The Landlord Guide to Assistance Animals

When it comes to the subject of animals in rental units, landlords and tenants rarely see eye to eye. There’s no doubt that animals, especially dogs and cats, can cause additional and unique damage to a rental property, beyond what human tenants do.

But what do you do when an applicant or tenant claims to have a medical need for an animal? Many landlords don’t know much about assistance animals or the laws surrounding the rights of people to have animals in rental units in certain circumstances.

Tenant requests for assistance animals are growing rapidly as more mental health studies show the benefits that animals have for certain mental and physical disabilities. In order to stay on top of this situation, landlords and property managers need to get educated quickly on federal, state and local laws. There is no substitute for qualified legal counsel from a landlord tenant attorney, but this guide can help introduce you to the issues.

A good first step is to understand the difference between service animals, therapy animals, and emotional support animals (ESA).

This infographic from Canine Companions of Northern Ohio is a great visual for showing the difference.

Landlords: Service dogs and emotional support animals

This infographic was brought to our attention by one of our landlords in our private Facebook group for Landlords.

We frequently see questions about pets, service dogs, and emotional support animals in the group.

Here’s a thread from the group that shows how prevalent this question is.

landlord guide assistance animals

If you’d like to be a part of our private Facebook group for Landlords, you can request to join here.

There are several threads in the group asking about emotional support animals and service dogs. You can use the search feature to find those discussions. I’d suggest searching “ESA” or “Dog” or “Pet” to see some of the more informative discussions.

Professional Legal Advice On Assistance and Emotional Support Animals

Here at RentPrep we’re a tenant screening company and we’re not lawyers.

That’s why we tapped our friends at Avvo.com to answer some questions regarding emotional support animals AND assistance animals.

Listen in as we ask Esther Sirotnik of Avvo’s General Counsel about this issue:

If you still have questions beyond what is mentioned in the video above, we suggest checking our Avvo’s directory and seeking legal advice.

You can get a local lawyer on a flat fixed fee to answer all your questions.



Disabled Tenants and Assistance Animals

Instead of learning the hard way and getting in trouble with the law for discrimination, learn about the different kinds of assistance animals and what conditions must exist before you are required to allow them into your rental property.

Reasonable accommodations are defined as when a tenant asks a landlord to make a change in an existing rule or policy so they have an equal opportunity to enjoy the unit and surrounding property.

In order to qualify for reasonable accommodations due to disability, the tenant must meet the following conditions:

  1. Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (such as walking, seeing, working, cleaning, dressing, and so forth),
  2. Have a history such impairments,
  3. Be regarded as having such impairments.

(Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act)

There are a range of physical and mental disabilities and there is only so much information you are entitled to get from a tenant. Of course, landlords cannot refuse to rent to tenants with disabilities nor can you ask applicants and tenants about the details of any conditions. Sometimes the disability is apparent, such as a tenant in a wheelchair, but many times a person’s disability is not obvious to observers.

There are many laws that protect tenants with disabilities and landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for them to live in a rental property. Lawmakers have determined that in most cases, assistance animals are not outside the definition of reasonable accommodations for disabilities.

In April of 2013, the Housing and Urban Development clarified the conditions for assistance animals. Essentially, the ruling states that people with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations for any assistance animal, including emotional support animals. HUD separates assistance animals into two categories–service animals and support or companion animals. It also sets up two conditions that, if the answers are yes, the landlord must allow the assistance animal.

Here are the two conditions:

  1. Does the person requesting the animal indeed have a diagnosed disability that that impacts major life activities?
  2. Does the person requesting the animal have a disability-related need for it and will the animal assist, perform tasks or perform services for the disabled person?

If it’s no to either, you do not have to allow the assistance animal. If it is yes to both, the exceptions must be made in most cases.

What is a Service Animal?

Another important step for you in dealing with a tenant request for an assistance animal is to understand the two types—service animals and companion animals. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a true service animal is a dog trained to provide assistance to the owner who has a disability. While in some special circumstances miniature horses can be licensed service animals, dogs are generally the only animals that legally can be true service animals.

