Over the last few years, property managers have seen a significant increase in the number of residents claiming their pets are assistance animals
. Landlords have struggled to determine which residents legitimately need the pets for medical reasons and which have fraudulently obtained documentation to have assistance animals
& URBAN DEV., FHEO-2013-01, SERVICE ANIMALS AND ASSISTANCE ANIMALS
FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN HOUSING AND HUD-FUNDED PROGRAMS 2 (2013), https://portal.hud.gov/hud-portal/documents/huddoc?id=servanimals_ntcfheo2013-01.pdf [hereinafter SERVICE ANIMALS: HOUSING].
Those laws provide for accommodations for assistance animals
which are animals that work, assist, provide emotional support, or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
Much of the confusion comes from the varied terms and classes of assistance animals
. The only animals covered by Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act are service animals, defined as "any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability." These are almost exclusively dogs, although some miniature horses also qualify.
Since most children in the foster care system have suffered trauma as a result of the dependency process, it is counterintuitive to remove children from their pets, or not provide an assistance animal
to ensure a child's well-being.
The co-op cannot deny an assistance animal
request if the threat to health and safety (or potential property damage) can be eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
Persons with disabilities may request an accommodation for any assistance animals
, including an emotional support animal, under the FHAct or Section 504.
The fourth factor is whether certifications or standards are available to help guide the training or use of the assistance animal
. For some categories of assistance animal
, certifications and training standards exist, but these have been developed and promulgated by service dog organizations or advocacy organizations for voluntary compliance only.
Canines are the most common species of assistance animals
, working well as guide dogs, hearing dogs, or service dogs.
4 of the top 5 assistance animal
dog breeds are usually more than 40 pounds
Have you ever wondered if a service dog or assistance animal
could benefit your child and family?
Where older persons live in their own home, they generally have the choice whether or not to keep a pet, or to obtain or to continue to use an assistance animal
. The situation is much different when older persons live in aged care facilities, retirement villages, and in other dwellings with a body corporate.