Many may recall the recent story about the airline traveler seeking to bring an emotional support peacock (Dexter) on board an airplane. While the story received much national publicity, the reality appears to be that assistance animals and emotional support animals are becoming more commonplace in everyday life. Stories such as Dexter’s present some interesting legal questions for non-profits, governments, and businesses alike.
Assistance animals and emotional support animals are sometimes (incorrectly) used interchangeably. They involve different sources of law and require different analyses. This next series of posts will seek to provide some clarity on the legal issues relating to both categories. In part one of this series, we will focus on the legal issues surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and assistance animals for purposes of community associations. Our next post will address emotional support animals and the federal and state fair housing acts.