December 21, 2012

Service animals and the comfort they can bring during the holiday or any season…

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Christmas comes but once a year, and when it comes it brings good cheer.

Although I’d like to think this holds true for everyone, I know there are some people who struggle during this time of year. Whether it’s dealing with the loss of a loved one, overall depression or just stress that comes with this busy season, some people have a hard time coping.

I recently read, “Comfort Dogs’ Relieve Emotional Stress in Grieving Newtown,”an article in People Magazine about how trained service dogs offered comfort to kids who were affected by the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, and it made me think about HUD and its enforcement of the Fair Housing Act as it relates to service animals.

The Act requires housing providers to allow residents with disabilities (must get approval from a doctor) to have a seeing eye dog or therapeutic animal to help a blind person get around, a Vet suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or a child who suffers from seizures.

Granting a resident a reasonable accommodation by allowing them to have a service animal enables a person with disabilities the opportunity to fully use and enjoy their home and sometimes their life.

To read more about how HUD has helped ensure that folks who really need service animals get them, check out some of our fair housing disability charges at hud.gov/fairhousing.

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