally benefit from the long overdue tightening of the rules governing the industry.
For years, Chaz Stevens, CEO, and Founder of ESAD International has consistently supported and demanded increased governmental oversight, as weak guidelines at the Federal level allows for systemic abuse.
“Twenty-two dollar documents, deceitful business practices, unlicensed and unethical therapists. All sorts of bogus gizmos for sale. ESAs magically morphing into service animals. Fraud to the left, fraud to the right, no wonder Uncle Sam is sending the cavalry. About time.” said Stevens.
“The market space is ripe for exploitation,” noted Stevens. “It’s become quite obvious someone like me in the industry with a financial interest needs to critique the problems that, in theory, could make my organization a lot more money if we was merely advocating for the status quo. Quite simply, the changes we seek may damage our company’s bottom line, perhaps even put us out of business. Things need to change, and hopefully ESAD’s forward-thinking will land us in the right spot. It’s a big gamble, no doubt.”
ESAD International proposes the mental health professional:
- Can no longer charge a fee for providing a written verification for a person’s disability and need for an emotional support animal while providing no additional service to the client.
- Must have previous work-experience with human-animal bond counseling.
- Must have completed specialized human-animal bond training.
- Must have professional knowledge of the client’s condition adequate to provide a reliable verification.
- Must be able to understand, recognize, and apply the laws governing emotional support animals.
- Should consider if the animal is capable of performing the duties of an emotional support animal.
- Should evaluate the human-animal intervention, assessing for the demonstrably beneficial effect on the client.
- Should evaluate for malingering.
- Must consider the inherent risks to themselves, animal, and client, as well as the public.
Other ESAD International proposed requirements:
- Emotional support animals must meet current state, local, and federal laws and policies regarding vaccinations and county licensing/registration.
- Certificates, identification cards, vests, and tags as proof of an animal’s designation as an emotional support animal must be considered fraudulent.
- Online “registration” and “certification” documentation must be considered fraudulent.
ESAD Interational also is pleased to announce ESABest™, a product focused on mental health care and aligned with the latest professional ethics, standards of practice, and the law.
About Chaz Stevens
Chaz Stevens is an American entrepreneur and constitutional activist. He is the founder and CEO of ESAD International.