Service animals must provide a function that the owner cannot do on their own. Perhaps the most familiar service animals are seeing eye dogs or guide dogs who help the blind to get around. Other examples of service dogs include those for hearing impaired owners who rely on the dogs to alert them to sounds, dogs that pull wheelchairs or pick up things for wheelchair-bound owners, and dogs that are trained to alert owners of impending medical conditions like seizures or insulin imbalances.

The key factor in what elevates a service animal over a pet is training and documentation. Service animals are carefully trained by experts or their owners to do their tasks. A service animal’s owner might possess identification papers and the animal often wears some kind of identification collar or harness (but not always). Service animals are generally well trained, well behaved and take their “job” seriously.

Landlords and Service Animals

The requirements for landlords to make allowances for a service animal to reside in a rental unit are definitely addressed by The Federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act as a reasonable accommodation for tenants with disabilities. In other words, the courts consider a tenant’s use of a service animal as an accommodation that should exist outside any landlord’s no pet policy. You should be cautious in challenging a tenant’s right to a service animal.

Here are a few key points for landlords to know:

  • Even if a landlord has a no pet policy in place, the law does not consider service animals as pets and therefore the service animal is exempt from such a restriction.
  • Service animals are allowed anywhere a person would go, including food areas that would normally restrict an animal’s presence.
  • Landlords cannot charge a pet deposit or pet fee for service animals, however the tenant is liable for any damage that the service animal may cause.
  • Landlords can require written verification from the tenant’s health care provider that they are disabled but cannot ask for any specifics about the disability.
  • Landlords can require written verification from the tenant’s health care provider that the service animal is needed.
  • Landlords can request copies of the animal’s health records to prove the animal is in good health, parasite-free and immunized/vaccinated.
  • Landlords can write warnings or even evict a tenant with a service animal if the animal is disturbing others, posing a threat to others or causing considerable damage to the property.

In other words, you can ask for appropriate paperwork concerning the tenant’s need for the service animal and to verify the animal’s health. Ultimately,  for tenants with a diagnosable disability who require the assistance of a service animal, landlords must allow service animals in the rental unit and make reasonable accommodations for both the tenant and the animal.

What is a Companion Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) or companion animal is one who helps people with mental disabilities. Studies show that often, people disabled with conditions like anxiety, depression, autism, or post-traumatic stress can alleviate symptoms with an emotional support animal. One of the major differences between a companion animal and a service animal is that there are no species or breed restrictions. In other words, an ESA could be a dog, cat, lizard, bird, monkey, ferret, snake or other creature.

The other major difference between a service animal and a companion animal is that they don’t need to have any training nor perform any physical task. Their purpose is to provide companionship and comfort to the owner.  ESAs do not even need basic behavior training to qualify. The critical component of a companion animal for a disabled person must be that there is a significantly identifiable relationship, known in legal terms as a nexus, between the tenant’s disability and the need for a companion animal. In other words, the health care professional and the tenant must be able to show a nexus between what the companion animal provides and the person’s disability in order for the animal to qualify as more than just a pet who makes them feel good.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a companion animal does not qualify as a service animal and therefore they are not generally allowed in public places, like restaurants, as service animals are. The Fair Housing Act allows for companion animals in rental units but not necessarily in common areas like a pool area or courtyard.

In short, the laws create a situation where the qualifying standards are set fairly low for tenants to qualify for companion animals and many landlords feel frustrated at the restrictions the laws place on them to be able to regulate animals in rental properties.

Landlords and Companion Animals

The Federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act require landlords to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, and companion animals do qualify. Remember, to qualify for a companion animal, tenants must have a qualifying disability and be able to demonstrate a nexus.

