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Oliver Bruce Mitchell III

622 Wall Street


Los Angeles, California
90014

December 7, 2017

SENT VIA USPS FIRST CLASS MAIL

Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles


Caneel C. Fraser, Esq.
3600 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA
90010

Taunya Taylor
Assistant Director of Veteran Clinical Services
240 N. Breed Street
Los Angeles, CA
90033

Ronald Crossley
Program Manager VS-21 Ballington Plaza
622 Wall Street
Los Angeles, CA
90014

Subj: NO PET POLICY

Dear Ms. Fraser,

I have received your letter dated November 30, 2017 titled NO PET POLICY and your
additional letter(s) dated December 5, 2017 and December 6, 2017.

In your letter dated November 30, 2017 you state Please provide your assigned Case Manager
a copy of the following:

1. Most recent vaccinations for your dog (Russ).


2. A current valid license of the dog.
3. A companion letter from a license doctor (therapist, psychologists) stating the diagnosis
for the dog.

Since VOA has a NO PET POLICY, in order for your companion animal to stay in the program you
must provide these documentations a week from today (December 7, 2017). If you have any

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question you can contact Caneel (213) 251-7698. Thank you for your cooperation. Please note
failure to comply, you will be ask to remove your companion animal. Tambra Axel, Case
Manager.

On November 30, 2017, I emailed your office saying Ms. Fraser, I just returned to VS 21 and
received a notice from Tambra Axel, Case Manager saying "Since VOA has a NO PET POLICY, in
order for your companion animal to stay in the program you must provide these
documentations a week from today (December 7, 2017). If you have any question you can
contact Cancel... Please note failure to comply, you will be ask to remove your companion
animal." The documents requested are most recent vaccinations for your dog. A current valid
dog license of the dog. A companion letter from a license doctor (therapist, psychologist)
stating the diagnosis for the dog. Please be advised that I entered the VS21 program in May of
2016 with the companion animal in hand. At no time was it communicated that the VOA had a
no pet policy. With regards to the requested documentation, that documentation was
submitted to Linda Venema and is maintained within my case management file. Additionally, I
find the repeated and continued harassment to be nothing more than singling me out due to
whistleblowing. In any case I will speak with Ms. Axel to confirm the placement of the
requested documents are already in my file. Please be advised this communication will be
made public. Oliver.

On December 1, 2017, you emailed me saying Mr. Mitchell, if you have already provided those
documents that will suffice (though we will need ongoing proof of vaccinations, as well as a
companion animal agreement signed). However, my understanding is that we have no such
documents in the file. I will follow up with staff on this today. Caneel.

On December 1, 2017, Tambra Axel, Case Manager, presented myself with a signed copy of VS-
21/vs-65 Forms- Soft File (last updated 10/21/13), Page 9 of 44, VS-21/65 Housing
Accommodations Acknowledgement. Page 9, Item 4 states Client agrees that use of the
premises is exclusively as the living quarters of client and shall not be used for any other
purpose. Client shall not keep any pet, or permit any pet to be kept on the premises unless
authorized by VOA. Client shall not do or permit anything to be done in or about the premises
that will in any way obstruct or interfere with the rights of other clients or occupants of the
building or injure or annoy them or use or allow the premises to be used for any improper,
unlawful, or objectionable purpose. Further, client shall not cause, maintain, or permit any
nuisance in, on, or about the premises, or commit zoning ordinances or any other law
applicable to the premises. Executed on 05/03/16 at Los Angeles, California.

On December 1, 2017, you again emailed me saying Hello, again, Mr. Mitchell-
Staff reports that while we do have proof of vaccination through 2020 on file for your dog, we
do not have a letter from a medical/psychiatric/psychological provider, nor do we have proof
that the dog is licensed. Please provide these documents- Caneel.

On December 1, 2017, I emailed you saying Ms. Fraser, while I understand your concerns and
position, I must admit, I believe all this to be as a result of my continued whistleblowing. In fact,

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the actions taken can be construed as "circumventing the law" which in itself is a violation of
the law. The dog license was given to the monitor named Dee and the paperwork from the VA
regarding the dog was given to Linda. I will entertain this last request but no other. If you or any
of VOA staff have an issue with my participation in this program, don't blame me, blame the
VA, theyre the ones who placed me here. Oliver.

On December 1, 2017, you again emailed me saying Thank you for complying with the
reasonable accommodation policy. If there are any further issues, you can contact me directly.
Caneel.

On Monday, December 4, 2017, I prepared and presented the documents as requested to Ms.
Tambra Axel, Case Manager as requested.

In your letter dated December 5, 2017, you state You are missing 1 of 3 of the requested
documents concerning your emotional support/service animal. You must provide documents
from a medical or psychiatric/psychological professional who is currently treating you that
states the need of the dog and that its related to a disability or condition. The documentation
that you provided did not mention the above information. Just a reminder that since VOA has a
NO PET POLICY, in order for your companion animal to stay in the program you must provide
these documentations by December 7, 2017. If you have any question you can contact Caneel
(213) 251-7698. Thank you for your cooperation. Please note failure to comply, you will be ask
to remove your companion animal. Tambra Axel, Case Manager.

