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Experience Our Quick and Easy Process

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Discover Your ESA Eligibility

To begin your emotional support animal registration, answer a few brief questions regarding your Emotional Support Animal (ESA) requirements.

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Consult with an Experienced Doctor

Meet with one of our licensed medical professionals in California.

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Obtain Your Official ESA Letter

Receive your official California emotional support animal letter within 24 hours of getting approved.

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Money Back Guarantee

If your ESA Letter is not approved,
we will refund 100% of your payment

Wellness Wag Money Back Guarantee
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If your ESA Letter is not approved, we will refund 100% of your payment

Your ESA Letter Contains the Following:

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See what our happy pet parents have to say…

Meet Some of Our Compassionate Care Team

Dedicated Professionals Ready to Provide Official Emotional Support Animal Letters for a Happier, Healthier Life

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Dr. Chance Miller, MD

Wellness Wag Medical Doctor

Dr. J. Chance Miller is originally from Alabama, where he graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a B.A. in Spanish and minors in Biology and Chemistry. Notably, he was captain of his rugby team. He obtained his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and did his internship and residency at Washington University in Saint Louis.

Dr. Miller is a young and energetic, open-minded physician at the forefront of holistic medicine.

Dr. Miller resides in Saint Louis, MO with his wife, children, and two dogs. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, cooking, skiing, spending time with family, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is fluent in Spanish.

ESA Letter Walkthrough: Your Visual Guide to Comfort and Connection

Experience the simplicity and significance of the ESA letter process with our comprehensive video walkthrough – your key to a happier, healthier life.

What do I Need to Know about Emotional Support Animals in California

Understanding Service and Emotional Support Animal Laws in California

California acknowledges the significance of service and emotional support animals in assisting individuals with disabilities. In this post, we will discuss the laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and their animals in housing, employment, and public places.

Housing: Landlords must accommodate service animals and emotional support animals, regardless of no-pet policies. No additional pet fees can be charged, but tenants may be responsible for damages. Reasonable accommodation requests with reliable documentation must be submitted.

Employment: Employees have the right to request accommodations for service animals or emotional support animals. Employers must provide accommodations that do not cause undue hardship. Alternative accommodations may be suggested. Reliable documentation may be required.

Public Places: Service animals are allowed in public places, but they must be controlled and not pose a hazard. Businesses cannot charge fees for their presence. Staff can ask two questions to determine if an animal is a service animal but cannot inquire about disabilities or demand paperwork or demonstrations.

These laws promote equal access and support for individuals with disabilities and their animals. Understanding and respecting these regulations fosters an inclusive society.

As of January 1, 2022, California implemented a groundbreaking law known as AB 468, setting a new precedent for ESA letter acquisition. The law now mandates prospective ESA owners seeking a letter for dogs to develop a genuine client-provider relationship spanning a minimum of 30 days. This requirement introduces the idea of building strong connections between individuals and their potential ESA providers, fostering a deeper understanding of the needs and benefits of having an emotional support animal.

Following this unique approach, the process now entails two consultations before qualifying for an ESA letter. Although this may seem like a significant change, the assurance of a 100% money back guarantee remains intact. In the event that you do not qualify for the ESA letter or face complications with your landlord after filing a complaint with HUD, California stands firm in ensuring your rights and financial protection.

Enhance Your Life with the Support of an Emotional Support Animal

Understanding the Differences:
Emotional Support Animals, Service Dogs, and Therapy Pets

In the realm of animals providing assistance and support, there are three main classifications to be aware of – emotional support animals, service dogs, and therapy pets. Each of these classifications has unique roles, rights, and regulations, making it important to differentiate between them.

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA), like an emotional support animal in California, primarily offers emotional comfort to individuals battling mental health disorders, with no specific training required for the animal. Their main legal protection comes under the Fair Housing Act, allowing them in housing that typically has a “no pets” policy.

On the other hand, Service Dogs are specially trained to aid people with disabilities, performing tasks directly related to the person’s disability. They enjoy protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing them access to most public places.

Lastly, Therapy Pets offer comfort in therapeutic settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. These pets generally undergo basic obedience training and sometimes additional training based on organization requirements. They don’t enjoy the same legal protections as ESAs or service dogs and their access to different places is highly dependent on specific facility permissions.