Here are a few key points for landlords to know:

  • Companion animals must follow the same reasonable rules that apply to pets as far as waste, leash restrictions damage, noise and safety.
  • Landlords may have some say in setting limits on size, species, breed and number of companion animals and several tenant companion animal requests have been considered unreasonable and upheld by the courts, while others have not. For example, the court may find a single cat as a companion animal is reasonable, whereas five cats might easily be considered unreasonable.
  • Landlords cannot charge pet deposits or pet fees because the law doesn’t consider companion animals as pets.
  • Landlords can request a written statement from a health care provider confirming the tenant’s disability and the nexus of a companion animal and confirmation that its presence will ease the disability.
  • Landlords can require health and wellness documentation for the companion animal, such as immunization/vaccination records and so forth.
  • Landlords can still write warnings, deliver official notices or even evict the tenant and companion animal for things like excessive noise, property damage, behavior problems or whenever the companion animal might threaten the safety of other tenants.
  • Landlords can refuse to allow certain companion animals if the animal will present undue hardship or expense for the landlord’s business. An example of this is when a landlord’s insurance company will raise rates or drop coverage for certain dog breeds to live on the property that are considered too aggressive, like pit bulls.

Many of the court cases involving landlords, tenants and animals center on the laws, rules and regulations about companion animals, not service animals. To outsiders, it is difficult to distinguish between a companion animal and a pet. It’s important that you work closely with your attorney when it comes to tenant requests for companion animals to ensure you are following federal, state and municipal laws regarding reasonable accommodations.

Common Conflicts with Assistance Animals

The Federal Fair Housing rules treat a service animal and a companion animal in much the same way, with laws and rules similar for both. However, landlords often have more conflicts when it comes to companion animals versus service animals because the differences between them are so vast. Because service animals are limited to a couple of species, rigorously trained and therefore much better behaved, few landlords have issues with them. However, companion animals cover a range of species, breeds and behavior.

Here is a quick list of common landlord complaints about companion animals:

  • There are no clear guidelines on what kind of animal can be a companion animal nor any restrictions on size, breed, or even number.
  • There are no guidelines on how the tenant chooses the companion animal.
  • There are no requirements for training, socialization or behavior standards.
  • Landlords cannot question the training level of the animal.
  • There is great leeway in who can prescribe an assistance animal; it doesn’t have to be a doctor, just someone qualified to treat a disability.
  • Landlords cannot question whether other options besides an animal are possible in treating the tenant’s disability.

Can Landlords Deny Assistance Animals?

There are a few situations where you can deny assistance animals but in doing so, you run the risk of getting into legal trouble if you have not covered all your bases and consulted with your landlord tenant attorney.

Here are a few reasons a landlord could deny a tenant’s request for a an assistance animal or start the eviction process against the tenant based on the animal:

  • The tenant is not legally disabled or cannot prove it in writing via a health care professional.
  • The assistance animal is not prescribed for the treatment of the tenant’s specific disability or no nexus is demonstrated or backed up in writing by a health care professional.
  • The assistance animal would create an undue burden, such as keeping a miniature horse in a high rise apartment where there is no facility for housing such an animal.
  • The assistance animal is illegal or otherwise not allowed according to state or municipal law, such as an exotic animal or a dangerous breed of animal.
  • The animal is a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants which cannot be reduced or eliminated.
  • The assistance animal creates “an undue financial burden or administrative burden on the landlord.”
  • The presence of the animal “fundamentally alters the nature of the housing provider’s operations.”
  • The tenant won’t take responsibility for the animal, such as cleaning up waste, letting it run free, or resolving noise problems.

Each of these situations are reflected in a handful of court rulings that went in favor of the landlord. However, you should definitely consult with an attorney before issuing notices, warnings or starting the eviction process against a tenant with an assistance animal to ensure you stay clear of any violations.

Exploiting Assistance Animals

One thing landlords everywhere should be aware of is the growing trend for applicants and tenants to present fake assistance animals in order to skirt standard pet rules and fees. There are plenty of websites that will allow people to register a dog as a “service” dog and provide a badge or vest with a certificate, just for a fee.

Other people may try to present forged doctor or therapist note about a companion animal in an attempt to get around a landlord’s no pet policy. If you suspect this is the case, it’s okay to look the medical professional up on the state licensing board and verify their identity. It’s also acceptable to contact the letter writer’s office and explain yourself and ask for confirmation that the medical professional did indeed write the letter. A quick internet search can also weed out a fee-based certification or companion animal setup as well.

