Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf! Arf!….

A federal jury in Detroit has awarded $300,000 in punitive damages and $14,209 in actual damages to Joyce Grad, saying the Royalwood cooperative apartment association in suburban Royal Oak violated her rights under the federal Fair Housing Act when it declined to waive its no-pets policy to permit her to bring in an emotional-assistance dog. Grad suffers from mental and emotional ailments that include severe depression. One of the services on which Ms. Grad has come to rely on the dog is in making sure she gets up in the morning: “I’ve trained her that if I don’t get up by 7, she is to go to [the] door and bark until help arrives.” Perfect for the neighbors! (David Ashenfelter, “Disabled woman’s dog has its day”, Detroit Free Press, Feb. 23). For more on the steady expansion of demands that legally protected status be accorded to “emotional-assistance” animals, see Oct. 25 and Dec. 2, 2004. For more cases in which disabled-rights-in-housing have led to noisy results, see Aug. 21-22, 2000 and Apr. 5-7, 2002.

One Comment

  • Externalities and the “Rights” of the Disabled

    Mandates regarding handicapped accessibility are a potentially thorny issue for libertarians. But this fact pattern strikes me as different.