My post from last week concerning the proposed rules authored by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) attempting to make certain only legitimate service animals fly with their owners on in the air resulted in a few comments. I always appreciate hearing from readers, even if you disagree with my opinion. To make it clear, I did not write that I think emotional support animals should be cut out of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) with respect to living in an apartment. What I intended to convey is that DOT is proposing to tighten the requirements for service animals on airplanes, and I would like our friends at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to similarly provide supplemental guidance to let the apartment management industry know what type of emotional support animal medical verifications are appropriate and which certificates/registrations bought with a credit card over the internet can safely be questioned.

Also, on a related note, do you think that the “click and pay” online emotional support animal medical verification business has shut down? Well, think again. A client/friend of the Fair Housing Defense blog sent me an article (dated January 21, 2020) from a Brooklyn paper noting at a New Yorker registered his beer (yes, beer) as an emotional support animal (to help manage his social anxiety disorder). Now, the registration does not list a particular type of beer, but the drinker reported he likes IPA’s and local Brooklyn breweries. He used one of the online sites that sells medical verifications – the same type which, from time to time, are presented to professional apartment management in support of an emotional support animal request. So, while the DOT proposed guidelines may be useful to help curb abuse on airplanes, we still have a ways to go here on the ground.

Just A Thought.