ESA Weekly News Report July 25th: Fair Housing Act Lawsuit and Emotional Support Pig

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CertaPet is your one-stop-shop for emotional support animal news. Today, we’re bringing you two interesting stories we think you’ll like. The first is an update on an ongoing Fair Housing Act lawsuit. The second is about a family whose emotional support pig is being threatened with eviction.

Judge Disqualifies Attorney in Fair Housing Act Lawsuit

A federal court in Orlando, Florida, has been the stage for a new Fair Housing Act legal fight. A property management company evicted a tenant because of their need for an emotional support animal. And no, no ESA law has changed so what’s going on?

According to the tenant, Diana Ly, she had all the necessary ESA paperwork. Thus, she filed a complaint against the landlord and took her case to court.

This week, the judge on the case disqualified Jay Swistak, the attorney representing the property management company. Ly testified that Swistak had been harassing her and her mental health professional during the case. He even went so far as to call her to say her need for an ESA was “BS.”

It is still uncertain which way the court will rule on the FHA motion. However, the defendant will have to find new legal representation.

dog wearing glasses reading books


Pennsylvania Family Denied Their Two ESAs

Kevin and LuLu are two pink-and-gray pot-bellied pigs. They have been a part of the Maul family for three years now. They help Ethan Maul, a twelve-year-old boy, manage his ADHD and anxiety disorder. Furthermore, they offer emotional comfort to Jessica and Jason Maul, the parents.

The family says they decided to adopt the pot-bellied pigs for two reasons. For starters, they are great with children with anxiety problems. Secondly, they live better when paired up.

The two emotional support pigs live in York, Pennsylvania in the family’s backyard. The property sits close to the elementary school and you can see the animals through the fence. Now, the Manchester Township is telling the Maul family they can’t have LuLu and Kevin there.

Officials have explained to the couple why the pigs can’t stay at their home. According to the township’s ordinance code, no swine can live on a lot smaller than ten acres. Nor can “husbandry” of livestock happen in residential areas. The Maul family’s situation fits both of these scenarios.

The family has issued two appeals, both of which were denied by the zoning board. Thus, even though the Maul family has all their ESA documents in order, LuLu and Kevin will have to find a new home.

two adorable piglets


CertaPet’s Thoughts on This Week’s News

We are gutted to see LuLu and Kevin evicted from their family’s property. Pot-bellied pigs are gentle and intelligent creatures. However, because they are considered livestock by many jurisdictions, they aren’t the best ESA choice.

Choosing a cat or dog to be your furry companion is a much wiser decision. With an emotional support cat or dog, the Maul family wouldn’t have run into any problems. Because of all this, we highly recommend traditional ESAs. They’re just as good at providing emotional comfort and are tolerated by authorities, landlords included!

We are also happy to see Ly scoring some points in her Fair Housing Act battle. Given that she has a valid ESA letter issued by a mental health professional, she shouldn’t have been evicted. The judge’s dismissal of the defense attorney is a good sign for what is to come.

It’s important to stress that having an emotional support animal letter is crucial. Without it, your ESA will not be protected by any laws if you want to live or fly with them.

Luckily, CertaPet lets you take a simple 5-minute pre-screening for free. If your answers indicate that you may qualify as an ESA owner, we will put you in contact with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). They will be the ones potentially issuing your ESA letter!

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