Landlords should be careful not to give the impression that they are harassing or otherwise doubting the tenant’s request, but simply doing due diligence in confirming the document. Fair housing laws generally require that the person providing a tenant’s documentation about the disability must be a person “who is in a position to know” about the tenant’s disability. It’s entirely within your rights to confirm that a legitimate health professional has prescribed the companion animal for the tenant.

In short, examining a tenant’s request for an assistance animal is quite complicated and there is no quick way to figure out the various facets of each individual case. With the help of a landlord tenant attorney and becoming familiar with the laws in place, landlords can better navigate the murky waters of assistant animals in rental properties.

Do you have any experiences with assistance animals and tenants? Have you noticed an increase in requests for them? How did you handle it? Please share this article and let us know what happened to you or your tenant in the comments section below.


About the author

I started RentPrep in 2007 and our mission is to pull the stress out of being a landlord.

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  • Question: can the Landlord raise the rent before lease renewal time, as the accommodation requires lease modification. Yes, it is noted that no deposit or pet can be assessed for a ESA companion animal,
    but what about and adjustment of the rent up to a published rent standard for the unit. Example Tenant has a section 8 HAP voucher. HAP payment standard is 2400/month. Tenant has doe pay 1650/month for last 5 years with no rent adjustment. No tenant claims 2 ESA dog are needed for two children with disabilities. Landlord would do lease modification and increase rent.

    • Stephen Michael White

      R. Scott, I’m not sure I totally understand the questions, but I’ll answer what I can.

      Typically, rent cannot be increased during the lease term, unless the lease gives notice of rent increases. If the applicant is on a month to month lease agreement, a 30 day notice must be given that the rent will increase.

      Now, as for how much you can increase and how to do so in a Section 8 situation, this is a complicated issue. Many states and municipalities have rent control guidelines that limit the amount of rent increase you can charge. Some states are currently fighting to give landlords less control over what they charge for security deposits and rent increases. So for this reason, I would call your local landlord/tenant court and ask what your local laws are.

  • C Rose

    Here is my question/situation. I am renting an apt, my lease expired and I am currently on a month to month. When I leased the apt I had a dog, said dog has now become my ESA with all the proper letters from my Therapist. This property has exuberant pet deposits; standard deposit of $250.00, pet deposit of $800.00 with $400.00 non-refundable and a carpet deposit of $1300.00 and of course the pet rent of an additional $10.00 a month.
    I visited the property manager yesterday and gave her my letter, she was familiar with ESA. I enquired about my pet rent; I no longer have to pay it. Pet deposits they currently have $2,100.00. I was told that I would get my deposits back when I vacate the property including the $400.00 non refundable portion and she couldn’t request that my pet deposits be returned to me now.
    Is this legal? They will still be at their mercy upon vacating the apartment. I then asked her if I do a new lease with NO pet deposits since I do have an ESA if my pet deposits would be returned? Again I was told no….any input on this situation would be appreciated. I can’t seem to find anything on the internet about this type of situation.

    • Stephen Michael White

      I would think that the only way to get the deposits back would be to move out, or at the very least be subject to a full inspection of the unit. The whole purpose of the deposit is to cover potential damages that are common with pets, so I can understand that they would not want to give the deposit back while you’re still there.

      Your situation is unusual because the dog became an ESA while you were living in the apartment. I think they may even be going above and beyond by agreeing to refund the non-refundable $400 pet deposit. My advice would be to enjoy the place and know that you’ll be getting a nice chunk of change when you leave someday. Just remember to keep the place clean and give no reasons for them to hold any portion of the deposit.

      • C Rose

        Thank you for your response.

  • christine perron

    My significant other and I have lived together in a rental house for several years. Only his name is on the lease. I have been on disability, and was recently diagnosed with wet macular degeneration on top of my other ailments. I now have a RX for a service dog.
    My friend is afraid we will get evicted if I get a assistance animal. I am familiar with dog training, and want to get one before I totally loose my eyesight. What can happen to a landlord, should they try to evict a disabled person with a service dog?

    • Stephen Michael White

      I would focus less on – what can happen to a landlord if… scenarios.

