trex asked in PetsDogs · 7 years ago

Service Animal? Do i need a doctors note?

my landlord wants me to get rid of my dog. i was involved in a robbery which a gun was shot 3 times next to my left ear, i can barely hear out of that ear now, i got my dog to alert me when it sounds like someone if breaking in. do i need a doctors note to get him officially certified as a service dog, i need help or suggestions quickly please, he barks maybe once a day, and i need him for peace of mind please help.

11 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is no official certification required (or available) for Service Dogs under US law. There are independent organizations which offer their own customary certification, but it's not legally necessary or required. Nor is there any training requirement, except that the dog "does work" or "performs tasks" to assist with a disability. And despite what the first answer said, partial hearing loss IS a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (federal law) if it limits some basic function (whether physical or mental/emotional). Likewise, any dog can become a Service Dog if they can provide some service (again, no formal training, breeding, certification, etc... required, and a dog - or ANY breed - may become a Service Dog at any point in their life... the above answers seem to be going by their opinion of what they deem a SD should be - but their opinions do not reflect the law in place).

    That said, you're treading the fine line between a dog assisting with a disability and a simple "guard dog". You have an argument - but one that very well may turn into an argument.

    If you claim the dog is a Service Dog, it's up to the landlord to show he's not, as part of the eviction process. Landlords must legally accept Service Dogs despite any "no pets" policies. That said, the easier way would be to look at the lease... if the lease says pets are allowed (or, depending on the state, if it says nothing about pets at all), you're allowed pets as part of your lease (legally binding contract which neither party can change, except as law provides). If that's the case, whether or not your dog is a Service Dog becomes irrelevant.

    ^ Those outline and explain the law and requirements for being a Service Dog (and explains why above answers are wrong). Read and, if they apply to your case, perhaps present them to your landlord to inform him of the law.

    EDIT: the basic definition, at the beginning of the 2nd link, is applicable:

    "Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition."

    Notably, see: " alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds". "Hard of hearing" is acceptable (total deafness not required), and alerting you of their presence fits the Service Dog definition, as does "non-violent protection" (per your disability, and limited ability to hear - and therefore protect yourself without the dog alerting you). However, a dog barking as a mere crime deterrent does not qualify - the key to being a *Service Dog* is in alterting *you* (that's the work/task the dog does, and presumably would/should also alert you to mail/package deliveries, etc...), not deterring crime. If the dog alerts you of someone's presence (if that's your intent) - and that's something a disability (hearing loss) prevents you from fully doing for yourself - then they're legally a Service Dog (based on the DOJ's definitions/explanations of the law).

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Some real estate and property management company's do not allow animals by way of the "lease terms" to reside on their premises, services dogs included -- some landlord policies do make exceptions for service animals and most who will allow a dog will require some sort of non-refundable deposit. I would first ask my landlord about the policy and then what they will need from your Dr.

  • 7 years ago

    The ADA legal definition of disability is at Summery at

    "...defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered."

    ADA definition of a service dog is at

    "Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA."

    Service dogs do not not need to be professionally trained or to come from a special service dog training program. They can be home trained IF the owner knows what to do. It will be harder and take longer then you think it will. But there is no test, no certification, no legal standards required for your dog except the loose ADA requirements.

    None of the self appointed "experts" here are qualified to say you are or are not disabled or whether you do or do not qualify for a service dog. You need to consult with your doctor and disability counselors, not some anonymous yahoos who don't know you or what they are talking about.

    Some people here seem to think that they are the only people who should have service dogs, some simply lie for the sake of lying. This is not the place for a serious answer.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm almost deaf in my left ear. That doesn't mean I get a service dog either.

    Get a hearing aid and an alarm system. Some mace or bat or even a gun perhaps. (legally, of course)

    But you cannot have your dog be a service dog. Your landlord MUST have a reason to want you to get rid of your dog. Move if that's your only option.

    The dog would Not be a service dog. If anything it's a "guard dog". I have problems hearing with my right ear a little bit too even but that Still does not qualify me for a service dog. Now an ESA (emotional service animal) can comfort you and give you "peace of mind" but you'd have to convince your doctor and landlord you need it. But the difference between an ESA and an actual service dog is that you can't take an ESA everywhere with you. To be a service/guide dog the dog Would have to be exceptionally well trained with a bomb proof temperament.

    ADD: Boohoo I got thumbs down. This is what I was Told when I inquired about a service dog. If I got the wrong information well hell, then I'll just go out and get me a service dog too since I "qualify" appearently. Psh. If you want a service dog then GO and SEE yourself if you are deaf enough to be considered disabled then instead of asking on the net.

