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Problem Solvers: Property Managers Offer Home For Therapy Dog Family

Posted at 5:49 PM, May 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-06 18:34:13-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (May 6, 2014)– Abigail Janes of Kalamazoo came to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers, saying she was having trouble finding a home.

She said property managers kept denying her the opportunity to live there because her registered therapy dog, Atheena, is a pit bull, an “unwelcome breed”.

Property Owners saw the FOX 17 story and responded, offering Janes a chance to fill out an application for housing.

“It has her badge number and everything and it has her vest. They don’t really look into it, kind of brush it off,” said Abigail.

She was in tears about a week ago as she struggled to find housing for her family.

“She’s been an emotional support animal for two years. I’m starting to tear up,” said Abigail.

Property Manager Austin Perry of Austin View Apartments saw our story and took action, contacting Abigail and her family on Facebook.

“When I saw the story, I felt I really needed to reach out to Abigail and let her know there are options out there for you,” said Perry.

He invited Abigail down to fill out an application and to meet Atheena for himself.

His feeling, no therapy animal should be denied because of their breed.

“Specifically being a therapy dog, there is no reason that I can see legally to deny Abagail to have Atheena in her home as a therapy dog,” he said.

“I’m really glad Austin reached out and contacted me,” said Abigail. “Very desperate for housing. That was the biggest stress I think I had.”

Perry has a special place in his heart for therapy dogs.

His two-year-old son had been through several surgeries and his dog Marley had been a great comfort during his recovery process.

As for Abigail and her daughter Gracie and Atheena, they toured an apartment at Austin View, excited there is new hope for housing so they can stay together as a family, Atheena included.

They’re hoping others hear the message and understand that therapy dogs are there for a reason.

“Hopefully other apartments and places follow his lead,” said Abigail.

In addition to Austin View, Janes said three other places have also come forward, saying that they’d like to get an application from her and Atheena will be welcome.