ESA Weekly News: Schools Welcoming ESAs and ESA Suit Gets Settled!

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Dog reading the ESA News

Every week, we bring you emotional support animal news. Today is no different. We’re taking a look at two stories that happened just last week. The first is about a school changing its ESA policy to welcome these assistance animals. The second is about an ESA case that just got settled in court. Are you ready to get caught up with us? Keep reading!

Massachusetts0 School Considers Changes to ESA Policy

After several schools across the country opened their doors to ESAs, this Massachusetts school is thinking of doing the same. On February 13th, the Middleborough School Committee announced it was considering changing its emotional support animal policy. Thus, some ESAs would be welcomed into the school and spend time with students and staff.

Superintendent Brian Lynch explained this idea came up when discussing the wellbeing of children at the school. Bringing them to a public school “would be very useful” for the student body.

The goal of an ESA is to help children with anxiety, depression, grief, or emotional trauma. There would always be a handler with them, walking them on a leash through the common areas.

To ease any concerns, Lynch ensured the emotional support dog would be trained. This way, the dog will know how to behave in a school setting and how to interact with hundreds of kids. The National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) has already said they would take care of the training.

Now, the policy will be discussed on February 27th during a School Committee’s meeting.

emotional support dog in school

Source: https://www.southcoasttoday.com/special/20200223/middleboro-school-committee-discusses-addition-of-emotional-support-animal-program

ESA Housing Case Gets Settled Out of Court

Two South Jersey landlords will have to pay thousands to tenants for violating housing rights laws. The cases got to court after the residents saw their ESAs banned from the housing unit they were renting. Now, a settlement has been reached outside of court.

In the first case, the resident had an ESA letter from her licensed mental health professional (LMHP). She was in the process of getting her emotional support Yorkshire Terrier when the landlord blocked it. He cited a “no-pets” policy and refused to make an exception for the tenant.

In the second case, the landlord also banned the tenant’s emotional support cat and emotional support Chihuahua from the unit. They argued that the building’s pet policy allows only one pet. Thus, they told the resident to remove one of her assistant animals from the premises.

Years after the disputes began, the landlords agreed to pay compensation instead of going to trial. The first tenant got $6,125, while the second got $4,000.

emotional support dog

Source: https://eu.thedailyjournal.com/story/news/2020/02/21/housing-complexes-reach-settlements-allow-emotional-support-animals/4831730002/

CertaPet’s Thoughts on This Week’s News

We’re happy to see more and more public schools embracing emotional support animals on their premises. These animals can make a real difference in kids’ lives! For many, a school could become an even more welcoming environment. Fingers crossed the new policy passes and that Middleborough students can meet their school’s ESA soon!

We are also pleased to see landlords and tenants finally seeing eye-to-eye on the issue of ESAs. Unfortunately, these are not the only two cases of misunderstandings. However, it goes to show that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) works and must be respected and enforced. Hopefully, the two tenants can now live in peace in their rented apartment with their furry friends by their side.

If you also need an ESA letter, we can help you. Our licensed mental health professionals are here to book a consultation with you. Start by taking our free 5-minute pre-screening. If you qualify as an ESA owner, our experienced therapists will write your ESA letter. You could be holding your four-legged buddy in your arms in no time!

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