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  • 7 years ago

    Needing a service dog for "peace of mind" isn't a justifiably legal reason to have a service dog. Protection work is not a legally justifiable task under ADA law.

    Was he trained to specifically come and get you (NOT bark - that's not a legally acceptable alert if you're claiming deafness) when it sounds like someone is breaking in? Service dogs must be specifically TRAINED to perform their task. Dogs naturally bark when it sounds like someone's breaking in. He wasn't taught to do that. Things that dogs naturally do are NOT considered tasks under ADA law.

    Have you been declared legally disabled because of your one eared partial deafness? You MUST be legally disabled under ADA law to have a service dog. If you're not legally disabled, even if the dog is specifically task trained, it wouldn't be a service dog.

    Has your dog went through up to two years of specialized, intense training to become a legitimate service dog?

    I'm suspecting the answer to the last three questions are no.

    Meaning your dog isn't a legitimate, legal service dog and you do not qualify for one.

    Living in an apartment, do your neighbors have no right to peace and quiet? A dog barking is a nuisance. Service dogs cannot be a nuisance. Even they can be evicted for being a nuisance. So even if your Dr is so ignorant of ADA/HUD law to write this note, your landlord can still evict you if your neighbors complain about the "barking service dog alerting the partially deaf tenant". In one ear.

    Have you tried a hearing aid? Or door and window alarms? They have those which stick on with double sick tape and run off batteries.

    This is not a legal battle you'll win. Find an apartment where pets - which yours is - are allowed.

    ADD: A lot of the answers on here are correct, but are getting "Thumbs Downs". That's unfortunate. Its either that there's a lot of people on here who don't know the law or there's a lot of people on here who feel they qualify for a service dog when they don't and they're angry about that. Whichever one it is, it's just unfortunate that people are giving thumbs down to correct answers. I don't know what's happened to this site. I have been off for about 6 months and now that I've come back on it seems all the professional answerers have left, leaving others to answer correctly but then be treated negatively (given TD's) by people guessing whats right or whats wrong, not by legal means, but by what they feel it should be. In the end it just misleads those looking for accurate answers and makes Y ANSWERS look like joke. There's one on this very question that only has sarcasm to say and didn't answer the question. People like him are ruining this site.


    Source(s): ADA and HUD law. I also used to enforce ADA law so I'm very familiar with service dog law.
  • 7 years ago

    8 out of the above 9 are lying to you. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which.

    Y ANSWERS looks like a joke because of the posers who pretend to know the law but patently do not.

  • 7 years ago

    You do not have a service dog. Please stop lying. Partial hearing lose by law is not a disability so you have to get rid of your pet dog or move

    People like you make it harder and harder for people with real disabilities and real service dogs because you think you are entitled to keep your pet mutt and lie through your tooth about it

    A service dog does NOT alert its owner to a break in. No docter can or will give you a note to keep your pet mutt since you are not disabled at all and its not a service dog at all

    Stop lying, get rid of the dog or move and stop making disabled people with REAL service dogs look bad

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    No. A real service dog has to be tested for personality to make sure that they have the right temperament to be a service dog then has to undergo about 2 years of professional training then has to be tested to past a certification test to become a real service animal. It's very expensive so you're just out of luck.

    All you need is a device called a hearing aid. I have a manager that has 2 of them and he still acts like he can't hear a thing. You don't need a service dog and a simple note won't cover it. Either lose the dog or move out. You are not disabled and I'm sure that the SSA has already told you that. A hearing dog is for people who are completely deaf and need help as that IS a real disability.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    You can still hear in one ear, you don't need a service dog - PERIOD.

    Service dogs aren't just random dogs picked up off of the streets and trained in the techniques of "seeing eye dogs". Seeing eye dogs are selectively bred, selectively sought out and trained so that they meet genetically and mentally the traits needed to be an acceptable service animal.

    Service dogs begin their training from the time they are puppies and have been bred for the soul purpose of becoming service dogs. I doubt your dog is even a breed or has the suitable genetics/temperament to be a service dog. You shouldn't use a disability as an excuse to get away with not following the rules, not only is this wrong, but it makes it harder for people with REAL disabilities who cannot COMPLETELY see or hear.

  • 7 years ago

    Partial hearing loss in one ear is not a DISABILITY .... no service dog is needed.

    No doctor is going to write your a landlord certifying that you are so disabled that you need a service animal.

    If your lease does not allow for a dog - you will have to place your dog with friends or family until your lease is up and you can move into housing that allows your dog.

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