“University settles student’s lawsuit over emotional-support guinea pig for $40,000”

Kendra Velzen had a note from a doctor prescribing the companionship of the rodent, but Grand Valley State University outside Grand Rapids, Mich. nonetheless resisted her request to keep the guinea pig with her at class, in the dorm, and in food service areas. Now school administrators have folded. [Eric Owens, Daily Caller](& Greenfield)


  • To me the answer seems simple: require certification of service animals and accreditation of certifiers. If an accreditor can’t certify that your guinea pig has been specially trained to provide your emotional support, then sorry you have to grow a pair and emotionally support yourself. I figure this would mostly eliminate all the nonsense like “you have to let me bring my emotional support goat on the airplane” (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/fashion/sundaystyles/14PETS.html?ex=1305259200) and at the same time seeing-eye dogs and such real service animals are already certified or would easily be so.

    Also, let’s please revoke licenses from doctors who think it is reasonable to prescribe an emotional support guinea pig. That’s a failure of public trust.

  • Soon Ms. Velzen will be out in the real world, seeking employment. I wonder how a Google search of her name, and the return “lawsuit over emotional-support guinea pig for $40,000” are going to go over with perspective employers.

  • I’m thinking my emotional support cat would be able to solve the problem….

  • Apparently either the university misunderstood Ms. Velzen’s request to take the guinea pig to the food service area, or, Ms. Velzen misunderstood why it should be taken there. This is one time when exposure to cultural diversity could have been of benefit.

    “Guinea pigs (called cuy, cuye, curí) were originally domesticated for their meat in the Andes.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea_pig#As_food