University Faces Fair Housing Claim over Guinea Pig

May 9, 2012
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A Grand Valley State University student recently filed a complaint in federal court over her request to keep Blanca, a guinea pig, in student housing, reports Courthouse News.

According to the news report, the student accused the university of disability discrimination by denying her request to keep the animal as a reasonable accommodation for her disabilities—a heart condition and depression. The complaint, filed by the student along with the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, alleges that the guinea pig is a medically prescribed assistance animal, which alleviates the physical and emotional symptoms of her impairments.

Courthouse News reports that the university allowed her a temporary stay to keep the animal in her room, but the student refused to keep the guinea pig away from common areas, classes, and cafeterias.

The student told news sources that the university allows physically impaired students to keep service dogs and nonpredatory fish in student housing, but has denied the requests of other students to keep emotional support animals in university housing.

Source: Courthouse News