Some find emotional support animals necessary

Ice comforting Myer’s arm. Photo Courtesy: Yukoan Myers

Emotional support animals are allowed in most residential places in Tallahassee. An emotional support animal aids people who are disabled. These animals are not trained as a service animal; however, they do provide comfort to their owner.

The Hub at Tallahassee, an apartment complex, is one of the many complexes that allow emotional support animals. The Hub at Tallahassee is owned by Trinity Property Consultants, who also owns six other properties in the city.

Victoria Alvarez, The Hub at Tallahassee’s property manager, outlines the process that the residents must go through before the emotional support animal is allowed to be housed on the property.

“Definitely notify us beforehand, so that we can send you paperwork, and send it to your healthcare provider,” Alvarez said. “They must then turn that paperwork into us, and we will have to approve the emotional support animal.”

They have created a process that will guarantee that the emotional support animal is necessary. Alvarez said that some tenants will try to abuse the use of an emotional support animal. All fees associated with a pet are waived when an emotional support animal is approved.

“It’s a $300 pet fee for us, and a $25 pet rent,” she said. “So, it’s not cheap. Some people try to abuse that benefit by just getting a letter from someone. It’s a little bit of a harder process to get your emotional support animal approved at our complex.”

However, some residents are willing to go through the process to have peace of mind, because of their emotional support animal.

Yukoan Myers, a fourth-year International Affairs major at Florida State University, expresses that her emotional support cat, Ice, makes her feel like there’s always someone around.

“It’s like a comfort support system,” Myers said. “Usually I’m on my own, so if I’m having a moment especially with school or work, I’m on my laptop, I can look at Ice, and Ice will look at me, and I’ll feel like I have someone there.”

Ice helps to keep Myers motivated with getting up and getting things completed for both work and school.

A previous resident assistant from Florida A&M University, Giniare Ridore says that FAMU has a process for emotional support animals as well.

“They can email CeDAR for the emotional support animal; however, they will also need to gain permission from Dr. Wilder,” Ridore said. “Once CeDAR approves the emotional support animal then it goes to Dr. Wilder and she makes the final decision.”