January 24, 2024
An emotional support animal letter, or an ESA letter, is a great way to ensure you receive the mental health accommodations your emotional support animal provides.
From generalized anxiety to PTSD to bipolar disorder, emotional support animals can be a great form of treatment to help those with mental health disorders function properly in their day-to-day lives.
Now, because of legislation like the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act, ESA letters keep landlords and airports from discriminating against those who use emotional support animals to help alleviate symptoms of their mental health disorder.
And with advancements in telehealth, connecting to licensed mental health professionals is easier than ever, allowing anyone who needs them easy, affordable access to ESA letters.
But if you’re looking to get an ESA letter online, how do you know which sites are legitimate? Well, we rounded up the three best ESA letter services out there. Keep reading to learn more.
ESA letters are recommendations from a licensed mental health professional that explain that a person suffering from an emotional or mental health disorder needs emotional support animals.
ESA letters are personalized and specific concerning what you need and why your emotional support animal is an adequate accommodation.
An ESA letter is a legally binding document that can allow you to have an animal in your home, a hotel, or an airport regardless of what the policy of your landlord, HOA, or the business may have about pets.
It is important to note that emotional support animals are not pets but rather specific accommodations necessary to assist those who live with the burden of a mental health disorder. Service animals do not need to pay pet rent.
It is important to note that an emotional support animal is not necessarily the same as a service animal, so while ESA letters allow you to keep your animal in a home, hotel, or while traveling, it does not necessarily allow your emotional support animal in all public spaces, like stores and shopping centers.
In some states, an animal can be denied even with an ESA letter if the animal is found to be a direct threat to the health and safety of others or may cause physical or property damage.
Mental health professionals might also deny you a personalized ESA letter based on your emotional or psychological condition.
How it works
Pettable provides ESA letters that are not only legitimate, but they do so easily and quickly.
First, you simply complete a 3-minute quiz that will ask how many animals you have, what kind of animals you have, what you need the ESA letter for (housing or travel), and if you need more extra documentation from the licensed mental health professional.
This is followed by a quick mental health survey that asks you a series of quick questions about what potential mental health symptoms you have experienced in the last two weeks on a scale of Never to Always.
A licensed mental health practitioner will diagnose you with a mental health condition that would qualify as an ESA animal.
Upon completing the survey, you’ll be asked to input your email. If you qualify for an emotional support animal, Pettable will connect you with a licensed mental health professional within 24 hours to finish the process.
After you have completed the process, you will have your ESA letter as soon as 24 to 48 hours later.
Beyond providing stellar ESA letter services, Pettable’s website is filled with useful information about what it takes to get an ESA letter and what challenges you may face on a state-by-state basis.
Their FAQ section is thorough and goes into more detail than many ESA letter services that you may come across.
On top of providing valid ESA letters, Pettable also offers online Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) training and other dog training services from certified dog training professionals.
These self-paced courses allow you to provide your dog with proper training from the comfort of your own home at a pace that is appropriate for you and your mental health disability.
All of Pettable’s services come with a 100% money-back guarantee if the ESA letter is denied or if you are not completely satisfied with your training program.
Pettable cares so deeply about pets and their role in making lives better that they even offer a scholarship program to students who own or have previously owned dogs.
• Quickly connects you to a licensed mental health professional
• Receive your ESA letter in as little as 24 to 48 hours
• 3-minute assessment screening
• Full refund if your ESA letter
• Pre-screening might not fully cover all mental health needs
How it works
If you are trying to get an ESA letter that is not only easy and fast but also discreet, CertaPet is a great ESA letter provider. Whether you have post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health conditions, it is the same ESA letter wherever you go.
You’ll take a quick assessment and provide all the necessary information, including your information (name and whether you reside in the US or Canada), your service animal information (whether the pet is a dog, cat, or rabbit and your pet’s name), and then a mental health screening that will ask you how often you have experienced certain symptoms of a mental or emotional disability.
After paying for the consultation you’ll need (housing only, travel only, or a combination package), a licensed mental health professional will reach out to you about your emotional support animal within 2 business days to schedule a phone call.
Upon completing the telehealth screening, your licensed mental health professional will provide you with a treatment plan including a letter stating that your animal is an emotional support animal that is necessary for the treatment of your mental or emotional disability.
Unlike service dogs, ESA animals will not need special training.
