Most pet owners would love to be able to bring their pet with them wherever they go. But what about those who need to bring our dogs with them for their mental health and wellbeing? An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that allows an owner with a mental or emotional condition to function normally on a daily basis, yet differs from a service dog in several ways.
And since an ESA is not a service animal, some owners find it challenging to get their condition taken seriously. That’s where Certapet comes in. Our Certapet review looks at just how legitimate Certapet is and whether or not we’d recommend this service to someone who requires an emotional support animal as part of their mental health treatment.
What Is An Emotional Support Animal?
First thing’s first – what is an emotional support animal? An emotional support animal provides comfort and companionship to someone suffering from a mental or emotional disability. This can include but is not limited to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and certain phobias.
Emotional support animals are often not allowed in rental accommodations where no pets are permitted. An ESA certification enables pet parents to access these accommodations through the Fair Housing Act.
An emotional support dog or cat is not the same as a service dog, as a service dog is not considered a pet. An emotional assistance animal is a pet whose presence is essential to keeping its owner calm and is often used as a part of a medical treatment plan. Even so, an ESA is not considered a service animal under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Certapet is an online telehealth platform that helps those with an emotional disability or mental illness secure animal-assisted support. More than simply an ESA letter provider, Certapet helps connect those who can benefit from treatment to licensed mental health professionals within their area. Certapet is available to those living in the United States and Canada.
While Certapet states that receiving an emotional support animal letter is more attainable through their service, they would like to assure the public that they are not a quick and easy “ESA mill.” While Certapet does help those who are suffering from mental and emotional conditions receive ESA letters, not every pet owner who meets with a licensed professional will get a recommendation for an ESA. Only a small number of those evaluated receive an ESA letter as treatment. The certified professionals who work with Certapet will issue clinical treatment plans to those who qualify for their services, which may or may not include a recommendation for an ESA.
Certapet requires those interested in their services to complete a pre-screening test, which will help determine if you might be a good candidate. If you are a good candidate, you will be issued an ESA letter that officially serves as proof of your need for an ESA to treat your condition or disability.
Certapet is a legitimate service that has helped thousands with emotional or mental disorders secure a genuine ESA letter. It’s important to note that you are not guaranteed to receive a letter because you completed a prescreening test or even had an evaluation with a Certapet licensed therapist. If the Certapet team does not deem you eligible for an ESA letter, they will recommend another course of action for your treatment.
Certapet is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited. Those eligible receive a legitimate ESA letter that is fully compliant and 100% legal.
How Does Certapet Work?
Wondering how Certapet works? Let’s look at how you can begin the process of receiving your emotional support animal letter.
Certapet’s pre-screening test takes only a few minutes and is completed entirely online. After entering in some basic personal details, you are prompted to answer questions about your current mental state, behavior, and symptoms. Certapet will then decide if you are a good candidate to meet with one of their licensed medical professionals based on the answers you provide.
If you are a good candidate for an ESA letter, then you will get the option of choosing (and paying for!) the type of letter you require.
The fees for an ESA letter plus consultation are as follows:
- Housing ESA letter ($149)
- Travel ESA letter ($149)
- Housing + Travel ESA letter ($199)
It’s important to note that $35 of any of the above fees is your consultation fee. Therefore, your payment will be refunded minus your consultation fee if you are deemed ineligible for an ESA letter after completing your consultation.
After you make your payment, you’ll be able to schedule your appointment with a licensed mental health professional to determine if an ESA should be a part of your mental health treatment.
Your consultation will be in the form of a phone call or video call and will last for approximately 20-30 minutes. The mental health professional will then determine whether to write your recommendation for emotional support animal therapy.
If your consultation ended in a recommendation, you can download your ESA letter directly from Certapet’s website, and a hard copy will also be shipped to your house. It’s important to keep in mind that an ESA letter is valid for one year. You will be required to be reevaluated in one year to receive a new ESA letter, at which time you will have to pay the same fee again. Users have the option of autorenewing their payment for 10% off at the time of their initial purchase but will not be able to bypass the reevaluation requirement.
Certapet has successfully helped over 65,000 people receive ESA letters and has streamlined receiving this type of mental health assistance. While some pet parents have reported difficulty obtaining emotional support letters through Certapet and poor customer service, the reviews on this service are overwhelmingly positive.
We recommend Certapet for anyone looking to have their cat or dog ESA certified without jumping through hoops. An ESA letter from a certified medical professional allows thousands to receive the support they need for their mental disability. And for many, this is keeping their beloved pooch or caring cat by their side.