Disability Rights Nebraska (www.disabilityrightsnebraska.org) recently published a free updated resource that offers legal answers for those with questions about service animals. “Can a landlord charge a fee for an assistance animal?” “What are your responsibilities if you own an assistance animal?” and “How are assistance animals protected in housing?” are all answered in their newly revamped Law in Brief Publication Assistance Animals and the Fair Housing Act. There is also information about when a person with a disability can bring their assistance animal into a store, a restaurant or other public spaces as well as the responsibilities the animal’s owner has to follow. These and more Americans with Disabilities Act related points are covered on the Service Animal Resources page of their website.

People with disabilities often rely upon a working service animal or emotional support animal. These animals aren’t pets – they’re providing assistance to their owner and are protected under federal law. For example, Jax, pictured here, isn’t just a cute pet. Jax has been trained to detect a seizure before it happens so his owner, who has epilepsy, can be warned in advance to sit down and avoid injury if a seizure occurs. Since many rental properties have a “no pets” policy, federal laws like the Fair Housing Act have been passed to ensure Jax and his owner are protected.

For assistance with a disability rights related issue or questions about the law and disability, call to speak with an advocate at (402) 413-2016 / 1-800-422-6691 or contact Disability Rights Nebraska online at www.disabilityrightsnebraska.org.