Reform laws surrounding emotional support animals.
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A narrative is shifting in the minds of Americans.
John is a combat veteran who spent 7 years in Iraq. He's a war hero who has returned home and now suffers from PTSD.
He was recommended by his doctor to try an emotional support animal (ESA) that can stay by his side and help him through tough times.
He's started to sleep better and perform better at work. His ESA has been a life-saver.
Max is not a combat veteran. He's a 25 year old recent college grad who just met Sarah and he's really into her.
She's being evicted because she got a dog that ripped up her apartment when there was a no pet policy.
She needs a place to live so she's going to move in with Max even though pets aren't allowed according to his lease.
So she posts a question online, "I'm getting evicted because of my dog, how can I keep princess at my new apartment?"
Her friends chime in with this response.
The narrative that's shifting for people who have an emotional support animal.
Unfortunately the focus is shifting to people like Sarah who are abusing the rights afforded to people like John.
Many people are getting letters from online services to claim their pet is an ESA when there hasn't been due diligence to determine the needs of the individual. An online questionnaire seems ill-suited for someone with serious needs.
Many of these online services appear to be money machines and they don't actually care about the individuals who need help.
At https://esadoctors.com/ they use this language on their homepage:
"No pets policy? High pet deposit? ESA animals are exempt! Get your letter today!"
Here's a screenshot of that headline in case they change their copy.
They're advertising the fact that you can get a letter to create a workaround for your lease.
Not that we can help people like John who need it.
We propose that if you need an ESA that you should have to visit in-person with a professional to seek professional advice, not fill out a form online so some internet marketer can get rich.
By eliminating online ESA services you reduce the amount of tenants trying to find loopholes.
It's not fair to landlords and it's certainly not fair to the people like John who need support that are getting lumped into a negative narrative surrounding emotional support animals.
Let's give John the respect he deserves and change the narrative towards emotional support animals and their owners.
WE DO NOT... want to do away with emotional support animals and the rights of those who need them.
WE DO WANT TO... seek changes in the way people can obtain certification for their ESA. Online methods are not credible enough and should not be allowed.
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