North Dakota Lawmakers Take Aim At Abuse Of Companion Animal Exemptions

I don’t know about the rest of you, but lately I’ve been noticing a lot of people abusing exemptions for companion animals. Whether it’s people bringing their animals on airplanes, or people getting their pets into supposedly pet-free apartments, we’ve gotten a little carried away.

It’s one thing if the animals exist to to help someone with a legitimate disability. It’s another if the animal is a pet, and the owner is misappropriating these exemptions based on some trumped-up disability.

North Dakota lawmakers want to address the situation with two bills and one study.

HB1191, sponsored by Rep. Scott Louser (R-Minot), passed the state House on an 88-5 vote earlier this week. It would give landlords the right to request a written justification from an authoritative source for an exemption to pet policies for an alleged companion animal:

1191

HB1192, also sponsored by Rep. Louser, passed the House on a 90-0 vote. It addresses deposits for pets versus service/companion animals:

companionanimal

Finally, HCR3010 authorizes a study by Legislative Management looking into abuse of companion animal policies:

hcr3010

Companion animals are great, and I think we can all be happy that they’re a tool that can help legitimately disabled people live happier, fuller lives. But we shouldn’t have to tolerate people abusing companion animal policies for bogus disability claims, nor should property owner have to eat damages caused even by legitimate companion animals.

 

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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