Apartment Living BlogFair Housing › Dear Fair Housing Lady: Tales of Service Animals


Dear Fair Housing Lady,


Just a quick question. What has been the most interesting service animal you’ve ever heard about?




Wondering in Wyoming


Dear Wondering,


To answer your question, “interesting” can have many definitions. And from the landlord perspective, that can range from good to bad. So, I could respond to you about domestic rats, ten rabbits, an iguana and the like. But what I would like to do is to tell you about Andromeda, as I have just learned about her.  Here is the story of Andromeda – the latex-detecting dog…


Andromeda is a black lab, and her human is Patsy Hayes. Ms. Hayes is so allergic to latex (think balloons at an office party, rubber bands, a yoga mat) that even the slightest contact could trigger an anaphylactic reaction – a life-threatening allergic reaction. Andromeda has been trained to detect latex and when she does, she will begin sniffing drastically, bracket the latex source with her body, and sit and stare at the latex item so that Ms. Hayes will know to stay away.


This is not phony. Training a dog like Andromeda is a one-year process costing $12,500 and training the dog’s human is a cost of $2,500. This is not trivial as some folks are not able to venture from their homes even for the most basic of reasons because of the risk of exposure to a substance that could kill them (dogs can be taught to detect nuts, milk, wheat, soy and eggs that can cause serious reactions).


This is pretty awesome, isn’t it? And it will also be awesome if you remember that if Ms. Hayes wants to rent from you and bring Andromeda with her, that Andromeda is not a pet and no pet rules, pet restrictions, pet fees, pet rent or the like apply. And while I have told you all about this, remember that Ms. Hayes does not have to tell you anything except that she has a disability and needs Andromeda.


This certainly expands on the old adage that a dog is wo/man’s best friend.


Nadeen Green


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