Weekly ESA News Report Dec 10th: Crazy Emotional Support Cat Lady Strikes BackReading Time: 2 minutes
This week in ESA news, an owner with too many cats faces trouble with the council and assisted living facilities recognize the amazing benefits of keeping animals alongside their residents. Read on to find out more!
Woman Fights to Keep 10 Emotional Support Cats
A Hartland, Michigan woman is fighting the county to keep possession of her 10 emotional support cats. Last Tuesday, police raided the home of Kimberley Jameson and confiscated the pets. The city says that it did so after numerous complaints about the animals over the past two years. Jameson claims that she is being targeted by the council, and being discriminated against due to her disability.
Jameson lives with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, and registered her cats as ESAs to help support her mental health.
The law on the number of cats allowed on a property in Hartland is a maximum of two. However, reportedly Jameson and the city reached an agreement where she was permitted to keep the 10 emotional support animals, provided that she fenced her property, vaccinated the cats and acquired the correct documentation for them.
Jameson says that new mayor, Deb Flatness, is targeting her, while many others keep more than the allowed amount of animals on their properties.
Flatness says the city is simply responding to the complaints recorded by those in the neighborhood.
“She claims we are not addressing everyone with too many animals. We aren’t going around with a flashlight, checking people’s home,” Mayor Flatness said. “We are simply responding to complaints that people make. You can go back in the records for the past two years and see that each complaint has been properly addressed.”
Jameson countered the Flatness’ assertion, saying that she feels that the new mayor is responsible for singling her out. “I mean it’s harassment, it’s targeting, it’s a violation of my civil rights from equality, from other people in this town who are doing the same thing,” Jameson said. “And it’s discrimination of people with disabilities.”
The cats are currently with the Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley. Jameson is concerned that they could be put down without consultation.
While discrimination against ESAs is wrong, it goes without saying that owners must be able to support well-being and control the behavior of their animals. If not, there is a very real possibility that councils may step in and remove them in the interest of their welfare. Ensure you care for your ESAs well, or you could lose them!
Pets Aid Assisted Living Residents
The introduction of pets has been a smashing success in an assisted living facility in Sauk Rapids, South Carolina. Ridgeview Assisted Living Facility has welcomed pets of residents, saying that the animals provide companionship and emotional support to their residents.
Emotional support animals and service animals must be accommodated by law in assisted living facilities, however, the admission of regular pets is a relatively new move.
Ridgeview has four cats, living with three residents, said Amy Comstock, executive director of the facility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with pets have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness and depression.
While some centers still do not allow pets, it looks like the move towards having animals to assist aging individuals is gaining popularity.
Next door at Prairie Ridge Memory Care, a dementia patient will bring a pet cat to live in the facility for the first time.
While staff say there are more considerations to be made when accepting residents with pets, most agree that the benefits far outweigh any negatives.
Animals and Aging: A Perfect Match
More and more evidence is emerging that pets, and especially ESAs, are great for us. For those of that already use ESAs, it’s no surprise that animals are effective at helping keep people in assisted living feel content and happy.
If you are thinking about getting an emotional support animal, CertaPet has made the process of getting an ESA letter quick and simple! Simply start by taking our free online 5-minute pre-screening, and if your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a licensed mental health professional and you could have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs!
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