Emotional Support Animals: We Need your Help

We need your help.

We are working on a project to make it easierSkipper the Guinea Pig for people to access housing if they have an animal. The animal could be a dog, cat or other animals that are not prohibited as ineligible exotic animals under provincial legislation.

We are proposing that when someone is unable to access housing because they have an animal and cannot reach agreement with a landlord they should have the option, as a last resort, to have a health professional indicate they need their animal for their health and emotional well-being.

If a person can show in this way that they need their animal for their health, they could not be refused housing because of their animal. They would still need to comply with the rules about having an animal under the Residential Tenancy Act.

In order to demonstrate support for this proposal we need to provide letters from people explaining the importance to them of their animals. We need to take these letters with us to our next meeting with government representatives in the first week of February. Your letter can be anonymous if you prefer.

If you support this proposal and think a description of your experience can help, please email your letters as soon as possible to Jane Dyson at jwd@bccpd.bc.ca. We will need to receive your letter by February 6th at the latest.

In your letter, depending on your experience, you may want to describe how hard it is to find housing with your animal and how important he/she is for your emotional well-being and overall health; or describe how you have had to get rid of your animal in order to find housing and how that has impacted your health. Or you could talk about the difference your animal has made to your health and how your life would be impacted without it.

Our focus here is on residential access; we are not focusing on public access in this project.

If you have any questions please email Jane.

Thanks very much everyone.