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?
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.
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Your apartment manager is legally required under federal law to allow the ESA to live with you if you have provided documentation from a licensed therapist. It does not matter if they have a no-pet policy if you have met these qualifications.
You do not need a trained service animal nor do you need a disability for an emotional support animal. The Fair Housing Act (which has federal jurisdiction) allows you to own an ESA if you have met the right criteria, and it sounds like you do. Perhaps your apartment manager needs a letter from a therapist instead of a doctor?
Here's the site for more information on this and steps to take: https://esadoctors.com/landlord-emotional-support-animal/
Maybe your doctor is credible and can help you continue to fight for yourself. In the above website, it mentions that if you provide the required documentation and your apartment manager continues to deny you, you can file a complaint with HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
I am repeating some of that article content here, but I believe many people in this situation feel pressured to share personal information about their symptoms and circumstances, beyond what is legally required for an ESA. You never have to share any information apart from the documents your therapist provides to you.
I think it's amazing you are trying to stand up for yourself and I wish you all the best!
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At present, the American Disability Association (ADA) only allows protection and guiltiness for Service Animals, which is fall under a separate distinction from Emotional Support Animals.
Emotional support animals are untrained animals (typically pets or other domestic animals) that provide wonderful services to their owners, and there are many benefits to having one.
Service animals who are trained to provide specific services for an individual with limitations that make them fall under what the ADA defines as "disabled" are protected under specific laws, and must be accommodated in public places where the human they serve is present.
While it may be beneficial to request that the therapist who "prescribed" the dog to you write a letter to the apartment manager, it sounds like the manager is aware of ADA guidelines, and the simplest course of action may be to find an alternative residence, if that is a plausible option.
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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.
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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
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