      Instead put your energy into communication. Talk with your landlord and ask what documents, if any, he would like to see in the event you get a service dog. Talk with your doctor to see what type of documentation he can provide you. Or the service animal provider.

      If there is a no-pet policy, and you show up one day with a service dog without ever letting the landlord know.. you’re asking for a confrontation. It’s common courtesy if nothing else to say “hey Mr. Landlord, I will be requiring a service dog for medical reasons just so you’re aware. Please let me know if you need to see any documentation certifying my dog”

  • John Montgomery

    can a family / GP doctor prescribe the ESA or must it be a mental health professional?

    • Stephen White

      Great question John.. I know some states are more restrictive than others, but to my knowledge the ESA is typically prescribed by a therapist or mental health professional. I don’t think the law actually dictates who, other than a doctor, can provide the letter. But a doctor themselves would be able to tell you. I would think a GP doctor would not be as familiar with the procedures and would be less likely to do so.

  • Stephen White

    A landlord can require renter’s insurance as part of their lease agreement.. I’m assuming this is the coverage the landlord is requiring since I’m not aware of a policy that only covers pets.

    If he requires the insurance for the tenants with a service animal, he should require the same for every tenant as well.

  • Stephen White

    Joy, you need to be sure that if you have a policy to require renter’s insurance it applies to ALL tenants. With or without pets or ESA.

    If you require only the tenant with an ESA this can be seen as discriminating against a protected class.

  • Stephen White

    Jeffery, I think I understand your situation. And you’re right, the VA likely won’t sign anything. Your only chance of making it official would be to pay out of pocket and see a doctor who could and would sign off on this.

    • Jeffery Sealing

      Yes, I have been considering seeing a private doctor and paying for it out of pocket. But, I did find some of my paperwork from the VA about my disability that I did give to the leasing office and so far, they have accepted it in temporary lieu of the letter they want filled out.
      Thank you for all the hard work you do.

  • Stephen White

    Since there are really no size restriction laws, I’d tread cautiously since the policy is based on your opinion of what size dogs would be ideal.

    I’d mention that you’d be willing to make the exception but you’re concerned about the space. Take them through and have an honest conversation about it. At the end either you’ll be convinced the dog will work, or they’ll realize their dog needs more space.

  • Stephen White

    You started your lease on lie. How can you blame this on anyone else?

    You are in the wrong regardless of how many excuses you think you may have.

    Nobody owes you anything. Take responsibility for your actions and stop trying to find ways to shift the blame.

    Sorry for being so blunt, but nothing makes me crazier than someone being in the wrong, and then trying to get someone else in trouble. Be an adult and take responsibility.

    • For Rent Corning

      Well said.

  • Stephen White

    Hmmm.. this is a tricky one. The best bet would be for the landlord to require not only proper documentation from a doctor for the tenant, but also documentation that the animal has been credentialed, like yours.

  • Stephen White

    Nando, this is unfortunate because the place has become home, as you mentioned. But if the animals are not service animals with documentation, the property owner can restrict them from the property.

    • Teresa Walters Haas

      If the are ESAs and you have a letter her health professional stating the dogs are a useful treatment for her, you can submit a request for reasonable accommodation. This could allow you to remain in you home and keep your dogs.

  • Stephen White

    Cheryl, the landlord has the right to ensure the animals on the property are properly taken care of and vaccinated. It’s for the safety of the other tenants and you. Since it wasn’t requested for 2 years, it may also be a requirement from an insurance carrier.

    My advice is to comply with the request. These are things that you should have anyway.

  • Stephen White

    Claudia, this is a question for your daughter’s doctor. I’m not familiar with APD and where it falls in terms of a disability and assistance animals. If it does qualify her for an assistance animal then you should have no problem obtaining proper documentation for the landlord.

  • Stephen White

    I don’t think the homeowners can cancel a policy over the breed of a service animal. The fact that it’s a service animal typically means it’s been trained and certified. This should override any breed restrictions.

    With regard to renter’s insurance.. you can require that ALL tenants carry this. By keeping it equal, you’re not discriminating against a protected class. And of course, they would include any pets/animals living with them. What you want to beware of is creating a policy or requirement for the tenant that may not apply to other tenants. This is discrimination. So as long as you’re setting the same policies and requirements for everyone you should be fine.

