Clarksville woman searching for place to accept service dog without fee

Posted at 7:54 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 16:07:57-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A single mother desperate to find a place to live said she keeps getting shut out by landlords because they won't accept one of her family members - her service dog.

Sandra Cudworth of Clarksville moved into the WoodSpring Suites on July 16 to save money after downsizing from a two bedroom, two bathroom home.

"Could no longer afford $1,150 a month for a two bedroom, two bath and that got to be a little expensive. So I didn't want to renew the lease," she said.

At WoodSpring, she pays about $442 a week. She said Friday, August 23 will be her family's last day living there.

"Come Friday, my daughter and I are going to be living in my car because I don't have (the money). I don't get paid until next Friday. Even the homeless shelters here have turned us down for an apartment or a home and the main reason being I don't have the 600 credit score that they want from real estate companies but it's mainly been because of a service pet," Cudworth said.

Her 27-year-old daughter, Karla Grace, suffers from seizures and is mentally handicapped. Cudworth said landlords are asking her to pay a pet down payment and pet fee for their dog named Hot Rod. She said that according to federal laws she shouldn't be refused.

"When they're a service pet or a comfort dog, you don't charge a deposit for them and we have the proper paperwork on him. That's where we're falling into our issues, they won't accept Hot Rod. The dog stays because it's a matter of life or death for her because he'll alert us if she has a seizure. For one, she's developed mentally delayed and for another she has seizures," Cudworth said.

Cudworth is hoping someone will help her find a place to live.

"As long as she feels safe and secure here, I'm safe and secure here. I work 40 hours a week," she said.

Anyone able to help Cudworth is asked to text her 931-338-4032.