An emotional support animal can be a great help to many people, but not everyone knows how to get one. There is a lot of misinformation about ESAs, letters, and how people go about getting them. Mango Clinic wants to make sure you know everything necessary regarding ESA letters, including how to get one and how to avoid fraudulent websites. It can be very easy to come across illegitimate services, but knowing what to look out for will help you with your search.
What Is An Emotional Support Animal?
For many people with mental and physical disorders, medication and various forms of therapy are among the most recommended. These forms of treatment can be very helpful and have shown to be beneficial for many patients around the world. However, while these treatment options might be helpful for many, this does not mean they will be useful to all. There are many cases where patients require something different for treatment, though they may not know what else might work.
There is no shortage of alternative forms of treatment for those going through a health disorder. One of these is having an emotional support animal, also known as an ESA. There can be a lot said and misunderstood when it comes to ESAs, but it is much simpler than many people would think. Unlike a service animal, an ESA requires absolutely no type of training, as their presence is all that is needed to make them an ESA. This means that a person with a domestic pet may already have an ESA if the pet makes them feel better the same way a form of medication or therapy session would.
As for what counts as an ESA, many would assume dogs are the only animal there is. But this would exclude cats, another highly popular domestic animal, along with many others that can qualify. These other ESA options include birds, pigs, rabbits, and snakes; each of these comes with their own unique advantages that work for some individuals more than others.
What Is An Emotional Support Animal Letter?
If you have already chosen your emotional support animal, then what you might be looking for next is an ESA letter. Unless you live in your own home and don’t ever travel, there is a good chance you will be needing an ESA letter. One of these letters can work for housing, travel, or both.
This letter allows you to live in a residential complex without having to pay any unfair fees or leave the complex because of your ESA. You can also use the letter when you go traveling on a flight, where it is very easy for airlines to bar you from flying because of your ESA. If you are not restricted from boarding, you may still have to pay an unfair fee, something an ESA letter can prevent.
Who Are Waggy?
Waggy (also known by their URL, waggy.pet) is an online website that claims to offer ESA letters for low prices. Their homepage is very straightforward for an ESA site; everything you would want or need is there. They emphasize how low their prices are in comparison to other similar sites, as well as explaining what comes with their letter packages. Along with a “Low Price Guarantee,” their packages include a “Money Back Guarantee,” a “Customer Hotline,” and a letter “Signed by Licensed Therapist.”
They outline their process as being four steps: free qualification test, picking your plan, getting “matched” with a therapist, and receiving the letter. This all seems understandable, but if you have seen enough fraudulent websites online, then this process might look pretty familiar.
Many of these types of sites ask you to prequalify online via a free test questionnaire like thing, which always asks the same kinds of questions. The problem is that, if you were to make an appointment to get an ESA letter, you would not have to fill out a questionnaire beforehand. All the questions these questionnaires ask would be consulted with a licensed doctor who you speak with.
Another issue is that Waggy does not explicitly state whether you would be speaking directly with a licensed doctor or not. While it does say you would be “matched” with a therapist, it does not indicate if that means a therapist will speak with you or simply look over your questionnaire without your input. The most it states is that you can “Connect with your therapist whenever and wherever you are,” which could be an after-the-fact situation.
Are Waggy Legit?
There is already enough on their website to be at least a little suspicious, but there is one other thing you may not have noticed. Legitimate businesses are not shy about having their physical address on their website. The lack of an address is usually a bad sign, but since Waggy provides one, we decided to look it up.
Looking up their address lead us to a Better Business Bureau webpage, which had a few recent complaints listed. These complaints mostly stated that Waggy was not to be trusted due to lying during check out (such as charging customers for a package they did not want), not processing refunds, and for providing spotty certificates. For these reasons and more, we do not recommend Waggy for your ESA letter needs.
Why Choose Mango Clinic?
Getting a genuine ESA letter, signed and written by a licensed physician, is not as hard as it may seem. Mango Clinic makes it easy to get an ESA letter by making sure all you have to do is either make an appointment online or on the phone. We make each and every patient speak directly with a licensed doctor, which can either be in person or via telehealth communication, such as video chat or a phone call. Once you’re approved, we have your ESA letter emailed to you as well as physically stamped and signed. Call us or visit our appointment page today.