From the category archives:

Emotional Support Cats

Fair Housing Act covers emotional support animal

by Sue on January 16, 2013

AVENTURA, Fla. – Sept. 28, 2012 – The Fair Housing Act does more than protect homeowners or renters who use a support-services animal – it also protects residents who need an animal for emotional support. While the definition of an emotional support animal goes beyond “I love him,” the Fair Housing Act covers residents or potential residents who rely on an emotional support animal.

The issue raises questions from landlords and homeowner associations. An existing rule on pets, for example – such as an additional pet deposit – doesn’t apply to support animals under The Fair Housing Act.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced yesterday they reached a Conciliation Agreement with Point Three East Condominium Association in Aventura, Fla., over the issue. The condo association allegedly refused to allow a resident to keep an emotional support animal, even though the resident provided medical documentation attesting to her need for the accommodation. HUD also found that some of the board members who denied the resident’s request had, or previously had, animals in their units.

Under the agreement, Point East Three Condominium Association will allow the resident to keep her emotional support animal and pay her $18,000. In addition, the condominium association will enact a reasonable accommodation policy and obtain fair housing training for all its board members.

“Condo associations are not exempt from adherence to the Fair Housing Act,” said Carlos Osegueda, HUD’s Region IV director for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Their policies and practices cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities, and HUD will continue to take action anytime we find that they do.”

For more information on emotional support animals protected by The Fair Housing Act, visit the American Bar Association website.

People who believe they are victims of housing discrimination can contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or 1 (800) 927-9275 (TTY).

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Emotinal Support Animals

by Sue on December 27, 2012

Senator George Graham Vest, of Missouri, won a court battle over the shooting of a dog with a speech that included the line, “The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.” Read more of this moving eulogy at: http://www.warrensburg.org/drum.htm .

Dogs have shared their lives with humans for at least 14,000 years and possibly much longer. During those millennia dogs have been man’s helper, protector, and companion. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 39% of U.S. households include one or more dogs and 34% include one or more cats.

An Emotional Support Animal is a dog or other common domestic animal that provides theraputic support to a disabled or elderly owner through companionship, non-judgmental positive regard, affection, and a focus in life. If a doctor determines that a patient with a disabling mental illness would benefit from the companionship of an emotional support animal, the doctor write letters supporting a request by the patient to keep the ESA in “no pets” housing or to travel with the ESA in the cabin of an aircraft.

ESAs are not task trained like service dogs are. In fact little training at all is required so long as the animal is reasonably well behaved by pet standards. This means the animal is fully toilet trained and has no bad habits that would disturb neighbors such is frequent or lengthy episodes of barking. The animal should not pose a danger to other tenants or to workmen. But there is no requirement for fancy heeling or mitigating tasks since emotional support animals are not generally taken anywhere pets would not ordinarily go without permission (the exception being to fly in the cabin of an aircraft, even if the airline does not ordinarily accept pets).

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Note from Service Dog Tags about the upcoming holidays

by Sue on October 10, 2012

Our holiday hours will be as follows…

November 22nd…Closed

December 24th…Open from 8am to Noon (Pacific Time)

December 25th…Closed

December 31th..Open from 8am to Noon (Pacific Time)

January 1st, 2013…Closed

If you plan to order tags for the holidays, it would be wise to order them early. Granted we do have a FedEx overnight option. But right around the holidays FedEx raises their prices to an insane amount. Trust me on this one. It almost doubles.

We decided to give everyone to a special treat around the holidays. We have lowered the price of our tags for the holiday season. They are now on sale for $27.95 (normal price being $29.95) These tags make great gifts. And we do have gift certificates available if you would love to buy a set for someone but not quite sure want they want for tags or what they want the tag to say.

Sussie
Gunny, Rainy, Lucy, Squeaky and T.

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Validate Your Emotional Support Animal With a Letter From Your Doctor

by Sue on October 4, 2012

Occasionally I get phone calls from people asking me how they can “certify” or “register” their Emotional Support Animal. I tell them that there is no such process, however there is a validation.

The most effective method to officially validate your emotional or mental disability and legally qualify for an emotional support animal is to have a letter from your physician or mental health professional that prescribes or endorses your use of a “support animal.” For best results be direct with your physician, swallow your pride, and accept the fact that you are emotionally disabled – with or without your physician’s blessing. If your physician balks you must convincingly plead your case with your physician, finally asking your physician for a letter on their letterhead to facilitate traveling with your dog (or other animal) or for a specific housing-related need. It’s important to credibly describe the severity of your symptoms to your physician, and, for example, you might express how surprised and relieved you have been to discover that having your dog with wherever you go you has made successful functioning in public and private possible. And that, without the animal, you’ve been a wreck. Here are some examples of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

Examples of the symptoms of an emotional disability include, but are not limited to

An inability or difficulty to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships.

Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

A tendency to develop physical symptoms or irrational fears associated with otherwise normal life problems or situations.

An inability or intense discomfort interacting with others in a public or private setting.

If your physician is unsure what to write, please contact me. I have sample letters that work in various situations.

