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Certification Scam

Each year more and more sites have popped up online claiming to "Register" or "Certify" service dogs and emotional support animals.

The Facts:

  1. No federal government agencies certify or register service dogs or emotional support animals.

  2. No federal government agency designates any businesses as an official registrar or certifier.

  3. Ask yourself how someone can certify that you have a legitimate service dog or ESA if they have never seen your dog.

  4. The certificates that these bogus businesses issue aren't worth the paper they're written on. You might as well get your neighbor to certify your dog because it would be just as legitimate.

  5. These businesses bank on the fact that most people believe your dog must be registered or certified by someone to be a "Real" service dog or emotional support animal.

  6. Do you really want to give your and your dog's personal information to a "Company" that knows that they have no more authority to certify your dog than the man on the moon? What could they do with that info?

Real service dogs or emotional support animals do not need to be registered or certified by ANYONE and any business claiming to do either is misleading you.

What the Laws Really Say


Service Dogs Emotional Support Animals
Definitions The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:

_ Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.

_ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.

_ Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a US legal term for a pet which provides therapeutic benefit to its owner through companionship and affection. Emotional support animals are not specially trained to ameliorate disability as psychiatric service dogs are. They require only as much training as an ordinary pet requires in order to live peacefully among humans without being a nuisance or a danger to others.

In the U.S., two federal laws grant special rights to some owners of emotional support animals.

Laws Protecting this Type of Dog Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988

The Air Carrier Access Act

Some Disabilities Covered PTSD, hearing impairment (deafness), mobility issues, epilepsy, visual impairment (blindness), autism, seizures, diabetes,  multiple sclerosis (MS), and other physical/mental disabilities Provides theraputic support to a disabled or elderly owner through companionship, non-judgmental affection, and a focus for life or reduces your fear of flying.
What kind of breeds/sizes of dogs are permitted? Any Dog regardless of breed or size Any animal

Are allowed anywhere a Service Dog is allowed?

Yes No
Fly in airplane for free Yes (A noteless than a year old  from a licensed medical professional  on their letterhead is required) Yes (A note less than a year old from a mental health professional  on their letterhead is required)
Allowed in all housing regardless of pet policy Yes Yes
Individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability


(Dogs trained by owner are acceptable)

No special training required
May be trained by the dog's owner Yes No special training required
Laws apply in All 50 States Yes Yes
Identification is required No. However having your dog identified with a vest or tag immediately stops confrontations with others thinking your assistance animal is just a pet. No. However having your dog identified with a vest or tag immediately stops confrontations with others thinking your assistance animal is just a pet.