This post isn't just about the service animals for those with wheel chairs, the blind, and the deaf. This is also about therapy animals who are needed as well for your mental health as well. When I was checking into procuring a therapy cat for myself, the apartment complex where I live told me it was fine and that I still would have to continue paying the monthly pet fees. I was fumming. I then asked them what would happen if a blind person moved in with a seeing eye dog. It was the same. They said that the owners would still have to charge them the same amount as they charge everyone else per month in pet fees. It didn't matter whether the animals qualified as service or therapy assistance animals. You still have to pay monthly pet fees in many apartment complexes, including apartment complexes specifically for the disabled, and there are many condo and townhouse courts that require these payments as well.
All the law dictates is that these places must accept the animal moving in with you, even when they don't accept animals otherwise. With this said, I remember a friend of mine, who is blind. This person once told me that when he was living in an apartment complex for individuals with disabilities, if he'd had a seeing eye dog, he still would have had to pay the $300 initial pet insurance fee. He was also going to be required to pay $25 a month in pet fees. So, he elected to go with a traveling cane and not have a seeing eye dog after all. He couldn't afford the pet fees in addition to taking care of a dog on top of everything else. I know that The Commission for The Blind and the Seeing Eye Dog Administration will help pay for the dogs, but they don't pay pet fees.
Fortunately, private apartment landlords can make their own decisions about charging the disabled pet fees for their service and therapy animals. Why charge those who need animals to assist them with their disabilities and/or mental health? Doesn't the disabled community have a big enough financial disadvantage to begin with? Now, because of insurance and being sued for dog bites (though service dogs don't generally bite, because they are trained) owners often charge of those need these animals the most, while they already often have bills piled way over their heads for what their medical insurance doesn't cover.
When you are in a wheelchair, and your parents don't leave you their house, and you don't get the service dog that you need because you might be homeless with that dog if you can't find a place that doesn't charge you pet fees, on top of your already high medical bills, that is just wrong. I'm not just talking about our government, when I say that most people just care about covering their backs and not getting sued. This is all about money greed and protecting number one. Unfortunately, it's not about caring about the next person and giving people what they need.
Service dogs and therapy animals can ride on the plane with you for free and stay in coach with you, for the entire flight. But you must still pay the pet fees if they live with you. Something is wrong with this picture. I think that this is one the things that we still need to continue to fight for within the disabled community.
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