Do you rely on your Emotional Support Animal (ESA) to help mitigate symptoms of a mental health issue? If so, you know how important it is to ensure that you can keep your ESA with you as much as possible. The first step is obtaining a legitimate Emotional Support Animal Letter that meets federal and state requirements.
The Fair Housing Act protects your right to keep your ESA in your home, even if your housing provider has restrictions on pets. Some airlines and travel providers also accommodate ESAs. A genuine ESA Letter signed by a licensed therapist or mental health professional provides proof that your cat or dog is an official assistance animal.
The easiest way to get an official ESA Letter is with an online service. Several companies provide ESA documents to individuals who meet the qualification requirements. Pettable and US Service Animals are two online ESA providers. In this review, we’ll cover the costs, pros, and cons of each service so you can choose the best one.
What Is Pettable?
Pettable is an online ESA company that helps clients connect with caring mental health professionals for Emotional Support Animal consultations. When you use the service, it’s easy to schedule an evaluation with a therapist or licensed mental health professional (LMHP).
If you meet the eligibility requirements for an Emotional Support Animal, the LMHP can write you a legitimate ESA Letter that’s compliant with federal regulations, including HIPAA, the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
How Does Pettable Work?
Pettable offers an easy process to get an ESA Letter by facilitating connections between clients and licensed healthcare providers. There are three main steps to get an Emotional Support Animal document through Pettable:
- Start by taking a pre-evaluation quiz. This questionnaire takes about three minutes to complete and asks simple questions related to mental health.
- If the quiz indicates that you may be eligible for an Emotional Support Animal, proceed to the payment page to choose your Letter package. Once you make a payment, you’ll receive an email from Pettable with some forms to sign.
- As soon as you’ve signed all the necessary documents, you can schedule a consultation with your assigned medical professional. They will evaluate you to determine whether an emotional support dog or cat would be helpful as a part of your mental illness treatment plan. If so, your therapist or licensed mental health professional will write a valid ESA Letter with all the required information and signatures.
Pettable provides ESA documentation in a timely manner.
How Much Does Pettable Cost?
Pettable offers three options for an ESA Letter: a housing letter, an airline travel letter, or a package that includes both letters. The cost of an individual letter is $149. If you choose to get both types of documentation, the housing and travel letter package is available at a discounted cost of $199.
Is Pettable Legit?
Yes. Pettable is a legitimate online ESA Letter service. It has all the hallmarks of a trustworthy company, including a money-back guarantee and ongoing customer service. The company ensures that its ESA documents meet all state and federal requirements as well as those related to HIPAA, FHA, and ACAA legislation.
Our Thoughts About Pettable
Pettable offers a quick and easy way to get an official Emotional Support Animal document (as long as you qualify for one). The site is easy to use and includes many helpful answers about Emotional Support Animals, relevant laws, and mental health.
There are no red flags indicating a fraudulent ESA Letter service, such as the option to get a Letter without an evaluation from an LMHP. Pettable doesn’t say that other tasks, such as registering or certifying your ESA, are necessary (they’re not), and it doesn’t try to sell unnecessary extras.
Here are some of the best things about Pettable:
- Quick turnaround time
- Expert customer support team familiar with ESA Letter regulations
- Pre-qualification quiz that doesn’t require sensitive personal information
- Full satisfaction guarantee for both the consultation and the Letter itself
Pettable has clearly worked hard to create a user-friendly website that takes clients through each step of the process to get an ESA Letter.
Pettable also has some downsides:
- You must provide an email address and phone number during the prescreening quiz.
- Pricing information isn’t available up front; you have to go through the initial questionnaire.
- Full payment is required before scheduling a consultation.
- You’ll probably get numerous marketing emails.
Despite these annoyances, Pettable is still a legitimate and helpful business.
What Is US Service Animals?
