service animal

Dorm residents at Columbia clash with officials over assistance animals

Students at Columbia are seeking help from disability rights lawyers to convince university housing officials that multiple assistance animals are a medically required disability accommodation. Olivia Deloian of the Columbia Chronicle interviewed business major Lindsey Barrett who says her therapist prescribed dog companionship to treat symptoms of adjustment disorder. The problem is, Barrett already has an emotional support cat for her severe anxiety disorder, which means she needs new approval from Columbia to house the second animal. Deloian carefully describes her journalism process in contacting Columbia officials to request their side of the disagreement. With Barrett’s help, Deloian also provides a useful explanation of the distinction between emotional support animals and other service animals.

Certification of service animals is a contentious issue

The qualifications of service animals are becoming a contentious issue as more pet owners apply for certification. Some patients register their companions as “Emotional Support Animals” but critics suggest the category is being misused and distracts other service animals from their duties. This article  by Robby Berman at BigThink.com the controversy in detail.