ESA Weekly News November 19th: Mission Landlords in Trouble for DIY ESA Rules

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Every week, without fail, we bring you the freshest emotional support animal news. This time, we bring you news of a Mission couple who have come up with their own ESA rules for their rentals. We also bring you an update on a sad ESA story we covered a while back. Get your coffee and get caught up. Finally, we check in with CertaPet’s Prairie Conlon who appeared on Fox6 where she shared tips on how to travel with ESAs during the holiday season.

Landlords in Mission Take ESA Laws Into Their Own Hands

Kevin and Maria Simmonite, landlords in Mission, California, have come under severe scrutiny after releasing an application form on which prospective tenants are asked to disclose whether or not they have a mental illness and or have an emotional support animal.

The form reads: “I certify that I do not have any emotional or psychological issues that would necessitate getting an Emotional Support Animal,”. This attempt at keeping people with ESAs out of their rental is a violation of both state and federal laws, and will therefore not hold up in court!

Upon seeing this application form, San Francisco Rent Board Commissioner commented that it was “Patently absurd and illegal,”. The move by this couple is so wrong, in so many ways, but more on that below!

woman with her emotional support cat

Source: https://missionlocal.org/2019/11/mission-landlord-demands-prospective-tenants-disclose-emotional-or-psychological-issues/

Creve Coeur, MO, Woman Loses Legal Fight for Her ESA Monkeys

In the beginning of October, we reported that Texane McBride-Teahan was about to have her monkeys taken from her. Her emotional support animals were not allowed to live with her due to the city’s zoning codes. Thus, she was told to rehome them. When she appealed the decision, she got a court date.

Texanne McBride-Teahan was a violent crime victim as a child and relies heavily on the emotional support of her monkeys. Still, the law prevailed in the case against her.

The Creve Cour City Council decided, unanimously, that McBride’s monkeys cannot stay at her property. This ruling came despite her landlord allowing the monkeys to live in the property. Still, the board was sure of its decision.

Now, Texane McBride-Teahan and her three support monkeys will have to find a new place to live. Preferably, in a rural area where Creve Couer’s zoning codes don’t apply. Authorities gave her a due date for her move: March 31st, 2020.

emotional support monkey in tree

Source: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/no-monkey-business-allowed-creve-coeur-gives-resident-deadline-to/article_16a46ab1-6b70-507e-8a6c-ce306e2e6c9e.html

CertaPet’s Prairie Conlan Talks ESA Travel Tips on Fox6

CertaPet’s clinical director Prairie Conlan recently appeared on Fox6 WakeUp to share tips on traveling with ESAs during the holiday season. She explained to viewers how therapeutic and calming the presence of animals is during the stressful holiday season.

She added that emotional support animals are great distractions when stressful or even awkward and uncomfortable situations pop up. ESAs really take the edge off when people find themselves frazzled and in stressful situations. She also gave some sage advice on how to approach working dogs in public places such as airports, recommending that you should always ask an animal’s owner whether you can approach them or not. After all, working dogs have important jobs to do and shouldn’t be distracted.

woman holding her esa dog

Source: https://fox6now.com/2019/11/18/holidays-can-be-stressful-tips-for-traveling-with-a-service-animal/

CertaPet’s Thoughts on This Week’s News

The application for requiring prospective tenants to disclose whether they have a mental illness or need of an emotional support animal is the epitome of discrimination. Not only does a landlord not have the legal right to ask a person to disclose information about mental illness or other disabilities, discriminating against people with disabilities is in direct violation of state and federal laws. We are deeply saddened to see the extent to which people will go to deny people with disabilities what they are legally entitled to!

Unfortunately, we can’t say we’re shocked to hear of Creve Couer’s monkey developments. It’s illegal to have primates within city limits, be it at a rented or purchased house. Hopefully, McBride and her three monkeys can find a quieter place to live in harmony. Maybe somewhere bigger for the monkeys to live a happy life.

There is a reason CertaPet’s licensed mental health professionals (LMHPs) only issue ESA letters for dogs, cats, and the occasional bunnies. These animals don’t have any issues with zoning codes and it is, therefore, easier to find accommodation or fly with them. We believe in the importance of people struggling with mental illness having their ESAs constantly at their side. This is much easier to accomplish if the animal in question is readily accepted anywhere, especially in urban areas!

Conlan’s appearance on Fox6 WakeUp was as exciting as it was insightful. It is wonderful to see people using such powerful platforms to advocate for using animals as an alternative treatment option for those suffering from mental illnesses and other emotional conditions!

If you have been struggling with your mental wellbeing, it may be time to get an emotional support animal. CertaPet connects people like you to licensed mental health professionals practicing in your state. All you have to do to get started is take our 5-minute pre-screening test. We’ll set up an appointment for you, online, and you’ll meet your assigned therapist. You could have an ESA letter in your hands in only a matter of weeks!

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