In summary, while each of these animals provides support and comfort, the key differences lie in their training, the nature of assistance they provide, their legal rights, and their accessibility to various environments.

Emotional Support AnimalsService DogsTherapy Pets
DefinitionAn Emotional Support Animal (ESA) provides comfort and emotional support to individuals suffering from emotional or mental health conditions.A Service Dog is specially trained to perform specific tasks to aid individuals with disabilities.Therapy Pets are animals that provide comfort and joy in therapeutic settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
Legal Status in CaliforniaUnder the Fair Housing Act, ESAs, including emotional support animals in California, are allowed in housing with “no pets” policies. They are not guaranteed access to public spaces under the ADA.Service Dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which grants them access to most public places alongside their handlers.Therapy pets do not have the same legal protections as ESAs or service dogs and are not generally allowed in places that prohibit pets unless specifically invited.
Training RequirementsNo specific training is required. ESAs are intended to provide emotional support and companionship.Yes, they are trained to perform specific tasks related to the handler’s disability.They often undergo basic obedience training and some organizations require additional training or certification programs.
Certification/Documentation
An ESA requires a letter from a licensed mental health professional stating the individual’s need for the animal.
Service Dogs do not need to be certified, but their handler must be able to demonstrate their ability to perform the task they are trained for if asked.
While not legally required, some organizations offer certification for therapy pets to demonstrate their good behavior and training.
PurposeThe main purpose of an ESA, like an emotional support animal in California, is to provide emotional comfort to their handler.The main purpose of a service dog is to help their handler with tasks they cannot perform due to their disability.The main purpose of a therapy pet is to provide comfort and happiness to many different individuals, not just a single handler.
Public Access RightsThe main purpose of an ESA, like an emotional support animal in California, is to provide emotional comfort to its handler.Service Dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in all areas of a public facility where the public is allowed to go.Access depends on the permissions of the facility they are visiting.
Accommodation in HousingProtected under the California Human Rights Act; landlords must accommodate emotional support animalsProtected under the Fair Housing Act; landlords must accommodate service dogsAccommodation may vary depending on the housing provider’s policies and regulations
ExamplesDog, cat, bird, or other animals that provide emotional supportDogs trained to assist individuals with mobility, visual impairment, or other disabilitiesAnimals used in therapy sessions, such as dogs or horses
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What is the definition of an emotional support animal in California?

An emotional support animal (ESA) in California refers to an animal, typically a pet, that delivers therapeutic benefits to its owner who is suffering from a mental or emotional disability. The companionship, comfort, and emotional support these animals provide aid in alleviating symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. California state laws uphold the rights of individuals with ESAs to live in housing regardless of “no pet” policies.

Are emotional support animals in California categorized as service animals?

In California, emotional support animals (ESAs) are not classified as service animals. While ESAs and service animals both provide vital support, service animals are trained specifically to carry out tasks or duties that assist with their handler’s disability. On the other hand, California emotional support animals offer emotional assistance and therapeutic companionship but are not required to undergo task-specific training.

How does an emotional support animal in California differ from a service animal?

In the state of California, the primary distinction between an emotional support animal (ESA) and a service animal pertains to their legal rights and public access privileges. Service animals, including service dogs, are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which grants them public access rights. These rights allow service animals to accompany their handlers in places open to the public. Conversely, ESAs, including those in California, are not accorded the same public access rights under the ADA, and are typically not allowed in public areas where pets are not permitted. It’s crucial for individuals in California to understand the specific laws and regulations relating to service animals and ESAs.

Unlock the Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

Discover the Effortless Way to Get Your Legitimate ESA Letter with Wellness Wag

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Step 1:
Complete Our Assessment

Start your journey by completing our simple assessment. Share essential information about your situation and emotional pet support needs. This helps us tailor our services precisely to meet your requirements when you’re seeking an emotional support animal in California.

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Step 2:
Consult with Medical Physicians

Once you’ve submitted the necessary forms, we’ll connect you with a licensed medical doctor in California. Have a personalized consultation and undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine your eligibility for an ESA.

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Step 3:
Receive Your ESA Letter

Upon confirmation by our licensed medical doctor, you’ll receive a professionally crafted ESA letter with legal recognition within 24 hours of your consultation.