In your letter dated December 6, 2017, you state Reminder. You are missing 1 of 3 of the
requested documents concerning your emotional support/service animal. You must provide
documents from a medical or psychiatric/psychological professional who is currently treating
you that states the need of the dog and that its related to a disability or condition. The
documentation that you provided did not mention the above information. Just a reminder that
since VOA has a NO PET POLICY, in order for your companion animal to stay in the program you
must provide these documentations by December 7, 2017. If you have any question you can
contact Caneel (213) 251-7698. Thank you for your cooperation. Please note failure to comply,
you will be ask to remove your companion animal. Tambra Axel, Case Manager.

A companion animal describes a dog/animal that does not work, providing only companionship
as a pet, rather than providing any usefulness by performing any specific task.

On May 3, 2016, I and my companion animal presented myself to Ms. Linda Venema, Program
Manager for screening and acceptance into the VS-21 program. On 5/3/16, I, clearly and
concisely asked Ms. Venema if animals to include Service Animals and/or Therapy Animals were
permitted in the program. At that time Ms. Venema was unsure as to the rules and regulations
regarding service animals. As a result, on May 3, 2016, I intentionally withheld initials and
signature from Page 9, Item 4, describing the exclusivity of the premises. As a result of Ms.
Venemas decision to contact corporate for clarification, I, and my companion animal returned
to the Volunteers of America, Drop in Center for a period of 7 days. On May 10, 2016, Ms.

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Venema contacted me saying the animal was allowed and I subsequently moved into the VS-
21 program located at 622 Wall Street Los Angeles, California 90014.

In both your letters to me, you state A companion letter from a license doctor (therapists,
psychologists) stating the diagnosis for the dog; and you must provide documents from a
medical or psychiatric/psychological professional who is currently treating you that states the
need of dog and that its related to a disability or condition.

A reasonable accommodation is a chamge, exception, or adjustment to a rule or policy that may


be necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their
home.

Federal law prohibits business owners and landlords from demanding to see an animals ID for
fear of lawsuits federal law prohibits both from asking specific questions about the pet
owners disability or demanding paperwork such as documents pertaining to animal training
school.

Page 9, Item 4 states Client shall not keep any pet, or permit any pet to be kept on the
premises unless authorized by VOA.

When on May 10, 2016, Linda Venema authorized me and my companion animal entry into the
Volunteers of America, VS-21, Veterans Transitional Program; she did so as an authorized
representative of VOA.

Additionally, Page 9, Item 9, states VOA and client agree that every condition, covenant, and
provision of this acknowledgement and agreement is material and reasonable. Any breach by
client of a condition, covenant, or provision of this acknowledgement and agreement will
constitute a material breach. For any material breach by client, VOA may provide client with a
written three-day notice that describes the breach and demands that client cure the default (if
a cure is possible). If client does not cure the default within three days, or if a cure is not
possible, then clients right to occupy the premises lease will be terminated.

While Page 9, Item 10, addresses defaults and material breach with regards to the client, it does
not address defaults and material breach on behalf of Volunteers of America.

As it stands, the client is not in default of any material breach and has fully complied with the
program rules and regulations regarding entry and participation in the Volunteers of America,
Veterans Transitional Program.

When on May 10, 2016, Linda Venema, former Program Manager, approved my participation in
the VS-21 program she also approved, authorized and permitted my companion animal as well.
At no time have I requested a reasonable accommodation for any therapy, service or
companion animal.

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Individuals with disabilities may use service animals and emotional support animals for a variety
of reasons. Major Federal civil rights laws govern the rights of a person requiring a
service/companion animal.

In the event, you, your staff, and your office are unhappy with my [n]ow final response, you
may file a complaint in accordance with the following information:

Title II of the ADA covers state and local government facilities, activities, and programs. Title III
of the ADA covers places of public accommodations. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
covers federal government facilities, activities, and programs. It also covers the entities that
receive federal funding.

Title II and Title III Complaints These can be filed through private lawsuits in federal court or
directed to the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Department of Justice


950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section NYA
Washington, DC 20530
http://www.ada.gov (link is external)
800-514-0301 (v)
800-514-0383 (TTY)

Section 504 Complaints These must be made to the specific federal agency that oversees the
program or funding.

The Fair Housing Act (FHA), as amended in 1988, applies to housing. Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all housing
programs and activities that are either conducted by the federal government or receive federal
financial assistance. Title II of the ADA applies to housing provided by state or local government
entities.

Complaints Housing complaints may be filed with the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

http://www.hud.gov/fairhousing (link is external)


800-669-9777 (voice)
800-927-9275 (TTY)

The Volunteers of America receives federal funding from the United States Department of
Veterans Affairs. Per Section 504 you may make your complaint to them for any clarification on
this matter.

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In closing, as an African American male with no mental health problems, I find your demands
that I receive a mental health diagnosis to be intrusive, coercive and deliberate.

Finally, the Volunteers of America stands in material breach of our contract. In accordance
with the law, effective immediately my companion animal and I will remain.

Should you have any questions, comments or concerns you may contact me at the address
above or via email at redpatchmarine@hotmail.com or directly at (562) 719-3872.

I thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Oliver B. Mitchell III