HUD asks FTC to investigate websites selling assistance animal documentation

Recently, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson wrote to Chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Joseph J. Simons and Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Andrew Smith requesting that the FTC investigate certain websites that may be selling assistance animal documentation.

“These certificates are not an acceptable substitute for authentic documentation provided by medical professionals when appropriate,” said Secretary Carson. “These websites that sell assistance animal certificates are often also misleading by implying that they are affiliated with the federal government. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their goal is to convince individuals with disabilities that they need to spend hundreds of dollars on worthless documentation to keep their assistance animal in their homes.”

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Amid pit bull debate, service dogs prove life-changing for Sioux City veterans

“The biggest problem is you have people that do not have a trained dog. They’re taking untrained dogs out there and they’re causing problems,” Brodie said. “They’re saying they’re service dogs, but they’re not.”

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ESA Gator

People Are Taking Emotional Support Animals Everywhere. States Are Cracking Down.

More Americans are saying they need a variety of animals — dogs, ducks, even insects — for their mental health. But critics say many are really just pets that do not merit special status.
The vast majority of emotional support animals are dogs, but some Americans turn to a wide variety of other species. Wally the alligator was approved by his owner’s doctor in York, Pa., as an alternative to taking medication for depression.

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Family’s potbellied pigs provide emotional support, but township says they can’t have them

They could find no fault with the violation notice, so that appeal was denied. And they could find no reason to issue a variance based on hardship.

“I appreciate the testimony,” Beecher said. “From an emotional stance, I see it, I’m a mother myself. But this hardship was self-created.”

In order to get a variance based on hardship, an applicant must meet four criteria. Wisherd and Beecher felt the family could have avoided this with a phone call to the township office to ask if Manchester Township allowed potbellied pigs to be kept as pets in residential areas.

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