We at Emotional Pet Support have helped over 13,000 patients connect to doctors to keep their companion animals with them. As the industry grew and the world noticed how much our services have benefitted thousands, we’ve noticed over the years that there have been other Emotional Support Animal options showing up. These other alternatives may not all have the same intentions, you simply need to see their reviews to find out the truth. However, regardless of which provider you choose, it’s important that you are well-informed.
When Do Emotional Support Animals Help?
You’ll know that you need an emotional support dog or cat when you are undergoing depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any other mental health illness. Sometimes, it’s to the point where you can’t go a day without feeling it or if it’s so intense that even prevents you from your daily normal activities. Sadly, roughly 60% of people don’t seek help, others choose medications like anti-depressants and rely on those. Don’t confuse this category of animals with service animals or therapy animals, those have additional rules but additional requirements.
Animal companionship is the better and more natural route to take than medications or simply living life with the symptoms holding you back from living your normal life. The number of people who fall into this category steadily continues to climb, but that doesn’t mean there’s no solution.
How Do I get A Real ESA Letter?
If you can’t get a prescription letter for your ESA from your local therapist or doctor, then you can do it online. Online service is acceptable because of telemedicine rules which allow doctors to work online to service patients. For instance, we provide a platform that is proven to have helped thousands of people. So, if you’re ready to get started and qualify for a real and legitimate ESA Letter online, you can take our exam below:
How To Avoid Online Emotional Support Animal Scams
It’s important to keep in mind of some things before choosing an online provider for your ESA needs. Be on the lookout for companies that have not many reviews or instantaneous approvals, or letters that NEVER expire. In many cases, these letters won’t work if verified, and may be from a doctor who didn’t know about the letter or wrote it, or may not be from a real doctor at all if verified. These are possible red flags that could all result in a scam. There are many more red flags associated with some of these companies, but a few will be listed.
Below are some red flags to look-out for:
- It is normally more difficult to trust a provider with barely any reviews from former patients than it would be to trust a provider that has been doing this for years and has maintained a consistently good reviews history. With this service, this is especially true and equally as important to help you ensure that you don’t end up getting scammed. Be sure to do your due diligence and compare the reviews of some of your ESA providers to see which one you can count on.
- Emotional support animal letters can’t happen instantly and any provider who claims that, is most likely not legit. It takes time for a real doctor to review a patient’s need and provide them with their documents, especially if the doctor is servicing other people as well. That being said, if your letter is delivered to you “instantly”, that’s usually a red flag that it’s being automated or from a paper mill, that the mental health professional hasn’t actually written or seen. So, if such a letter is questioned, it would fail any verification checks.
- ESA Letters do expire, this is because the doctor needs to check each year to see if the patient’s condition changed and provide them with updated letters if they still qualify. There is also a legal aspect to this. Due to recent changed in FHA (Fair Housing Act) and ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act), re-evaluation is required annually to maintain validity of the ESA letter(s).
- Super low-cost letters are a major red flag because it takes real doctors to write the letters, review assessment and, even communicate with the patient if needed. Super low-cost letters are a way some suspicious ESA providers may try to provide these services without having to work with real doctors. In many cases, companies that ‘provide’ low-cost letters have no reviews or all negative reviews. These companies generally try to entice potential patients by offering deep discounts for fraudulent ESA Letters.
Your ESA Rights
Because ESAs are different from service animals or therapy animals, they have different rights. So, once you have a legit ESA Letter, your emotional support dog can travel or live with you. The Air Carrier Access Act allows passengers to travel on board an aircraft with their animal. Also, the Federal Fair Housing Act allows emotional support animal owners to be excluded from “No Pet” policies from landlords/apartment owners. This is because people with disabilities who have an ESA cannot be discriminated from and cannot be charged additional pet fees or pet deposits if they have a legitimate ESA Letter from their mental health care provider.
There’s no problem in getting a real ESA Letter without visiting a doctor or therapist, thanks to telemedicine. However, you will want to be sure to do your due diligence and review the provider’s record and advertising to see if getting a letter from them is the right choice. That way, you can be sure that your letter will work and can be verified with a real doctor and you can avoid a possible scam.