You shouldn’t have to choose between a place to call home and your Emotional Support Animal
Because if the support of your pet helps you manage your symptoms from emotional or mental health challenges, you deserve to live where you’re comfortable!
An ESA Letter Offers
Exemption from no-pets policies
Exemption from breed, size, and weight restrictions
Exemption from additional fees and deposits from landlords, HOAs, and Co-Ops
An ESA Letter will legally protect you and your pet under The Fair Housing Act
An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an individual’s pet that has been approved and prescribed by a Licensed Therapist l to provide therapeutic benefits, such as alleviation from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health challenge an individual may struggle with. The animal does not require any specialized training. Their purpose is to provide comfort and support to a person dealing with a diagnosed emotional, mental, or psychological challenge.
An official ESA Letter from one of our Licensed Therapists grants your pet special housing rights. The only proof of authenticity your pet needs is your official ESA Letter signed by a Licensed Therapist. This letter establishes your mental health disability and confirms legitimate need for the support your pet provides. It’s important to note that animal registration, licensing, wearing a vest, or possessing an ID card are not necessary to legally certify your pet. Once you have your official ESA Letter, you’re legally protected!
How It Works
Complete a questionnaire
Fill out our online questionnaire to help determine if you and your pet qualify for an ESA Letter. One of our Licensed Therapists will review your responses and reach out within 24 hours.
Your responses will be kept private and confidential.
Connect with a Licensed Therapist
Your Licensed Therapist will reach out to schedule a convenient time to chat over the phone, on a video call, or in-person (whichever method is more convenient for you). You’ll have a chance to ask questions and learn about the next steps. Payment is required prior to scheduling an appointment.
If for any reason your Therapist determines you do not qualify for an ESA Letter, you can expect to be immediately issued a 100% refund.
Receive Your Official ESA Letter
Receive a digital copy of your ESA Letter within 24 hours. Your letter provides legal protection under the Fair Housing Act and can be submitted to landlords, HOAs, and Co-Ops.
Sometimes landlords will require additional documentation on top of the ESA Letter — don’t worry, we got you covered! We’re here for you, every step of the way.
“I sincerely want to thank my therapist at Official Pets. I was in a very bad situation when my complex recently decided that pets are no longer allowed. I was freaking out and didn’t know what to do. My friend told me about ESA letters and recommended Official Pets. My Official Pets therapist wrote me a very detailed letter explaining my mental health condition and why it is crucial for me to have Winston and Charlie living with me as a reasonable accommodation. My therapist treated my case with a sense of urgency and delivered the letter within an hour. I am now in compliance with my complex and have both Winston and Charlie with me as my official Emotional Support Animals.”
We’re here to answer all of your questions and walk you through every step of qualifying your Emotional Support Animal
Common Questions about Emotional Support Animals
An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an individual’s pet that has been approved and prescribed by a Licensed Therapist to provide therapeutic benefits, such as alleviation from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health challenge an individual may struggle with. The animal does not require any specialized training. Their purpose is to provide comfort and support to a person dealing with a diagnosed emotional, mental, or psychological challenge.
An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter is issued by a Licensed Therapist. The ESA Letter establishes that the individual has a mental health disability and confirms a legitimate need for the support that the individual’s companion animal provides. The ESA Letter will be provided on the Licensed Therapist's official letterhead, signed, and dated. It will also include the therapist's licensing and contact details, enabling your landlord to verify their credentials. The letter will contain everything legally required for an ESA prescription within the body of the letter. Our ESA Letter ensures that you live worry free with your pet knowing you are legally protected!
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) and their owners have certain protections under federal and state laws. Under the law, ESAs are recognized as assistance animals, granting them exemptions from pet-related regulations. ESAs are entitled to reside in residential buildings that ordinarily prohibit pets or have certain pet restrictions (breed, size, and weight restrictions will not be applied to an ESA). Landlords and other housing providers must allow tenants to live with their ESAs free of charge. The ESA Letter serves as proof of your mental or emotional disability, protecting you under the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
To have a recognized Emotional Support Animal, it is necessary to have an ESA Letter that has been prescribed by a Licensed Therapist. This letter confirms your mental health disability (anxiety, panic attacks, depression, PTSD, or many others) and the fact that having an Emotional Support Animal helps alleviate symptoms of that disability. According to federal law, this is the sole valid method to qualify an animal as an Emotional Support Animal.
