Martinez Woman Facing Eviction After Adopting Service Dog - NBC Bay Area
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Martinez Woman Facing Eviction After Adopting Service Dog

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    A Bay Area woman is now fighting to keep her home after adopting a service dog she says she needs to stay healty. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016)

    A Martinez woman is now fighting to keep her home after adopting a service dog she said she needs to stay healthy.

    Victoria Clark said she is being evicted for not complying with her rental agreement, an agreement that states no pets allowed. Clark said Rascal has changed her life in drastic ways. 

    "He's just a love. He's always kissing me and always wanting to be on my lap," Clark said of her little dog, Rascal. "He's happy when I come home and it takes the loneliness out of my life."

    Clark, who struggles with bipolar disorder, panic attacks and PTSD took the advice of her doctor last October and adopted a service animal, a therapy dog that has helped her deal with her mental disabilities.

    "He has brought me so much joy, strength, empowerment and willingness to go the extra mile of fighting for myself," she said.

    Clark is facing eviction from the housing program that placed her in the Martinez apartment for a reduced rent. She has been told she is violating rental agreement since the apartment owner has a no-pet policy.

    Shelter Inc., the non-profit that runs the housing program, said it will review the case through an appeals process. The organization said it never received documentation showing Rascal is a service animal.

    "Our goal is to make sure people stay in housing," said Cynthia Dial with Shelter Inc. "Our goal is to not immediately get rid of someone if there's some kind of blip in the road."

    But Clark is worried and said she needs housing and needs Rascal.

    "That's the bottom line," she said. "I'm learning to fight for myself, learning to find I'm worth it and this little guy has helped me get there."

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