  • Stephen White

    The trailer park is trying to get rid of aggressive breeds I take it. I don’t think there would be any “grandfathering” because it’s likely the property owners insurance that is making them restrict the breeds.

  • Stephen White

    Linda, have you considered that your pet is more of a nuisance than you might be willing to admit? Talk to the neighbors and see what their take is.

    But to answer your question directly – yes you can be evicted for having a nuisance pet.

  • Stephen White

    If it’s a service dog, then no. You are correct, it’s not a pet and therefore does not have to apply to typical “pet” rules.

    But if it’s a companion animal, then yes, you would have to sign and comply.

  • Stephen White

    Tracy, there’s no magic answer in this situation. You’re going to have to go to the landlord and explain the circumstances. And he has to understand. My only advice is to approach it with good communication.

    This is a sore subject for some landlords because they feel out of control of their property, so keep that in mind. But also keep in mind that’s there is nothing worth more to a landlord than a good, long-term tenant. So it can’t hurt to ensure the landlord that you’ve been a good tenant (hopefully you have been) and you plan to respect the property just as you always have.

    This can be done without making an enemy so don’t worry. At the end of the day, it’s out of the landlords control so all you can do choose how to approach the situation. And judging by the time you took to research, I’d assume you’re a pretty thoughtful person and you’ll handle it the best way possible 🙂

  • Stephen White

    Craig, a landlord cannot evict you for having a service dog. I’m hoping there is more to the story, because most landlords would know this already. Did you let him know about the dog? Or was there something else going on? I’m having a hard time believing a landlord these days would purposely violate discrimination laws…

    • Craig

      Definitely notified him day I got paperwork his exact words were this is not going to fly month later got served with notice to vacate for possession

      • Stephen White

        Yikes! Well, you’ve got yourself an extremely ignorant landlord Craig.

        Here is my advice.. go to the eviction hearing and bring the documentation for the judge to see. He’ll rule in your favor and if you’re landlord is lucky he’ll walk away with a stern talking to. But I wouldn’t be shocked if the judge ordered a closer look at the obvious discrimination.

        • Craig

          I am looking for a place anyway but I am going contact a lawyer today and find out what I should do. Right now no court date it says if I’m not out by feb 1st he is going take me court to evict me

  • Stephen White

    Renea, a landlord cannot change your lease terms to accommodate the ESA. It’s not a pet so you shouldn’t have to pay the additional money. Was there an issue with the documentation from the doctor? I only ask because you use the word “basically” which to me sometimes means “not exactly” or “not quite”.

  • Stephen White

    They do not need to know your personal medical condition. Your documentation from the doctor should be enough.

  • Michelle

    I recently gave my landlord a note from my psych NP for an ESA and a few days later I came home to see an eviction notice-30 days to vacate taped to my door. Now the note did not in any way, shape, or form broach the topic of my ESA, but simply stated that our apartment needed “updated” and we need to get out. My bf spoke to them and she said that she has had problems with ESAs in the past, once one person gets one, they all want one, it’s cheaper to kick us out rather than pursue legal action/clean the apartment after we leave, etc.

    I don’t want to push the issue further as I can’t afford to move anywhere else but I feel that I can’t trust my landlords anymore. She is breaking the law, flat out and doesn’t care. We’ve always been the perfect tenants, paying promptly, keeping to ourselves, being quiet. It’s just extremely frustrating.

  • Stephen White

    If you have the documentation and requested reasonable accommodation, you should be allowed to keep the dog. Of course they have to follow Fair Housing laws.

    Now there’s another side to this story I’m guessing. I’ll take a wild stab in the dark and say that your dog is either a pit-bull, doberman or rottweiler. Which are all considered “dangerous breeds” according to a lot of insurance carriers. So perhaps the landlord is being pressured to get rid of the dog. Or maybe they heard the recent story of a kid being killed by a pit-bull in a trailer park. Either way if you have the paper work, and there has never been a biting incident, you’re allowed the dog.

