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

Am I being discriminated on?

I have been trying to get a dog for my son in my apartment buildings which allows dogs. But until recently they just announced no more dogs. Well we got a doctors note from the doctor stating that my son would benefit from having a dog to help his depression. Well we tried getting a rottweiler since we had 3 in the past and they said no to us about that dog so we dropped it. But they said it cost them $700 to ask their lawyer if we could get a rott which i dont know if i believe that. Well now we have been looking at other breeds that are not in the bully breed and we decided on a boxer mix to adopt. So we filled out an application and of course the adoption agency had to call our landlord to ask. Now here is where things get dirty, we have been trying to reach our landlord to ask about the boxer but she has not returned any of our calls. But she did answer the adoption agency and told them no to the dog. Then the agency sent us this messege back on my email..

talked to your landlord, said no to boxer, shepard, pittie, rottie ect, and really didn't sound that pumped about a dog at all.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

And ever since we started asking about the dog they also havent returned our calles about repairs being needed for our apartment...what can I do about this I feel like we have been denied everything since they dont want us to have a dog? This needs to stop somewhere. Does anyone have a professional view or statement about this situation?

Keep in mind this dog is being used as a service animal so my apartment cant tell me and my son no to the dog as stated by the US Department of Justice...http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

Update:

Service animals do not have to be blind sight dogs, nor do they have to be with only physical disabilitys. Just a dog licking you face to make you happy falls under service of an animal. Also in the US Department of Justice it states that the rules fall under places of business. Apartments fall under that since rent is charged to the tenants.

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you want professional advice or legal advice, it's time for you to consult an attorney of your own. If you want common sense, practical advice from someone who has successfully negotiated many ESA placements in "no pets" housing, read on.

    --------------------------------------

    It's not a service dog, but an emotional support dog. A service dog receives 18-24 months of advanced training in order to perform tasks that mitigate the person's disability. This dog is meant as a pet or companion for your son to ease his depression. That's different.

    "Animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits, or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals." -- U.S. Department of Justice, NPRM regarding 28 C.F.R. 36.104, June 17, 2008

    Emotional support animals are, however, covered under the Fair Housing Amendments Act, which applies to housing, but not to public accommodations. An ESA cannot be taken to the grocery store, movie theater, school, etc. It's just a pet that a doctor deems is necessary for the mental health of a disabled patient.

    So step one, to qualify, is that your son must be legally disabled. Three quarters of people with mental illness diagnoses are not disabled by their illness, just as most people with a vision impairment are not blind. It would need to be a severe case, one that substantially limits his ability to perform major life activities, such as "caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning," etc.

    Step two is to request a reasonable accommodation from the landlord. Yes, they can refuse a Rottie. They can limit the size of the dog too because you don't yet have the dog. That doesn't mean you should run out and get a dog and then try to force it on them either, because that won't work and you'll just get attached to the dog and have to give it up. What it does mean is that you have to negotiate with the landlord. They haven't said no dog at all. They have said they don't want certain breeds perceived to be aggressive or large. So just get a small dog! There are millions of dogs out there. You can find one you like that meets the landlord's parameters.

    "Reasonable accommodation" means it works for both you AND the landlord. It means that the animal will cause no undue hardship on the landlord. Getting a breed insurance companies consider dangerous will increase your landlord's insurance premiums. That isn't reasonable when it is possible to get a breed that doesn't increase their insurance premiums. See how it works?

    I suspect the issue with the other things may be less about the dog and more about the way you are communicating with them. A person who is argumentative and demanding tends not to get as good treatment as a person who is polite and reasonable. It's the old "more flies with honey" thing. So be ultra polite and nice and reasonable. Resolve the issue with the dog by agreeing with the landlord on what type of dog you can have before you go looking for it. That solves the dog problem and it shows you can be reasoned with and be reasonable. It will solve the other problems as well.

    Source(s): I'm a disability advocate.
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  • h1e2r4
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Too many question are not answered in your question. Have you sat down and talked with your landlord? Do you know the some breeds of dogs raise the liability rate on your place of residence? Have you considered a milder breed of dog such as a beagle? Maybe your choice of dog is of concern. A small dog is less intimidating than a large dog. Is there anyone in your building that is willingly to share their dog with your son at certain times of the day?

    What does your lease on your apartment say about repairs? Must the landlord facilitate repairs within a specified period of time?

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  • J
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    If they are neglecting your calls for repairs around the apartment, you can call your local housing authority. You can also try sending a registered letter with restricted delivery and signature required so you have it in writing that you are trying to come to a resolution on this matter.

    It sounds like the landlord just doesn't want "aggressive" breeds in the apartments. Maybe you should look into getting a lab or retriever of some sort. They're easy to train and very faithful.

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  • Batsu
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Discrimination is based on being unfairly treated because of race, age, gender, ethnicity, and in some states, sexual orientation. I see nothing f that sort in your statement. The landlord acts on behalf of the owner of a private building, and the owner can set the rules of his property. Failing to comply with those rules is cause for eviction.

    The service dog page you reference concerns taking service animals temporarily into places of business (ie. grocery store). It does not pertain to the animals living in residences.

    The repair issue is completely different, but also not discrimination. You should contact your local better business bureau/consumer protection agency/town hall code enforcement officer with concerns there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Short answer.....no.

    Why?

    Because what you are asking about is NOT a "service dog" as defined by the ADA......you want an "emotional support animal", which is not even mentioned in the ADA except to specifically state that emotional support animals are not service dogs and do not meet the legal definition as such.

    Besides...there is no such thing as a "blind sight dog"......what good would a blind dog do for anyone?

    Source(s): Husband of Guide dog user and guide dog puppy raiser.....who knows the difference between an emotional support animal and a real, legitimate service dog....and who knows what the law states concerning such.
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  • 1 decade ago

    How many times are you going to ask? Those dogs do not follow under the title 'service animal'

    Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself - As stated by your resource.

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  • Ebonie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Well I'm disabled and lawyers have found judges that make rulings that cut holes in the laws that protect every ones rights. the clause to accommodate people with disabilities has been gutted and the employers can argue it would cost too much and only benefit a very few employees ,when the accommodations would help everyone..

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  • 1 decade ago

    It does sound awfully fishy... I don't think it's discrimination but more along the lines of irritated. Keep bugging them, something will come out eventually...

    As for depression, I have chronic depression and my ferrets seem to help out a lot. get a cat or a small animal and they shouldn't care. If they say no to a cat then there is definitely something wrong. (If you do get a ferret, handle it a bit first before you buy it, some are aggressive but most are not.) get a small, active animal... they help depression a lot...

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think it's time you hired a lawyer yourself, or moved. This is just the beginning of the misery these people are going to dish out to you. Do you want to live with this hanging over your head? Imagine how this atmosphere could be affecting your son.

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