CertaPet, a Texas-based company, has been featured on Forbes, Fox, Entrepreneur Magazine, Wired, and other major publications.
This is largely because CertaPet has successfully gotten Canadian and US residents access to emotional support animals in a quick, easy, and discreet fashion.
They match you with a licensed mental health professional from your state or region so that the specific laws of your area can be addressed when getting your ESA letter.
CertaPet also provides PSD training if you need to train your animal to provide specific mental health support or if you need protections beyond what an emotional support animal letter will provide.
Their top-notch customer support team will get your ESA letter with the help of a licensed therapist.
This is why over 65,000 individuals have trusted CertaPet for their ESA letter needs.
With thousands of reviews praising the speed, efficiency, legitimacy, and affordability of CertaPet, this is a prime ESA letter service that can help get you on the path to better mental health.
• 5-minute pre-screening assessment
• Connect to a mental health professional in 2 business days
• Offers ESA letters for dogs, cats, and rabbits
• No pet fees
• No expedited connection to a mental health professional
How it works
If you are looking to get your ESA letter, ESAPet gets you started in only 2 minutes. You’ll enter your emotional support animal’s information (name, age, dog, cat, or other, male or female, and the breed of your animal), your personal contact information, and take a mental health screening that will ask you if you’ve experienced any mental health symptoms over the past 2 weeks and rate them on a scale of Never, Sometimes, and Always.
You’ll also choose if you need your ESA letter for housing, travel, or both and whether you need additional documentation based on your housing needs.
Writing ESA letters will require a licensed therapist so that you can get an emotional support animal. While this is not a service dog, these pets support many emotional disorders.
Upon completing the pre-screening assessment, a mental health professional will contact you to schedule a call to complete your ESA letter screening.
Once the therapist has assessed your disability and needs, you’ll receive a digital copy of your federally recognized ESA letter within 3 business days.
Simple, easy, and effective, ESAPet provides the ESA letter services you need to start using your pet to support your disabilities. Pet owners can access reliable online therapists to get a certified ESA letter.
ESAPet is dedicated to mental health so much that they even offer links to suicide prevention resources directly on their website.
The ESAPet website is a library of information about what it takes to get an ESA letter and what an ESA letter covers (including potential restrictions and reasons why a landlord or airport can reject your emotional support animal letter).
While they do approve ESA letters, they make sure that you get in touch with the right ESA doctors.
The website also openly features its therapists and social workers who will be providing you with the care and expertise that will allow you to keep your emotional support animal with you, regardless of housing and travel restrictions.
ESAPet can also help connect you with resources related to getting a PSD letter and training for your dog (though they do not offer the training themselves, but rather can be something you discuss with your telehealth specialist).
ESAPet also offers a partial refund if your ESA letter request is denied or you are dissatisfied with their services.
• 2-minute pre-screening
• Offers both ESA letters and PSD letters
• Provides valid, federally recognized ESA letters
• The pre-screening assessment is less in-depth
In an urban development, it might be hard to bring multiple animals to your apartment. The ESA letter services we spoke of today all provide valid ESA services that can help turn your pet into an emotional support animal to assist with your mental and emotional needs.
We can testify to the validity of these ESA letter services because we assessed them based on the following criteria. When it comes to emotional issues and your well-being, you have legal rights to privacy and discretion.
If we are going to say that a company provides the best ESA letter services, we need to ensure they have actual licensed therapists and social workers on staff.
Not only that, but we made sure that they had staff on hand who were specifically experts in the field of emotional support animals and had knowledge of the different state and federal laws that governed the ESA letter industry.
ESA doctors are the only sources that are legally qualified to name a domesticated animal as an emotional support animal (ESA).
You could get an ESA letter from a therapist yourself, but if you are looking into ESA letter services, you likely don’t have a therapist yourself and don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting an actual mental health practitioner.
We made sure that each service we featured was easy to use and provided quick results so that you can be assured that your accommodations via your emotional support animal are properly met.
While a less objective quality, we made sure to assess the various reviews of the companies we looked at.
These ESA letter services we featured had thousands of reviews, mostly positive, that didn’t just talk about speed and customer service, but also the effectiveness of the ESA letter they received.
With legal protections, tenants can avoid a pet fee if they provide letters from ESA doctors.
