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pit bull service animal

Tenant filed a request under the Fair Housing Act for his condominium  to make an accommodation to him to own a Pitt Bull Terrier as a companion animal based on his disability.  The condominium refused based on its no pets policy and the fact that Miami-Dade County bans the ownership of Pit Bull Terriers.

In denying the condominium’s motion for summary judgment against the tenant, the District Court found that changing a no pets policy for an emotional support animal was a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. The court also found that enforcing the county ordinance would violate the FHA by permitting a discriminatory housing practice.

The court noted that emotional support animals do not require task specific training. Particularly, the rule states:”emotional support animals provide very private functions for persons with mental and emotional disabilities. Specifically, emotional support animals by their very nature, and without training, may relieve depression and anxiety, and help reduce stress-induced pain in persons with certain medical conditions affected by stress.”

The court also noted that any threat posed by the Pitt Bull  was also entitled to reasonable accommodation by the Condominium.

Warren v. Delvesta Towers Condominium Association 49 F.Supp.3d 1082 (S.D. Fla. 2014).   Click here to read the full opinion

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