Student Sues University to Keep Guinea Pig in Dorm

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A student is suing a Michigan university for the right to keep her pet guinea pig in her dorm room.

Kendra Velzen, a 28-year-old student at Grand Valley State University, says she needs the animal to stay with her for emotional support.

According to the lawsuit, Velzen has a heart condition, requiring a pace maker, and also takes medication for severe depression.

Velzen says she presented a letter to the university when she moved in last August from her medical provider, outlining her conditions and need for animal support.

She applied to the university to be able to keep the guinea pig under an exception to the housing policy, allowing for the use of a service animal for a physical disability.

Her request was denied.

GVSU cited The Americans with Disabilities Act as a reason for the denial, saying a guinea pig is not a trained service animal.

But according to the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan, the university is obligated to follow the Fair Housing Act, which does allow for a support or companion animal.

Officials at GVSU have allowed to the guinea pig to stay in the dorm temporarily. They have not yet commented on the lawsuit.

SOURCE: CNN