Emotional Support Animal Business Owner, Chaz Stevens, Supports Illinois' Assistance Animal Integrity Act

Industry: Healthcare

I’m delighted Illinois is cracking down on spurious Internet-based operations pumping out fraudulent ESA letters. - Chaz Stevens, ESAD International Founder & CEO

Boca Raton, FL (PRUnderground) September 9th, 2019

Looking to curtail the rampant fraud of internet vendors peddling emotional support animal documents, the newly adopted Illinois Assistance Animal Integrity Act (“AAIA”) aims to provide direction and guidance for assessing and evaluating assistance animals.

Signed into law on August 23, 2019, and taking effect on January 1, 2020, the AAIA will allow housing providers to require “reliable documentation of the disability and disability-related need for the animal only if the disability or disability-related need is not readily apparent or known to the [association].

Continuing, the AAIA states, “[i]f the initial documentation is insufficient to show the existence of the therapeutic relationship required under subsection (b), an [association] may request additional information describing the professional relationship between the person and the individual with a disability.

“The Internet is flooded with fly-by-night operations that provide scurrilous documentation while providing no safeguards for patient confidentiality and well-being. I’m delighted Illinois took this step, and look forward to others following suit,” said Chaz Stevens, founder of ESAD International.

Since 2015, Stevens’ Boca Raton, FL-based ESAD International has been providing assistance animal base services to clients across the globe.

All it takes to “get into this business” is a complete lack of ethics, a PO box, a cheesy website, and dirt-cheap instant certificates making false claims and promises, Stevens said.

“It’s infuriating. If you want to conduct yourself ethically, there are no shortcuts when it comes to the management of protected health information and client and animal welfare. It’s no wonder everyone is up-in-arms.”

“It’s just bogus,” he added.

ESAD International rises in strong support of Illinois’ Assistance Animal Integrity Act, Stevens said.

“Hope it catches on across America. For years, we’ve provided products that have fully complied with the spirit and intent on the AAIA. Our clinicians have been in a position to know, and we’ve always put client care and confidentiality first and foremost,” he added.

“Unfortunately, the online emotional support animal letter business is chock-full of ethically flexible vendors, therapists, and customers,” said Stevens, “Hell, I’ve qualified ‘Chewy,’ an emotional support Chewbacca.’”

“This is a great first step for those in need and the public at large.”

ESAD International strongly suggests that clients do not seek counseling or assessment for the sole purpose of obtaining an ESA recommendation letter.

About ESAD International

All across North America, Europe, and Asia, ESAD International’s team of licensed local mental health counselors provide emotional support animal services thru online and in-person sessions.

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