My apartment manager won't let me keep an emotional support dog

I have been diagnosed with general anxiety and depression by my family doctor. They wrote a prescription for me to have an emotional support dog, I have the paper work, and I gave it to my apartment manager. They said I can't keep the ESD because I'm not disabled. What do you suggest I do?

Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Eric Ström, JD, MA, LMHC
Attorney & Licensed Mental Health Counselor

This can be a difficult situation.  Typically, only animals that are specifically trains to accomplish a specific task are legally protected as Service Animsls. Even though that can be very helpful, emotional support animals are not generally protected in the same way.

You might not be able to make your landlord accommodate you. If possible, you may want to consider a different apparent that is more animal friendly.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care nor legal advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist/attorney nor does it create a therapist-client nor attorney-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Agree with the apartment manager's viewpoint that your disability is not a physical limitation.

Ask the manager if they'd accept an explanatory letter from a therapist who is licensed to diagnosis emotional disabilities.

If the answer is yes, then find a therapist who's willing to cooperate with what you need from them and find out this particular therapist's terms of working with you to compose such a letter.

If the manager tells you "no", then find out who is above this person or entity and find out how to formally introduce your request to the board or apartment owner, or whoever actually is the legal owner of the building.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

This is tricky because there are different types of emotional support dogs. The ones that are officially trained actually go through months of training and then are paired with someone for whom they perform specific tasks.

You may benefit from looking at the blog written by Valerie Parrott, who has an emotional support dog due to severe anxiety and panic. I will warn you that her blog is very blunt, but she is honest and she has gone through this process: https://thedogintheroom.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/what-makes-a-service-dog/#more-508

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

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