The easiest and quickest way to find out if you qualify for an ESA letter in California is to connect with a mental health professional online who is licensed in the state of California and is familiar with California ESA laws. Telemedicine eliminates the hassle of long lines or needing to go physically in person for an evaluation. Connected with experienced mental health professionals from the comfort of your own home to find out if you qualify for an ESA in California.
California residents interested in an emotional support animal will need to obtain an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) for a small fee.
Pettable offers a risk-free guarantee and will refund 100% of the cost of your ESA Letter if it does not work. Once your ESA letter is verified, we will send an ESA letter to you electronically 24 hours after your application for an emotional support animal letter is approved by a licensed mental health professional. That ESA letter will also certify you as an ESA owner regardless of the state you live in.
Unlike other online ESA letter providers, Pettable guarantees your ESA application is approved. If your application for an ESA in California is not approved, Pettable will provide a full refund.
Answer a few questions about your ESA needs
We'll match you to a professional in your state
Receive it within 24 hours of getting approved *
We'll help with any extra forms you need signed and our therapists are available to talk to your landlord anytime, for an additional fee.
* For California residents, effective January 1, 2022, new law AB 468 requires those seeking an ESA letter for dogs to establish a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing documentation, which will result in having two consultations before qualifying.
Getting an emotional support animal in California is available to anyone with a mental or emotional disability.
California recognizes the challenges associated with mental and emotional disabilities and as a result supports and endorses the use of emotional support animals as a component of a person's mental health treatment.
California has friendly policies, laws, and approaches towards emotional support animals. The best way to find out if you qualify for an emotional support animal in California is to connect with a mental health professional licensed in the state of California.
California as a state recognizes the need for emotional support animals when it comes to those that have a disability or illness. Anyone in the state of California that is struggling with a mental health condition is eligible to receive an emotional support animal certification. An emotional support animal (ESA) is an animal that helps its owners cope with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Emotional support animals do not receive the same training as a service animal, or more specifically, as service dogs. Instead, an ESA is meant to help their owner's mental or emotional disabilities with their presence alone. Not requiring the animal to provide a specific crucial service for its owner makes it easier for a mental health professional to determine whether a legitimate ESA is necessary.
In 2022, the Golden State adopted California Law AB-468, which affects anyone looking to add an ESA to their life. Under this law, an individual must have a 30-day minimum relationship with their licensed mental health professional (LMHP) before receiving an ESA letter. The law is meant to prevent scams throughout the support animal process, including from businesses who deceptively try to sell ESA certificates, registration, and ID cards — all of which are not necessary. It also aims to protect individuals who are sold ESA products under the impression that they are the same as service animals, which is a completely different classification with distinct requirements.
Under this law, LMHPs must be licensed to practice in California specifically to issue ESA letters in the state. The issued ESA letter must include their license number, the effective date, their jurisdiction, and the type of professional license. They must also establish a relationship with the patient applying for an ESA letter, for at least 30 days. They must conduct their clinical evaluation of the patient, whether in person or an online telehealth visit. The law only applies to emotional support animals, not service dogs, which have enhanced protections from the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
California legislation has enacted in its own state the federal housing law (which is governed under the Fair Housing Act (FHA)).
This law gives individuals with an emotional support animal the right to live with that animal regardless of any rules or policies enacted by landlords. The reason this law exists is to help support people who suffer from a mental or emotional disability to live with their pet as they are a critical component of their mental health treatment.
The most a housing provider can do is ask to see the ESA letter, and under the Fair Housing Act, must allow the emotional support animal to be on the property with reasonable accommodation. The only way housing providers could refuse housing is if the animal proves to be a direct threat to other residents or other animals.
California has also adopted regulations that allow individuals to bring their pets to work if they qualify as an emotional support animal. California is unique in this respect compared to other states as most other places it is at the employer's discretion whether or not an ESA gets accepted. This state specific law that California has enacted prevents employers from discriminating against the employee based on the disability and must make reasonable efforts to acclimatize a person's emotional support animal in the workplace.
Unfortunately, some companies try to exploit people’s lack of knowledge about ESA laws and regulations to scam them out of money with products and services that are unnecessary to the ESA process. For example, there’s no state or federal certification needed for an ESA, nor is there a registry disabled people need to sign up for when getting an assistance animal. The only thing you need is an official ESA letter issued by a state-certified mental health professional; anything else is superfluous.
