The Myth Behind Emotional Support Animal Registration in Canada

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By: CertaPet Staff Updated: June 15, 2020

Woman laid in the floor playing with her siberian emotional support dog

With so many companies selling an emotional support animal registration in Canada, it can be easy to fall into a trap that turns out to be nothing more than a scam.

Luckily for you, in this article, we’ll go over the actual documents you need to get an ESA legally!

Why There’s No Such Thing as “Register Emotional Support Animal”: Canada Style!

The so-called emotional support animal registration AND certification in Canada does not exist.

No law requires you to register your ESA or to get them certified! Companies trying to sell you an emotional support animal certification in Canada are nothing but fraudulent.

All you need to get an emotional support animal in Canada is an emotional support letter.

This letter is issued by a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province or by a doctor. It’s a legal document that describes your need for an ESA and how your emotional support animal is an important part of your clinical treatment plan.

Essentially, the ESA letter shows that your feline or canine companion is a real emotional support animal–not just a pet. There are, therefore, laws that protect you and your ESA against discrimination when traveling on public transport as long as you have an ESA letter.

Emotional Support Animal Letter Canada Is All You Need

Getting an ESA is not hard to get if you genuinely need one. All you need is an emotional support animal letter.

This letter is written by a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province. It states that you have an emotional or mental disability and that your ESA is an important part of your clinical treatment plan.

It’s very important to know that this letter is written to you — not to your ESA. Therefore, there’s no need for an emotional support animal registration in Canada.

Service Dog Certification vs Getting a Legitimate Emotional Support Animal

Do you want to live with your ESA? How about travel by plane with them? If you do, you have to have a valid emotional support letter!

No emotional support animal certification in Canada has legal value. This means that showing it to an airline or to your landlord does absolutely nothing!

Not having a legitimate letter means you’re not covered by any ESA Canadian law.

Woman at home with her Emotional Support Animal dog

Emotional Support Animal Canada Laws Every Canadian Needs to Be Aware Of!

Be sure to read up on the Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Act voluntary code and the Air Transportation Regulations (ATR). Both must be adhered to by every Canadian-based airline. It is especially important for individuals with a disability traveling with an ESA or a service animal.

It is, of course, the responsibility of every ESA owner to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of traveling with animals.

Additionally, always check your travel provider’s ESA policies so that you know about any additional documentation they may require besides your ESA letter, such as a vaccination certificate.

Beyond travel laws, you also need to know what regulates housing and the workplace in Canada. Each province has its own law.

Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal in Canada: The Penalties of Fake Services Dogs and ESAs!

If you are caught misrepresenting an assistance animal in Canada, you will have to pay a fine. How much you pay varies from province to province.

Getting an ESA the legal way isn’t as complicated as you are probably thinking.

Avoid all emotional support animal registrations in Canada and focus on getting a valid ESA letter instead!

5 Facts You Need to Know About ESA Certification in Canada

The best way to avoid getting scammed is to know all there is to know about ESAs.

  1. Run away from any companies selling an emotional support animal registration or certification in Canada. They’re frauds!
  2. The only way to get an ESA legally is to get an emotional support animal letter.
  3. Only a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province (or a doctor) can issue you an ESA letter.
  4. Emotional support animals do not need to be formally trained.
  5. Most people get an emotional support dog or cat for a mental or emotional disability.

Emotional Support Animal Letter Canada: The First Step to Getting an ESA Letter

emotional support animal in apartment with ESA owner

If you have a mental or emotional disability and live in Canada, consider getting an ESA.

Thousands and thousands of CertaPet customers can attest to how their lives have changed as emotional support animal owners and the kind of impact these furry friends have had on them. Through the good and through the bad, ESAs do not leave your side and provide you with the love, care, support you might need.

Are you interested in getting an emotional support animal in Canada? To get started, take our free 5-minute pre-screening test. We’ll put you in touch with a qualified mental health professional who can practice in your province. They’ll book an appointment with you, and if you qualify, they’ll issue you an emotional support animal letter!

We are invoking the Human Rights Code when we issue these letters. The Human Rights Code provides the broadest protections to service animal users, as it extends the right to be free from discrimination, harassment, and reprisal in all of the social areas covered by the Code, including services, goods and facilities, accommodation, contracts, employment, and vocational associations. We are also fully aware and understand that an ESA does not have to be honored and can be denied. We make sure to let our clients know this. There is no legal obligation for the other party to approve an ESA request, but they may be motivated to do so on compassionate grounds. Animals that have little training, are poorly behaved or have damaged property will be rejected.

Common Questions on Emotional Support Animal Registration Canada

Can I register dog as emotional support animal in Canada?

A company is asking me to pay for an emotional support animal certification in Canada. Should I buy it?


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