ESA Weekly News January 15th: Fake ESA Letter Complaints Rush In and ESAs Get a College Education

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dog with esa weekly news paper in its mouth

Today, we’re once again bringing you the freshest emotional support animal news. This time, we’re covering a massive complaint about ESAs in rented apartments and the day-to-day of ESAs on a college campus. Get your cup of coffee and join us to get caught up!

HUD Warns Against Fake ESA Letters Online

This past month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued concerns over fake ESAs. Secretary Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr. wrote a letter to the Federal Trading Commission (FTC). It warned customers that there are companies online selling “unreliable” ESA letters.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) states renters with a mental health disability can live with their ESAs. They don’t have to pay any pet fees, but they do have to show their landlord an ESA letter. The problem, landlords say, is that even people with no disability are taking advantage of the FHA.

For years, landlords have been complaining that some tenants get ESA letters to avoid pet fees. Now, the HUD is taking those complaints seriously. For starters, it’s asking customers to be more aware when getting an ESA letter online. But for now, the agency hasn’t changed any of its policies.

emotional support animal chihuahua barking at woman with green laptop


Emotional Support Animals Get a College Education at Princeton

This year, Princeton University opened its dorm halls to emotional support animals once again. K Stiefel and Ann Webb are two of the students who live with their ESAs on campus. They rely on their furry friends’ for comfort to help them cope with their mental health disorders.

K Stiefel shares her day-to-day with Scarlet, a curly, sandy-colored hair dog. The two go for walks several times a day and are there for each other at all times. Stiefel says the responsibility of looking after Scarlet has bettered her mental health wellbeing.

Webb also lives with her ESA, a seven-month-old kitty, who helps her cope with her anxiety. She told the Daily Princetonian that “It’s so nice to have that source of joy and love and comfort that you just know is going to be there any time.”

We don’t know for sure how many ESAs live on campus at Princeton. But we do know that getting an ESA in a dorm requires an ESA letter and approval from the Office of Disability Services.

student doing homework with emotional support dog


CertaPet’s Thoughts on This Week’s News

It’s a good thing the HUD is warning customers against fake ESA letters. There are so many websites selling worthless documents to unsuspecting people who may or may not need an ESA. Putting a stop to misrepresentation is key. It will certainly help those who have mental health conditions and need to live with an ESA by their side.

We’re also happy to see students embracing their ESAs and taking them into their dorms. Being a student is hard work and comes with a lot of added stress and anxiety. Students who already have mental health illnesses need the extra support an ESA can offer them.

If you have a mental health condition and need an ESA, we can help you. Start by taking our free 5-minute pre-screening test. One of our licensed mental health professionals will get in touch with you. They’ll decide if you qualify for an ESA and if you do, they’ll issue all the paperwork.

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