Have Pets and Rent? Beware of Fraudulent Offers

 In #zerobarriers, Why is this still a thing Wednesday
Therapy Pet.Org's website page with the word scam in-front of the content.

This company goes as far as giving mis-information regarding the ADA and protections for emotional support animals. Photo credit: Mango Clinic Miami

Let’s face it. We love animals. So many of us have a pet or have had one at one point in our lives.  Have pets and rent?  Unfortunately, if you are renting, you may have to pay extra to live with your furry little life partner.  Unless you have a letter from a licensed medical provider who you actually met with, you do not have a legit Emotional Support Animal letter.  You will be able to tell that it is fake by the lack of details asked about your pet.

Don’t be fooled

My colleague sent an email to TheropyPet out of curiosity only to discover that TheropyPet is in the business of selling very expensive pieces of paper.  Unfortunately for him, he continues to receive emails from them months later. In one of the latest emails, TheropyPet states that “Emotional Support Animals are protected under the Fair Housing Act, Air Carrier Access Act as well as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).” The first two statements are true, however, the ESA’s are not protected under the ADA. Here are a few frequently asked questions about ESAs and the ADA.

Q3. Are emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals considered service animals under the ADA?

  1. A. No.  These terms are used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.  However, some State or local governments have laws that allow people to take emotional support animals into public places.  You may check with your State and local government agencies to find out about these laws.

Q4. If someone’s dog calms them when having an anxiety attack, does this qualify it as a service animal?

  1. A. It depends. The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals. If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog’s mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.

If you are in need of a emotional support animal and cannot afford to pay extra rent, do yourself a favor and make an appointment with a licensed physician.

Leigh from Freedom holding up a chalkboard that reads 'Advocacy'

If you feel that you are being unfairly treated by landlords because of your pet, contact us at Freedom Resource Center.

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