The ESA Letter is the only necessary and valid documentation to qualify and verify your Emotional Support Animal status. Your ESA does not require a certificate, license, ID card, special harness, or vest. Housing providers cannot require certificates, registrations, licenses, or IDs for your ESA, as these items do not hold any legal significance for an ESA. While some ESA owners use them as visual indicators, they are neither mandatory nor valid forms of proof that an animal is an ESA. Only a Licensed Therapist can issue a legitimate ESA Letter, and that is the only thing you will need!
No! Registration is not required for your ESA. Registering your ESA in a database or registry is unnecessary. There is no legally recognized registry for ESAs in the United States. While many fraudulent sites claim that an ESA will need a registration number to validate its status, this isn’t the case and is simply the rhetoric of typical ESA scams or trying to upsell you on items you do not need to qualify your pet as an Emotional Support Animal. Any paperwork or documentation from these so-called registries or any type of certificates is worth absolutely nothing in the eyes of the law. These documents do not convey any rights under federal laws. All that’s required to confirm that an animal is an ESA is a legitimate ESA Letter signed by a Licensed Therapist.
An ESA Letter provides housing rights only and doesn't grant access to public areas where animals are prohibited. While some establishments may accommodate ESAs with an ESA Letter, it's essential to check their specific policy regarding ESAs. Obtaining a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) Letter may be a more suitable route if you’re looking to travel with your dog or access public places.
No problem, we've got your back! Our Licensed Therapists are available to get on a call with your landlord should they want to validate the legitimacy of your letter. Should your landlord request a validation of your letter, please have them reach out to your assigned therapist using the contact information on your ESA Letter.
In the unlikely event that your letter does not work as intended and we've tried to make it work with the landlord we will refund your purchase 100%.
Absolutely! The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognizes and acknowledges “documentation may be reliable where provided by legitimate, licensed health care professionals delivering health care services remotely, including over the internet.” Our team of Licensed Therapists offer their services remotely or in-person so you have the option to choose what’s right for you. Remote therapists serve as a crucial resource for individuals who encounter difficulties in finding an in-person therapist, facing financial constraints, or struggling to fit appointments into their busy schedules. If the provider is a Licensed Therapist, whether they offer their services online or in-person, and they have a solid understanding of your mental health condition, they are qualified to issue an ESA recommendation for you.
ESA Letters for housing generally do not have an expiration date. However, it is common for housing providers to request a more recent letter if the one provided is considerably old. Although the Fair Housing Act and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) does not specify guidance around the issue of ESA Letter expiration, we recommend that you renew your ESA Letter annually for a few reasons:
- Many housing providers refuse to accept an ESA Letter that is over a year old. Renewing your letter enables you to provide current documentation that verifies your need for an Emotional Support Animal as still relevant.
- Licensed Therapists may not validate an outdated ESA Letter in the event the housing provider reaches out to verify. An annual consultation with a Licensed Therapist to discuss your needs for an ESA Letter is advised in order to keep recommendations current.
A diverse range of animals can serve as Emotional Support Animals. While dogs and cats are the most common type, ESAs can also include animals such as rabbits, hamsters, birds, mice, ferrets, turtles, and more. Essentially, any domesticated animal that is typically kept at home for companionship rather than commercial purposes can serve as an ESA.
Certainly! Some pet owners may need the presence of more than one Emotional Support Animal (ESA), and it is possible for a single ESA Letter to cover multiple animals. However, it's important to note that the request for multiple animals must be considered "reasonable." An example of an unreasonable request is if you want five Mastiffs as your ESAs and you live in a studio apartment. In order to make sure we're meeting the standard of "reasonable", we are able to accommodate up to three pets per ESA Letter as long as you meet the criteria to warrant an ESA Letter.
We truly understand the power of Animal-Assisted Intervention and recognize the strong impact a pet’s love can have on your mental well-being. We are proud ESA and PSD owners ourselves and know what it feels like to need your animal by your side, wherever you go! We bring transparency and accessibility to the ESA and PSD Process. We believe every pet owner in need of an ESA or PSD should have easy and affordable access to the support they need. We’re here to advocate for improved access to mental health care and support individuals with mental health conditions. We know the power of Animal-Assisted Treatment Plans and want to help our clients use it to its fullest potential. We are on your side and want to help you navigate the ESA/PSD process as easily as possible.
Get the Support You Deserve