We offer a unique Money Back Guarantee to ensure a stress-free experience with your pet. If, for any reason, your legitimate ESA letter doesn’t work, we will refund your money in full. Whether it’s due to non-qualification or illegal denial by your landlord, we’ve got you covered. Our policy guarantees a 100% refund for two reasons: if you don’t qualify after the consultation or if your landlord rejects the letter despite HUD complaint. Your satisfaction is our priority, and we stand behind the effectiveness of our ESA letters.

Embrace the transformative benefits of emotional support animals with ease. Choose Wellness Wag for a smooth process guided by our trusted team of medical physicians. Enjoy the positive impact of the ESA experience for you and your furry companions.

DISCOVER Wellness Wag:

Your Dedicated Emotional Support Animal Partner

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California Emotional Support Animals FAQs

In California, you are not required to register your emotional support animal (ESA). ESAs are distinct from service dogs and are not subject to the same training or certification criteria. However, various establishments and airlines may have specific policies related to ESAs, so it’s important to stay informed about those rules.

California laws don’t grant emotional support animals the same access rights as service dogs, which have special training to assist people with disabilities. Service dogs are generally allowed in public places like restaurants, stores, and other establishments, while ESAs might not have the same rights. Therefore, it’s advised to check the specific laws and policies of the place you’re planning to visit.

Obtaining an ESA letter in California can provide you with a host of benefits. It confers legitimacy and allows your ESA to live with you even in housing with pet restrictions and can offer specific travel allowances. ESAs provide comfort, companionship, and a sense of security, helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. ESAs can also enhance conventional therapy, boost mood, reduce loneliness, and improve overall well-being. A licensed medical provider in California can help you determine if an ESA is a suitable option for your needs.

Yes, the Fair Housing Act, a federal law, applies to ESAs in California as well. This law prohibits housing discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including those who need an ESA for emotional support. It mandates that landlords and property owners make reasonable accommodations, including permitting ESAs, even if there’s a “no pets” policy in place. An ESA letter from a licensed medical provider is required to qualify for these accommodations.

Traveling with an ESA on airlines is subject to regulations by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the airline’s specific policies. Notably, the DOT has revised the rules concerning the transportation of service animals on flights. The new rules define a service animal as a dog trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. This implies that airlines aren’t federally mandated to allow ESAs on flights. However, each airline may have its own ESA policies, so it’s crucial to check with them before you travel.

After obtaining your ESA letter from a licensed medical provider, any breed or species of animal can become your ESA in California. It could be an existing pet or a new one you adopt. Please note that an ESA letter only covers one animal, so it cannot be used to cover multiple pets.

Licensed Professionals in California: Our team comprises licensed medical providers who are fully qualified and have passed board exams in California. We ensure that your ESA letter is approved by a licensed medical provider legally qualified for this purpose in California.

Phone Consultation: Our professionals establish a valid relationship with you via a phone consultation to prescribe an ESA letter legally.

Compliant Letters: Our licensed medical provider directly issues the ESA Letter containing their license number and contact information on professional letterhead, including all the legally required details for an ESA prescription in California.

Though there’s no official specification for the expiration of an ESA letter, we advise renewing it annually for these reasons specific to California:

Landlords in California may reject an expired ESA letter, so renewing ensures your documentation is up to date.


Clinicians in California might not validate an expired ESA letter when contacted by a landlord, so an annual consultation keeps recommendations current.

In compliance with federal and state laws, our ESA letter consultations are conducted over the phone. A licensed medical provider will assess your needs to determine your eligibility for an ESA letter during this consultation.

No, one ESA letter only covers one animal in California. For each pet, you’ll need separate ESA letters. At Wellness Wag, we can help you get ESA letters for all your pets in California.

Absolutely! Your existing pet can serve as your ESA in California if it provides support for an emotional or psychological condition. However, do bear in mind local laws and regulations concerning exotic animals. Certain species are illegal to own in any capacity within the United States.

In case your landlord refuses your ESA despite a valid letter, you can take the following steps:

  • Inform them about the Fair Housing Act and provide a copy of your ESA letter.
  • If they have any queries, they can contact our team or the licensed medical provider whose details are on your letter.
  • If the problem persists, you may consider contacting a local housing agency or seeking legal advice.