US Service Animals is also an online ESA Letter provider. However, the website offers other services besides Emotional Support Animal documentation. It claims to be “The Official US Service Animal & Support Animal (ESA) Registry” and gives customers the option to “register” an Emotional Support Animal or service dog.
In different sections of the website, US Service Animals claims to it can place animals in the “US Service and Support Animal Registry Database” or the “US National Service Animal Registry Database.” Unfortunately, these claims are meaningless; there is no officially recognized database of service animals or ESAs.
Paying to register your dog with US Service Animals provides no legal protections. The only document that can ensure assistance animals get legal coverage is a genuine ESA Letter signed by a licensed physician, therapist, or mental health provider.
To be fair, if you scroll down far enough on the US Service Animals website, there is a section stating that their registration service doesn’t provide legal protection. But most of the site tries hard to indicate otherwise, implying that registration is a useful and necessary step for ESA owners to take.
How Does US Service Animals Work?
The US Service Animals site is divided into three sections: ESA registration, service dog registration, and ESA documentation (in the form of a doctor’s Letter). Since the registration services are unnecessary, we’ll focus on the process to get an ESA Letter.
Unlike Pettable, US Service Animals doesn’t offer a step-by-step process. To get started, you fill out a simple contact form with your name, email, phone number, and state of residence. The website says a licensed doctor will contact you for a free consultation.
If the provider determines you are eligible for an ESA, they will email you a printable Letter. There is no information about whether the Letter is written on official Letterhead or signed by an LMHP who is authorized to practice in your state.
How Much Does US Service Animals Cost?
You can see how much US Service Animals charges for its various products right away in the Shop section of the website. You don’t have to go through a quiz or provide any information to see how much things cost. The price for an Emotional Support Animal Letter for travel and housing is $179.99, but the site says that you don’t have to pay if you don’t get approved during the consultation.
It’s worth noting that US Service Animals charges quite a bit for their “registration” option: $79.98. You get a registration certificate and card, but it’s important to note that neither of these documents offers any actual legal protection.
Is US Service Animals Legit?
Somewhat. US Service Animals offers a mix of legitimate services and scammy options that provide no benefit for consumers. That said, the company’s process for evaluating individuals and providing qualified clients with ESA Letters appears legitimate. However, the fact that US Service Animals advertises expensive transactions that don’t have any real value places the company in a questionable light.
Our Thoughts About US Service Animals
As you can see from our US Service Animals review, the company does provide genuine ESA Letters to qualified individuals, and their price for these documents is competitive. However, much of the website is dedicated to advertising a pointless (and costly) way to get your ESA or service dog registered.
Confusingly, there is a portion of the website that discusses fraudulent ESA websites. It even includes a link to report these scams to the US Service Animals lawyers. This seems disingenuous from a company that itself makes money selling meaningless registration certificates.
US Service Animals Pros
There are few positive aspects of US Service Animals:
- They help eligible clients get an ESA Letter from a doctor.
- They offer customer support in English and Spanish.
- Their prices are clearly shown on the website.
- They offer Letters for both ESAs and psychiatric service dogs.
Overall, the ESA Letter and Service Dog portions of the US Service Animals website seem legit.
US Service Animals Cons
As stated above, US Service Animals has some serious disadvantages.
- It charges money for pointless registration services.
- The website confuses customers with a mix of legitimate and unnecessary services.
- The company doesn’t offer separate ESA Letters for housing and travel.
You can get a legitimate ESA Letter from US Service Animals, but you may not want to support a company that appears to be taking advantage of people in other ways.
Pettable vs. US Service Animals
Even though they both help qualified individuals get official ESA Letters, Pettable and US Service Animals are quite different. Pettable only offers ESA Letters, and it requires clients to go through an initial quiz before seeing prices. US Service Animals shows the cost of all its options, even the less-than-legitimate ones. Both services require a patient to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if they qualify for an Emotional Support Animal.
Pettable is a legitimate, trustworthy source for genuine ESA Letters. The information provided is clear and accurate, and the company offers a full money-back guarantee.