We spent extensive time researching the websites of the companies to make sure that everything they offered was compliant with both federal and state laws. We aren’t going to feature a company that promises services they cannot legally offer.
A healthcare professional who offers a valid ESA letter on official letterhead is valuable for those who suffer from panic attacks or other emotional disorders.
Each company we featured provides federally recognized ESA letters through licensed therapists and mental and emotional health practitioners.
Research shows that an emotional support animal can greatly increase your quality of life as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and other emotional and mental disabilities.
However, to make sure your needs are met by your emotional support animal, you need to make sure your ESA letter is valid and can’t be rejected. To ensure that you have the most legitimate ESA letter possible, consider the following.
To obtain a valid ESA letter, you need to speak with a licensed professional in the field of mental and emotional health. This can be a social worker or therapist, but they do need all the appropriate education, licensing, and certification.
However, because the ESA field is newer and is still riddled with legal misunderstandings, it is also important to make sure the professional you are speaking with is familiar with the laws of your state or region.
This is why it can be beneficial to speak with licensed professionals who operate in your state, even if you don’t see them in person.
Many less reputable ESA letter services will provide you with an email. You need to have an actual conversation with a licensed professional, so if the ESA letter service you are looking into doesn’t promise an actual phone call with a licensed professional, you should probably seek another service, like one of the three we featured in this article.
An ESA letter is supposed to be tailored to yourself and your needs, not your pet. Therefore, you need to work with your licensed professional to make sure that your mental health needs.
Be honest about what you suffer from, even if that is a difficult discussion, and take the time to assess how the pet you have or how having an animal would assist you. Think about your travel needs.
Do you experience anxiety while traveling? You’ll need to consider getting an ESA letter that specifically addresses your travel concerns.
While the ESA letter services we have looked at do their best to make the process as quick and easy as possible, there is still a certain amount of work you’ll need to do before scheduling your call with your telehealth professional.
It isn’t a lot of work, but you’ll need to have a certain amount of information to be as transparent as possible with your therapist.
While talking about your mental and emotional health can be difficult, to receive the treatment you need and to make sure your rights with your emotional support animal are properly protected, you’ll need to be honest about what you are going through.
If you have thoughts of suicide, experience intense paranoia, or experience auditory or visual hallucinations, you’ll need to openly express that to your licensed professional.
You’ll need to be upfront about what your animal is, the breed of your animal, its sex, and its age (or, in the case of rescues, be as close as you possibly can be).
You don’t need to lie or hide your animal type or dog breed, as ESA letters can supersede animal and breed restrictions, so be as upfront about your animal as possible and try to have all your information and paperwork in order.
While the licensed professional can help with this, it can save time and help the therapist be more exact in their letter if you have an idea of how your animal helps you with your quality of life.
Don’t exaggerate what your emotional support animal can do. If your dog isn’t properly trained, it cannot receive a PSD letter, but it can receive an ESA letter.
What’s the difference between an emotional support animal and a service
While emotional support animals can receive training to provide adequate service, ESAs are not required to receive specific training, learn specific commands, or perform specific duties to assist their owner.
Service animals (and psychiatric service dogs) receive specific training to assist their owner with physical, mental, and emotional health needs.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act of 1988 attempts to eliminate discrimination and allow access to housing regardless of race, sex, religion, disability, national origin, or family status.
As it relates to our article, the Fair Housing Act requires landlords and housing authorities to provide adequate accommodations to those who suffer from mental or physical disabilities.
What is the Air Carrier Access Act?
The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination against passengers with disability and requires airlines to make reasonable accommodations so that passengers with disabilities can travel via airplane.
What are some red flags to look out for when getting an ESA letter?
We’ve looked at what a legitimate ESA letter is, but what about illegitimate ESA letters? You should be able to access your licensed professional education and certification easily, so if the service seems to be hiding its professional accreditation, you should question its authenticity.
Furthermore, any service that does not offer at least a phone conversation with your professional should be questionable, and if the company does not make it clear how to contact their customer support, or if you do not see that they have customer support, you should probably avoid that service.
While an ESA letter may have some limitations, access to an animal that assists with your quality of life due to mental or emotional health issues is a federally protected right.
The three companies we looked at today all provide easy and legitimate services that can get you an ESA letter fast. If you are worried about your landlord denying you access to your animal, consider contacting any one of them today.
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