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? asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Landlord fighting my disability rights for a service animal need help please?

I have depressdsion and my doctor said that a dog would be beneficial in helping my depression by having something to care for and to love. So we contacted my apartment complex saying we want to get a dog to help with my depression and they said that it was fine to have one but we needed our doctor to fill out a note saying that I did indeed need a service animal. Our family decided on getting a rottweiler since they have been very helpful to us in the past and we have a stron love for the breed that we swear by. But the apartments are saying that they have a breed ban and rottweilers are part of it. Now I did my research online and found the department of justice states that no animal can b considered not to be a service animal. So we think that we have a chance to fight their decision on this but do we? My son has depression also and would benefit from having this animal. I will include the link to the department of justice and another question that was posted by an yahoo answeres user. Please just give me your legal opinion and dont criticize me about the situation. All I want is answers and I dont know what to do. Thank you very much for your time.

Here is a question related to mine posted by another member.

And here is the link to the department of justice.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What you are talking about is an emotional support animal, not a service animal. A service animal receives extensive training (18-24 months of advanced training) to perform tasks that mitigate the owner's disability.

    Here is an explanation of the difference between emotional support animals and service animals, and instructions for requesting a reasonable accommodation to have one in "no pets" housing:

    The ADA does not apply to emotional support animals. The U.S. Department of Justice, the government agency that regulates the ADA as it relates to service animals, has said, "Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals."

    Unless you live in public housing, section 8 housing, or military housing, the law that probably applies is the Fair Housing Amendments Act. But be aware that some landlords are exempt from federal disability laws especially those with few units.

    Your landlord is within his rights to restrict what breed and size of dog you get. Any breed or size of dog can provide emotional support by giving you something to care for and to love. It doesn't have to be a Rottweiller. Remember that disability laws are based on "reasonable accommodation," not any accommodation the person with a disability wants. They are being reasonable. They are permitting you to get a dog. Just not a Rottweiller.

    It would be a different matter if you had a dog you had had for a long time and were just moving in to the apartment, but that's not what you've described. It would be a different situation if you were talking about an actual service dog because not just any dog will do. Only one dog in a hundred (literally) has the qualities needed and actually completes training to become a service dog. And then some service dogs have to be of a certain size in order to perform their jobs (guide dogs, for example).

    Also remember that a diagnosis of depression alone does not qualify a person as disabled. Three quarters of people with depression are not disabled by it. Just as most people with a vision impairment are not blind and would not qualify for a guide dog (they'd just use glasses instead). So you actually need a doctor to agree that you are substantially limited in your ability to perform major life activities such as "caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working."

    Honestly, you can try to fight it if you want to, but there are no disability police. Disability laws are civil laws and are enforced through law suits. It typically takes three years for such a case to come to a conclusion and each side is responsible for their own attorneys fees until the case is concluded at which the loser typically pays for both attorneys. Ultimately, if they don't agree to what you want, are you willing to wait three years, testify in court at length about your disability, share your complete medical record with the court and your landlord, and risk thousands of dollars, or would you rather get a dog now?

    Source(s): I'm a disability advocate specializing in service animal issues.
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  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Social Security Disability Evaluation -
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  • 1 decade ago

    You have no disability "rights" because you have yet to be legally declared as "disabled". A simple doctors note is not legal qualification of a disability, it is simply the doctors opinion of your condition and is not admissible in a court of law as qualification. The legal determination of a disability is not a medical pursuit, but a legal one.

    One can indeed experience "depression", "anxiety" or any other type of mental condition and not be "disabled" by is not the existence of the condition itself that enables the determination of it being disabling, it is the severity of the condition. Every person that is disabled is impaired by their condition; however not every person that is impaired is disabled. The key is the severity of the condition.

    In your case, you have no legal evidence to prove your point, as the doctors note is not legal qualification of a disability, nor does it state the severity of the condition. Your best bet is to try for a designation of an Emotional Support Animal using a smaller breed.

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  • 4 years ago

    What an fool, very nearly you simply desire to persecute anyone so you could have invented a situation that, very hardly ever if ever in any respect, truthfully occurs. It's some distance much more likely for a so referred to as Christian like your self to assault an atheist or anybody else that disagrees with you. I wager you are a kind of Westboro idiots waving the 'God hates fags' banners. If God hated anybody does he no longer have the energy to interfere? The bible claims God is aware of you from the time you're 'knitted in combination for your moms womb', if he is aware of at that degree that they will be homosexual or atheist why does he no longer do anything at that degree? Could it's that he is no longer all-powerful and all understanding or does he simply no longer exist? By the best way, Americas founding fathers had been Secularists. Learn your historical past.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the legal question will turn on whether some less bad tempered dog will do as well with treating your depression and whether your 'need' for that particular breed trumps the rights of your neighbors to live free from the fear of being attacked.

    you'd lose. get a smaller dog.

    Source(s): ex-landlord
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  • 1 decade ago

    I think your apartment complex is being an as*

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