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Jackson man denied emotional support dog request

Posted: 5:43 AM, Mar 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-19 09:04:51-04

JACKSON, Mich. — A Jackson man says he's being denied his emotional support dog because of its breed.

Henry Reilly believes his landlord is breaking the Federal Housing Act.

He says he was told the emotional support dog he chose is considered a "vicious" animal.

Reilly sees a therapist for anxiety and depression and was prescribed an emotional support animal.

Staff at Walnut Ridge mobile home park in Jackson denied his request.

An attorney told Reilly they have the right to say which animals they allow into the park.

The Reilly's fell in love with an American Staffordshire Terrier.

"Their attorney told me that if I brought this breed in that we would be evicted," said Reilly.

According to the Fair Housing Act, breed, size, and weight limitations may not be applied to an assistance animal.

The Reilly's have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a local fair housing organization.

Henry's wife says it's causing her husband to lose sleep.

"It's gotten to the point where he's so afraid of retaliation, of them coming back and trying to find another way if we do end up winning, that they're going to evict us some other way or find something else," said Rebecca Reilly.

The family has been visiting the dog at the Jackson County Animal Shelter and have already bonded with him.

"From the moment I walked past his cage and saw him, I was instantly hooked," said Henry.

Now, they're hoping their landlords have a change of heart.

"They always say doctors know best and this is what my doctor told me that I needed, an animal to make me a whole person," said Henry.