Sussie
Gunny, Rainy, Lucy, Squeaky and T.

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Good video on the rules and regs of ESA’s

by Sue on September 5, 2012

This is a very good informative video. however he needs to be corrected. Emotional Support Animals are not used exclusively by people with mental illnesses. There are some mental illnesses that require the use of a Service Dog.

Sussie, Gunny, Rainy, Lucy and Squeaky

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A little fun…

by Sue on May 9, 2012

Do not feel obligated to participate in this if you do not feel comfortable about doing so.

I am trying to keep this blog active but am running out of articles about Emotional Support Animals. So I decided today to make it a little more interactive…

What type of Emotional Support Animal do you have?

What made you decide on that particular type of animal?

How does the animal help you?

If you live in housing with a no pets policy, was it difficult to obtain permission to allow you to have your ESA?

Have you ever flown with your ESA?

What airlines did you use and were they accommodating to you?

Thanks!

Sussie, Gunny, Rainy and Lucy

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Spring break is just around the corner!

by Sue on March 1, 2012

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Happy March 1st everyone. Spring break will happen this month for many students. Please make sure you order your ESA tags before the rush.

Sussie. Gunny, Rainy and Lucy

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Two wonderful products I stumbled on to.

by Sue on January 12, 2012

Last month my friend’s dog was rushed to the Animal ER due to an overdose of his medication. As it turned out, lack of communication in the household had presented itself and the dog had been medicated by several family members. None told the other that the dog had already received the medication. Yes. I realize with the hustle and bustle of modern day life, people tend not to communicate as they should. In this case the poor dog suffered, but did recover.

Two months ago, a local resident, out walking his dog at night, was struck by a car. The owner did not survive. The dog was knocked out of the way and did survive.

Why as I telling you this?

Boredom, due to these winter months now, sometimes causes me to do searches on the internet for no real reason at all. However these two incidents that I just mentioned spured me to check the world wide web to see if there is something out there that could have prevented these situations. And low and behold I actually found some things that would work. I thought I would share them with you.

Product number 1:

http://www.dogeminder.com

This neat little gadget will keep tabs on the care that your pet has received. Whether it’s feeding, walking, medicating, etc.

As a matter of fact, I am thinking of buying one of these for my friend who’s dog was overdosed.

Product number 2:

http://www.dogeglow.com/

This lighted collar and leash idea is amazing. I honestly wish that poor man and his dog could have known about this and was using it. The whole tragic incident might have very well been avoided.

Sussie, Gunny, Rainy and Lucy.

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Reminder of the new law changes by ADA as of March 15th, 2011

by Sue on December 28, 2011

I do customer service for Service Dog Tags. Today I spoke with someone who was not aware of the changes in rules about service dogs. The new one that took affect March 15th of this year. The one that includes anxiety and PTSD as a disability and any dog that is used to control that is now a service dog.

I actually kinda felt sorry for this man as he was under the impression that, even though his dog helped him, since he could hold down a job, he was not disabled even though he was formally diagnosed with PTSD. I politely told him that he was wrong.

There are many many disabled people that can hold down a job. The presence of the service dog makes them able to do so. I am one of those. I work full time for Service Dog Tags. However I honestly feel that if I did not have my service dogs (my retired one, my current one, and my one in training) that I probably would not be able to work. Or, even worse, not even be able to function or maybe not even be in existence.

This gentleman that I spoke with had pretty much limited his lifestyle due to the fact that he felt he was not disabled. This was due to misinformation on his part. Since speaking with me he now understands and will probably be doing a few more enjoyable things in his life now that he can take his “service dog” with him.

Please be aware of the new ruling change. Be aware that anxiety and PTSD, correctly diagnosed by someone in the medical field, IS a disability. And any dog that is used to prevent or control the symptoms of such IS a Service Dog according to ADA.

Sussie and the Y Team
(Gunny, Rainy and Lucy)

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Pet food delivered right to your door!

by Sue on December 22, 2011

I ran across the slickest site I have ever seen in my life. I saw their advertisement in the Farmer Almanac. And I have learned in the past that I can trust most of the page ads in that book. So I tried it. And by golly it’s fantastic!

I’m talking about a company called PetFlow.

Would you like your pet food delivered right to your door? At about the same price as your local pet store sells it for? (Or in my case it seems to hold true) With little or no shipping charges? Were you can set up a subscription with them to deliver it to your door at a certain time each month? PetFlow can do this!

I am disabled and the biggest problem I have is being able to get into town and bring these big bags of food home for my dog. With PetFlow, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Rain or shine or snow. No matter what. I know my dogs’ food will come right to my door and the delivery guy will even bring it in for me. What a deal!

I am so happy with this, that I felt it was only right to tell you all here about it. And no, I am not a salesman for them. I just think this is a fantastic service.

You know the old saying that “If something is too good to be true, it probably is?” Well this is NOT one of those times. This seems too good to be true but it IS true.

Check it out!

PETFLOW

Sussie, Gunny, Rainy and Lucy.
(Or maybe I should just be saying “Sussie and the Y team” LOL)

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