Emotional Support Animal Fraud and HB0114

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with American West Realty and Management 12599

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL FRAUD

Service animals, particularly "emotional support animals" (ESA) have been in the news a lot lately. More and more people are getting animals that help them cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental ailments. This program has merit and I personally know people that have been helped by a support animal. Emotional Support Animal

Unfortunately, the standards are very loose and fraud has become rampant. Search for news articles on service animals and you'll read about people flying on airlines with dogs, cats, snakes, rabbits, and even turkeys! The rental market has seen miniature horses, llamas, turtles, and much more. Airlines have all but given up trying to regulate it.

We all know a large percentage, possibly the vast majority, are simply claiming the need for an emotional support animal so they can fly with their pet without paying the cost of shipping them. The sad thing is, many health care providers don't understand the potential problems. A patient asks for a "prescription" for an emotional support animal and the doctor writes it up. What could be the harm in that, right? Well, it creates a lot of problems when these patients travel on a plane or rent an apartment and allow their untrained animal to cause problems.

Fortunately, states are starting to take a stand against the rampant fraud. In Wyoming, HB0114 was introduced and is expected to pass and go into effect July 1st, 2017. It confirms protections for service animals but also creates a penalty for anyone caught knowingly or intentionally misrepresenting their animal as a service animal.

As a property manager in Cody, Wyoming, I have a solid screening process in place to help protect your property. We remain current on federal, state, and local law to ensure your property is protected.

To learn more about our services,

email us or call (307) 587-9608.

 

Original content at http://www.rentcody.com/service-animal-fraud-and-hb0114.html

Comments (15)

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I realize some people try to scam the system but for those who need pet companionship I feel sorry for them having to explain their condition Nathan Gesner 

Feb 12, 2017 09:10 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I agree. If we didn't have such rampant fraud, it wouldn't be a problem. There are a multitude of sites that "prescribe" animals for $100 consultation fee. How is it possible to not only diagnose someone by phone, but then to prescribe an emotional support animal with no follow-through? I think those quacks should be the ones to face a penalty. This bad behavior ruins it for those with a legitimate need.

Feb 12, 2017 09:26 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Nathan Gesner Perhaps the law needs to go one step further and involve penalties upon the health professionals who write unnecessary prescriptions for these scammers.

Feb 13, 2017 05:00 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I agree 100%, Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 ! The first thing they should do is shut down the web sites. No self-respecting health professional will claim the ability to diagnose and treat someone with a 30-minute phone call.

Feb 13, 2017 05:08 AM
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Listen to Real Estate Broker/Owner with American West Realty & Management 12599 Nathan Gesner (307) 587-9608 to service Cody, WY.

Feb 13, 2017 07:44 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Thank you for the comment, Will Nesbitt 

Feb 13, 2017 07:50 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Nathan Gesner, I do think that animals do help people so much.  Good blog for sure.

 

Feb 13, 2017 09:49 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Service animals are so important for those coping with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental ailments. I hate to hear that this program has fraud problems.

Feb 13, 2017 05:50 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Will Hamm and Rebecca Gaujot, the Go To Realtor® you are both correct. We have to stop the fraud to protect the valid users.

Feb 13, 2017 08:46 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Nathan.  It is pretty much out of control these days.  Good to see some states taking some steps to try and control it.

Feb 14, 2017 05:08 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Gabe Sanders I predict it won't be much longer before state or federal law restricts air travel, which is where this fraud is most common. Thanks for reading!

Feb 14, 2017 05:20 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nathan, sad to hear, and think the "comfort animals" issue is being used fraudulently too.    

Feb 14, 2017 06:12 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

That is exactly right, Joan Cox . Thanks for commenting!

Feb 14, 2017 09:09 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

For many it's just a way to get around the landlord's No Pet Policy !

Mar 22, 2017 08:07 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

That's exactly why I'm bothered by it, Michael J. Perry . I once had a tenant get caught with a dog in his apartment. I served him a notice to get rid of the dog or move out. The next day he came in with a letter signed by his doctor that very day saying it was an emotional support animal.

Mar 22, 2017 08:24 PM