I am a Texas State-Licensed Therapist Providing ESA and Service Dog Support Letters for Texas
As a Texas LMHP, Ph.D., and LCSW, I legally classify Service Dogs and (ESA) Emotional Support Animals in Texas. I provide an evaluation, letter, complete all forms, and needed communicate with landlords throughout the year as an LMHP, in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and the rest of Texas. I help people with their dogs, cats, and other species of animals.
Dr. Miki Tesh, PhD, LCSW
My fee ($78) includes:
- Evaluation for a Texas ESA letter or a Texas Service Dog letter
- Education and advocacy for your assistant animals or service animals
- Texas ESA letter or Service Dog letter
- Any extra forms on contact needed for your assistance animal or service animal
- Updates or forms needed during the year (in case you move to a different location).
A psychiatric service dog is specifically trained, by yourself or a professional, to complete a task, or attend to a need related to a mental health disability. The dog might respond to a command, or sense a need (such as a panic attack), and then perform an action (such as nuzzling, laying on the person, etc.). PSA’s or psychiatric service dogs are allowed to accompany you to most public places, such as stores, planes, gyms, etc. Your rights to have a psychiatric service dog in Texas are federally protected by the ADA (Americans for Disability Act), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and the FHA (Fair Housing Act).
Emotional Support Animals
On the other hand, an ESA or Assistance Animal does not have to be specially trained, can be any type of animal (cat, bird…), and a person can have more than one emotional support animal. An ESA helps improve a person’s mental health by living with and accompanying their person as a comfort animal. While a service dog can go to public places, an ESA might not necessarily be allowed into public places (like stores or gyms) unless the owner/manager of the location grants permission. Your rights to have an emotional support animal in Texas are federally protected by the ADA (Americans for Disability Act), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and the FHA (Fair Housing Act).
How do I know if an ESA service is legitimate?
Often my clients will find me after trying to obtain an ESA letter or PSA letter from an online service that sells “ESA tag,” “ESA ID,” “ESA vest,” “ESA certification,” or an “ESA registration.” These types of items and documents are NOT legal documents that Texas landlords and apartment complexes are required to honor according to HUD, the ADA, and the FHA. Other problems that can occur when an ESA letter is not written from a currently licensed healthcare provider for your state, or if you never speak with the licensed healthcare provider. If you discover that it is difficult to reach the provider at all for further follow-up, then you may run into problems when you need further assistance. Often, I stay in contact with my clients, and will talk to them multiple times to help facilitate the entire process of evaluation, counseling, recommendations, references, and facilitation. Furthermore, if a healthcare provider is not located in Texas, a landlord may deny the ESA accommodation request. With some of these sites, you risk paying money for items that are useless. What landlords are required to honor are an accommodation letter from an active Texas licensed mental health provider, practicing in Texas, who is available to reach out to for verification of the accommodation letter.
“There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.” – per the ADA
Fortunately, I am a Texas LMHP who specializes in helping those with mental health concerns obtain fair access to housing with their ESA or Service Dog. I have been assisting clients with their assistance and service animals needs since 2015, and have been successful in understanding the medical, mental health, disability, and legal process for facilitating my clients’ fair access to housing with a Texas ESA or Service Animal. I receive referrals from universities, other healthcare providers, and members of the community because I help individuals in Texas, and have been practicing as an LMHP in Texas since 2008 (I have practicing as a LMHP since 1998). Furthermore, I am easy to get a hold (call, text or email me any time) and I respond quickly. I also value equal access to everyone, and try to keep my fees affordable so as to be obtainable for most people. For this reason, I do not sell unnecessary items such as registrations, certifications, Service Animal vests, or Assistant Animal ID’s, nor do I waste a person’s time and money by providing ESA letters to someone who lives outside of Texas, or who I feel wouldn’t qualify for an ESA/PSA. I also do not charge extra when a client has more than one animal, nor do I charge extra for extra for verification forms that an apartment might require. I also do not charge extra for basic questions a client might have.The cost is a flat $78 fee.