Psychological service animal, renting and the ADA.?
My family and I are moving into a new apartment. My daughter has a therapy dog and I have one to. My daughter has bi-polar and I have schizo-affective disorder. They were our service animal for a few years and the new apartment management want us to prove we have these disorders and that the animals are trained. I don't have any documentation on the training. I have my psychologist and her psychologist's letter attesting to the disorder,but not on training. What can I do and does the fal under ADA
- mariahleadmeLv 66 years agoFavorite Answer
The ADA does not apply to housing unless the housing is owned by the government.
The FHAact is what applies to most housing, but there are exemptions to this as well.
To have a service dog or ESA in 'no pets' housing, the person must meet the legal definition of being mentally ill or disabled, be under the continuous care of a professional psychiatrist or psychologist, have an established treatment plan in place for the mental illness or disability, and have the psychiatrist or psychologist make an assertion that the presence of the animal is deemed a necessary part of the ongoing treatment regimen.
Then the person must file and have approved a "Request for Reasonable Accommodation" with the landlord/manager/owner BEFORE bringing the animal on the premises. The Request should state why the animal is being requested, include the treating psychiatrists or psychologists written affirmation (on the psychiatrist’s or psychologist’s official office letterhead) that the animal is part of the persons treatment regimen for their mental illness or disability, and show that the person has the proper levels of liability insurance on the animal being requested.
There is no legal requirement for the demonstration of what the dog is trained for or any legal requirement for proof of training.
There is also no 'national registry' from which one can have their dog 'certified' from, as every registry currently available is nothing but a scam and a fraud intended to separate stupid people from their money. There is no legal requirement for any type of 'paperwork' for a service dog or ESA, as no type of 'paperwork' legally exists. The law does not require or recognize any type of 'service dog ID', as all the websites offering such are scams and frauds.
- AcheliosLv 76 years ago
this is not ADA, this is FHA
this is why you MUST keep proof of training & that proof has to show the training is specific to mitigating the disabling condition(s) --- and this is one excellent example of why owner-trainers need to work with an ADI recognized trainer for (1) initial training (2) on-going training (3) evaluation for use in public
if you are ever challenged (such as you are now) then without proof of training you have nothing to stand on to fight for your rights
owner-training has many merits... but you gotta back it up with ADI approved trainer's validation... or you risk losing your rights with your Service Dog
are they current, working service dogs or have they been washed out?
if they are washed out for public use & no longer service dogs, they might meet eligibility for ESA (Emotional Support Animal)
otherwise, there is no coverage... unless you have a state law that extends to SDiR (Service Dog in Retirement)... and I do not know of any state that does
you need to understand that the new apartment management can require that you be evaluated by doctors of their choosing in order to establish ESA or SD... they can refuse the letter by your doc & require another eval... even when at your cost
what should you do? You need to contact a Civil Rights Attorney who is familiar with SD laws in your state as well as federal laws --- and you need to find an ADI approved trainer who can help you... at least pay for evaluation for public work & also evaluation of services provided by SD.... while that can not really prove training, it can show that the dog is performing the duties that are usually trained (or at least encouraged if naturally inclined)