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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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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Landlord to pay $1M in emotional support animal lawsuit

MEEKER, Colo. – Residents with disabilities using the Meeker Housing Authority won a discrimination lawsuit for $1 million. The suit was filed after their landlord told them their emotional support animals would not be allowed without paying an additional pet fee.

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Dog Days in Dorms

Colleges see sharp increase in students who want emotional support animals to live with them. Administrators worry those students may not have a real need but want their pets as companions.

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