A companion animal’s unconditional love imparts the gifts of healing and camaraderie for people living with a terminal disease. Offering companionship, diversion, love, and a reason to get up in the morning, companion animals also provide scientifically established health benefits.
Link to document in PDF format to display Fair Housing Act Law about “Right to Emotional Support Animals in “No Pet” Housing“
In most housing complexes, so long as the tenant has a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, such as a therapist or physician, and meets the definition of a person with a disability, he or she is entitled to a reasonable accommodation that would allow an emotional support animal in the apartment.
Request an exception to the landlord’s no pet rule
If one needs an emotional support animal to ease the symptoms of a disability (as defined above), he or she should request a reasonable accommodation, in writing, from the landlord, manager or other appropriate authority. The request should state that the tenant has a disability and explain how the requested accommodation will be helpful. In addition, the tenant should include a note from his or her service provider, such as a doctor or therapist, verifying the need for the support animal (see sample letter, below, as an example). Note that the tenant need not disclose the details of the disability, nor provide a detailed medical history.
Sample letter to be completed by a professional:
Dear [Housing Authority/Landlord]:
[Full Name of Tenant] is my patient, and has been under my care since [date]. I am intimately familiar with his/her history and with the functional limitations imposed by his/her disability. He/She meets the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Due to mental illness, [first name] has certain limitations regarding [social interaction/coping with stress/anxiety, etc.]. In order to help alleviate these difficulties, and to enhance his/her ability to live independently and to fully use and enjoy the dwelling unit you own and/or administer, I am prescribing an emotional support animal that will assist [first name] in coping with his/her disability.
I am familiar with the voluminous professional literature concerning the therapeutic benefits of assistance animals for people with disabilities such as that experienced by [first name]. Upon request, I will share citations to relevant studies, and would be happy to answer other questions you may have concerning my recommendation that [Full Name of Tenant] have an emotional support animal.
Should you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Name of Professional