Calgary working toward legitimizing emotional support animals
Working together with Alberta Health Services, the city will explore a way to legislate emotional support animals
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The City of Calgary's mission to legitimize emotional support animals is nothing to cluck about.
On Monday, councillors unanimously passed a motion that will see the City of Calgary work together with Alberta Health Services and come up with a way to support those who need emotional support animals through a more formal process – instead of a one-off approach to current city laws.
The motion by Coun. Jyoti Gondek proposed a provincial government licensing process for those who wish to keep animals for emotional support, even if those animals aren't usually allowed within the City of Calgary.
This comes as a citizen, Nikki Pike, sought recognition for her supportive pet chickens – hens that aren't currently allowed in city limits under the bylaw. She's currently in a court process to keep the critters she uses to combat anxiety and depression.
Online, Pike said she was overwhelmed by the step the city took today, and that she's still processing it.
"I'm very happy that council realizes that this is the first step in investigating how we can help people with mental illness in our city," said Coun. Jyoti Gondek, who drafted the notice of motion. "This is very much committing to help people with mental illness find an alternative treatment strategy, and how we do that within a city."