Woman says Seffner motel ousted her for having therapy dog

Image 1 of 6

Crystal Spears says she's been living at the Star Motel in Seffner for months, but when she moved her dog, Cyrus in several days ago, the owner kicked her out.

"As soon as I brought him in there two days ago, they told us we had to leave. That was it," said Spears.

Spears says she needs Cyrus to help her with anxiety and other emotional disabilities. She even tried to provide paperwork to her landlord, but Spears says the owner told her there were not exceptions to the 'no animals' policy.

"He didn't care if it was a cat, dog, pig. He didn't care. He wanted us out. No animals," said Spears.

Spears may be able to file a complaint against Star Motel, which could be in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The federal law protects tenants from housing discrimination. The law also prevents people with disabilities from being discriminated against and has been interpreted to provide a legal right to assistance animals.

Hotels and motels are generally not considered dwellings, and therefore are not covered by FHA, according to several court rulings across the country. However, since Spears has been living at Star Motel for months, it could be considered an extended-stay motel, and therefore be subject to the act.

That hasn't been settled under the law.

Spears moved out of her room Thursday, and says she's exploring legal options.

Star Motel managers refused to answer FOX 13's questions about Spears' eviction.