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Meeker Housing Authority Settles Lawsuit Over Emotional Support Animals For $1 Million

A.J. White has a matter-of-fact way of describing his mental issues. When he first arrived in the small town of Meeker as a teenager, he isolated himself, even ran away from home in the winter.

“It was ADHD, depression and extreme anxiety and suicidal tendencies, I suppose,” said the 22-year-old in a soft voice, as a fat, playful gray cat darted around his feet. A slender tiger-striped one watched cautiously from the stairs.

White’s cats, Haim and Genki, aren’t pets. They’re emotional support animals, and the agency that provides low-income housing in this rural northwestern Colorado community recently paid a settlement of about $1 million after a judge ruled it had discriminated against tenants who own them. It ends several years of litigation.

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