To get an ESA in California, you must be diagnosed with a qualifying mental health disorder or emotional disability that requires the companionship of a domesticated support animal in your home. First, you must establish a relationship with an LMHP and get diagnosed with your specific affliction(s), then they can write your official ESA letter. Qualifying conditions include:
One of the ways you can do this is through a telehealth marketplace like Pettable, which can connect you to professionals in your state with experience conducting mental health evaluations for support animals. After filling out the quiz and receiving authorization from our clinicians to work with you, you will be matched with an LMHP and have an over-the-phone consultation with them. You’ll complete a mental health evaluation to determine if you qualify for an ESA.
Once a Pettable LMHP determines whether an ESA is essential to your care and well-being, they will write you a legitimate ESA letter. You will then receive an ESA letter within 24 hours of your consultation.
The biggest benefit of having an ESA letter for your assistance animal is that it protects you and your pet in most housing situations, including exempting you from paying any added rent, deposits, or pet fees. It also lets you have your ESA in your place even if the housing provider has a standard no-pet policy, so you can keep your assistance animal wherever you live (as long as they don’t pose a threat to property or other tenants).
When you have an ESA, it comes with responsibilities that make it easier to establish a healthy daily routine. Whether it’s playing with your ferret, walking your dog, or feeding your snake, daily routines promote activity and help divert your attention from stressors.
Caring for an assistance animal can also promote mental and emotional stability; your ESA can help stave off loneliness, provide needed affection, and provide you with a sense of confidence and self-worth.
If you think a psychiatric service dog might serve you better than an ESA, Pettable can show you the way. Get started by taking our easy online PSD qualification questionnaire and we’ll take it from there. Next, we’ll connect you to a California-licensed mental health professional, who will schedule a telehealth appointment where they will evaluate and diagnose your psychological disorder.
Finally, enroll in Pettable’s online PSD training program and get ready to teach your dog how to care for your specific mental health needs by performing helpful tasks, such as fetching medication or responding to an emergency.
Pettable has a network of experienced mental health specialists that can aid you in every state. They can provide an ESA letter that is recognized both in-state and out-of-state. Whether it be by answering questions from a landlord or travel organization that may require additional documentation, your Pettable mental health specialist will be on your side. Pettable’s legal team can also provide support no matter the state you are in.
1. We Guarantee Our Letters Will Work For You
We believe you should not have to worry about your letter working or not. That's why at Pettable we offer a satisfaction guarantee - meaning your letter works or you get your money back.
2. World Class Mental Health Professionals
We have built a team of world class mental health professionals who can write you a PSD Letter prescription guaranteed to work anywhere you go.
3. Unparalleled Customer Support
We know getting your animal approved to travel or live with you can be stressful, which is why we invest so much in our team of dedicated support specialists to make sure you are always taken care of and have the support you need!
4. Licensed in all 50 states
Our network of mental health professionals is deep and spans across the entire country. Additionally, we have a deep team of mental health professionals to make sure we can meet any timeline.
5. Best In Class Legal Support
We are here to make sure your housing and travel needs are taken care of so you don't worry. Our legal team is dedicated to having your back should you need it!
6. Human Connection & Legitimate Evaluations
In order for your letter to work you need to have a live consultation with a mental health professional. At Pettable we make sure our clinicians adhered to HUD standards and conduct consultations over the phone to get to know you and your mental health situation well.
Pettable is the best provider because we're committed to making sure the process works for you. That means working with the best and most experienced mental health professionals in the psychiatric service dog letter space, as well as providing a guarantee that your letter will work for you. We back all of this up with outstanding customer support, a renowned legal team, and a commitment to making sure you have an incredible experience.
We broke down the different services offered by every ESA service. And we looked for unbiased reviews from 3rd party sites.
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Jennifer Bronsnick is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Anxiety Treatment Specialist, & Heartmath Certified Trainer. She provides customized workshops and trainings to working professionals and teams to help build resilience and reduce stress with practical strategies.
I graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before obtaining my Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2021. I have eight years of experience in the mental health field working in and with various populations, including case management, intake coordination, and residential, inpatient, and outpatient programs. I am certified in Brainspotting to help individuals deeply process negative emotions and trauma/significant life events. Additionally, I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and safety planning in sessions/groups.
LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I offer extensive experience supporting individuals in both outpatient and residential settings in the fields of social work and mental health. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor-II, Substance Abuse Professional, Certified First Responder Counselor, and Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider.
As a clinical social worker, I have been able to work within multiple types of settings, such as hospitals, community centers, and family welfare. I enjoy having the clinical and administrative experience to holistically serve those I work with.