The number of fake emotional support animals is increasing because it has become easier to use online services to falsify the need for one. On the Internet, almost anyone can pose as a licensed mental health professional and provide the ESA letter that is needed to certify almost any pet as an emotional support animal. This practice jeopardizes the legitimacy of the ESA system.
Getting Around the ESA System
There are many individuals who can legitimately benefit from having an emotional support animal. Such certified animals can help those who have been diagnosed with certain emotional health issues. However, there is an increase in the number of individuals claiming they need the support of an ESA animal. To be approved for ESA status, all that is needed is a letter from a therapist stating that your animal is necessary for improving your emotional wellbeing.
Today, thousands of websites offer an easy process for obtaining an ESA approval letter. Instead of fully evaluating the patient, these sites often require a quick survey or phone conversation. Once that is complete, they may offer to sell the patient a vest for their ESA to validate it as an “official emotional support animal.”
Be Aware of These Red Flags
Uncertified mental health practitioners that provide fake letters and individuals fraudulently claiming they need an ESA to make it more difficult for individuals who really need the support of an ESA.
If you are dealing with an online company to legitimately obtain an ESA letter, here are a few red flags to watch for:
Do they offer instant approval and processing of your ESA letter?
It takes more than just asking for an ESA letter to legitimately receive one. There are certain conditions that qualify a person for a letter, and this usually requires at a minimum, an interview session to determine if the request is valid. An unscrupulous service may not bother going through the proper process to qualify patients first before offering to process a letter instantly.
Do they offer to sell you a certified emotional support animal?
There is no certification or registration requirement for ESAs. The only certification required is for a person who has qualified for an ESA letter that provides authorization for him or her to use their pet as an ESA. Any service that offers to sell you an “already certified” emotional support animal is acting in a fraudulent manner.
How to Legitimately Obtain an ESA Letter
For an ESA letter to be considered valid, a licensed mental health professional must issue it. The individual may be a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Such a professional will often suggest that the patient also participates in another form of therapy to help with his or her emotional health issue. Examples of emotional health issues that patients might benefit by receiving approval of an ESA letter include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Attacks
Yes, there are online services that are legitimate. These services would normally request access to your medical records. They will also require that you go through an interview to ensure that you qualify for an ESA letter. Many services do offer the provision of being in contact with mental health professionals who will help you navigate the process of receiving an authentic ESA letter. However, if you do choose to pursue an ESA letter online, proceed carefully, and remain aware that there are also many services that issue fake emotional support animal letters.
Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter for your specific health needs from EzCare Clinic. EzCare Clinic is an authentic business that can help you get through the entire process smoothly. Schedule an appointment today!