With an ESA letter in California, you have the right to live with your emotional support animal in any housing, regardless of the pet policies of your landlord. If they question your ESA’s presence, you can refer them to the Fair Housing Act.

To get an ESA in California, follow these steps:

  • Consult with a licensed medical provider.
  • If eligible, obtain an ESA letter.
  • Choose your emotional support animal.
  • Make sure your animal is well-behaved and can function appropriately in public and private spaces.
  • Understand that an ESA letter covers only one animal.

Although there’s no official registration for ESAs in California, to benefit from legal protections, you need an ESA letter from a licensed medical provider. This document validates your need for an emotional support animal and must be given to housing providers or airlines when asking for reasonable accommodations.

Emotional Support Dog Breeds:
A Glimpse at Some of California’s Best Companions

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Beagle

The Beagle is a top breed in California due to its versatile traits and compatibility with the state’s diverse landscapes and lifestyles. With their compact size and friendly demeanor, Beagles are well-suited for both urban and suburban living, making them a popular choice for Californians residing in various environments. Their exceptional scent detection skills also render them effective search and rescue dogs, crucial for California’s rugged terrains and potential emergencies. Additionally, Beagles’ sociable nature and adaptability make them cherished companions for families, singles, and seniors alike, aligning perfectly with the state’s inclusive and welcoming culture.

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Bulldog

The Bulldog has risen to prominence as a top breed in California due to its unique blend of charm and adaptability. With their laid-back demeanor and affectionate nature, Bulldogs make ideal companions for the diverse lifestyles of Californians. Their moderate exercise needs align well with both urban and suburban settings, catering to the state’s varied environments. Bulldogs’ loyalty and strong bonds with families resonate with California’s sense of community. Their iconic appearance and friendly personality further contribute to their popularity as beloved pets. As a breed that effortlessly embraces the relaxed yet vibrant Californian culture, Bulldogs have rightfully earned their place as cherished and well-suited companions for residents across the state.

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German Shepard

The German Shepherd is a top breed in California due to its exceptional blend of intelligence and versatility. With their loyal and trainable nature, German Shepherds excel in various roles from service dogs to family protectors. Their adaptability to both urban and rural settings aligns with California’s diverse landscapes. German Shepherds’ strong work ethic and companionship resonate with the state’s active lifestyle. As a breed that embodies the state’s values of loyalty and dedication, German Shepherds have rightfully earned their place as cherished and well-suited companions for Californians.

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Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever holds its position as a top breed in California due to its exceptional blend of loyalty and versatility. With their friendly nature and intelligence, these retrievers excel as both family companions and service dogs. Their adaptability to various lifestyles suits California’s diverse environments, from city living to suburban homes. Golden Retrievers’ strong bonds and gentle demeanor resonate with Californians’ sense of community. As a breed that effortlessly embodies the state’s values of companionship and adaptability, Golden Retrievers have rightfully earned their place as cherished and well-suited companions for residents across the state.

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Spaniel

The Spaniel is a top breed in California due to its remarkable blend of intelligence and companionship. With their affectionate nature and versatility, Spaniels excel as both loyal family pets and skilled hunting companions. Their adaptability to various lifestyles resonates with Californians’ active and diverse way of life. Spaniels’ friendly demeanor and keen senses contribute to their popularity as cherished companions. As a breed that effortlessly embodies the state’s values of companionship and adaptability, Spaniels have rightfully earned their place as well-suited and beloved companions for residents across the state.

Unleash Adventure and Serenity:
Top Destinations in California for ESA Letter Holders

San Francisco, California

Known for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco has much to offer. Visit Alcatraz Island, stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf, or ride a historic cable car. The city is also known for its diverse food scene, and the nearby Napa and Sonoma valleys are renowned for their world-class wineries.

Los Angeles, California

As the home of Hollywood, Los Angeles offers a unique blend of glitz and glamour. Visit the Griffith Observatory for stunning views of the city and the stars, stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or explore the Getty Center’s art collection. The city’s beaches, including Venice Beach and Santa Monica Beach, are also popular destinations.

Yosemite National Park, California

This national park in the Sierra Nevada mountains is known for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and vast wilderness. Hiking, climbing, and wildlife viewing are popular activities here.

Explore Local ESA Letter Guidance for the State of California