An assistance animal is not a pet under federal law. Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), an assistance animal is an animal that (1) works, provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or (2) provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.
It is unlawful - under federal, state and local law - to discriminate in the sale or rental of a dwelling to an individual with a disability. Discrimination includes a refusal to reasonably accommodate for assistance animals in rules, policies, or services, when the animal may be necessary to allow the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
Assistance animal duties include, but are not limited to:
There is legislation protecting those with disabilities. Any person or housing provider who denies or interferes with assistance animal admittance or legal guidelines may be subject to civil or criminal liability.
Fair Housing Act (See 42 USC 3604)
State RSMo Chapters 209, 213 (See 209.190 & 213.040)
Columbia City Code Chapter 12 (See Section 12-38)
Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs. HUD, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. FHEO-2013- 01. Issued 4/25/13.
Pet Partners. Service Animals & Housing. Retrieved from http://www.petpartners.org/page.aspx?pid=489