    But why… why do tenant’s insist on getting dogs that can rip your face off?! I’m sure a small dog would make just as good of a companion pet lol

  • Morgan Teri Empey

    Hi! So I have a service dog and the landlord and manager have been more than difficult. But my question is can they require me to sign an additional contract specifically pertaining to my service dog? If not, where is the legal evidence of this? I’ve tried to find anything on whether or not they can do this, but I haven’t found anything.

  • Stephen White

    Cool site, I’ll leave the link because some might find it helpful.

  • Stephen White

    That’s a tough one Chuck.. I have no idea what the right thing to do here is. This would certainly be worth calling your attorney, or at least your local municipality to see if there is any precedence.

  • NHrental

    I have a rental applicant that trains service dogs and claims they have the same rights as a disabled person. I think they are wrong. What are your opinions?

    • Stephen White

      Thats a great question.. does the person training the animals have the same rights as those who NEED the animals?

      My knee-jerk reaction is no, they don’t have the same rights. The tenant is not disabled, but performing a job which happens to serve those who are disabled.

      This would absolutely be worth a look into from your local municipality to be sure you’re not violating anyone’s rights, but I’d say if the tenant is not disabled, they shouldn’t be treated as such.

  • Travis Morrow

    Can I fine my tenant for an ESA if he was prescribed the animal after the lease violation occurred?

    • Stephen White

      I suppose you could.. but what would be the point? Do you plan on not renewing the lease when it’s up anyway?

  • Jay Cleveland

    I have an pure bread johnson breed American bulldog and just moved into a new apartment complex. The complex has a specific list of breeds that are not allowed one of which IS NOT and American bulldog, also there is no weight limit, can they generalize my dog as a pit bull and deny him to live with me?

    • Stephen White

      The breed limitations are typically prescribed by insurance carriers and the properties don’t want to lose their insurance. So I would think they would err on the side of caution.

  • Stephen White

    I’d move out. Your Uncle probably feels taken advantage of, and honestly sounds like he’s not taking care of the property anyway. By you moving he’d be forced to fix the place up, and you can find a landlord who loves dogs. Or at least isn’t afraid of them.

  • Stephen White

    Not sure I follow how the landlord could have done something better in your explanation. If anything, he should have gladly let you out of the lease considering you had a month left. But your dog was involved in a biting incident and would be considered a threat to other tenants I’m sure. So I’m not sure how that could have gone different from the landlord’s perspective.

    • p. norman

      As I mentioned at the end of my post, the landlord needed a written policy regarding accomodations that complied w/ ADA /FHA regulations that was either part of my lease or signed by me when I requested/ received accomodations.
      I understand the law & did not expect a different outcome after the incident.
      What I do exoect is a proactive and informed landlord. Ignorance is not a defense.

      • Stephen White

        I see what you’re saying. I can agree with you, but I can also see the mass confusion from the landlord’s perspective when it comes to service animals. The unfortunate reality is that many landlords still have the thought process that it’s their property and they can choose to allow pets or not, regardless of the situation. It’s unfortunate because most have learned this from having bad experiences at some point with a pet and promised themselves to never let that happen again. It’s going to take time for the landlord community as a whole to become educated in this area. I see it everyday.

  • Kristina Babb

    Hello! My husband and I reside in Michigan. He is a combat war veteran with diagnosed PTSD symtoms. We live in an apartment complex and his psychiatrist at the VA outpatient clinic wrote a letter stating that his symptoms do reflect PTSD and that a service animal would be a viable option of treatment. We have been in out apartment for 1 1/2 years. We have never had any issues or complaints against and out rent has never been late. I am concerned that because we have already been here a while and he is suddenly in the works for getting a service dog that our landlord can evict us or refuse to renew our lease in October.

  • Stephen White

    You can certainly choose to fight it if you feels it’s worth the fight. But being that it’s family, and your uncle doesn’t sound very reasonable, I’d say things are going to go from bad to worse on a personal/family level when all the dust settles.

  • Stephen White

    It all depends on the validity of your certificate whether the landlord will deem it invalid. If it’s legit, there should be no question. If you are scrambling because you just came up with the emotional companion idea as an afterthought, you might have some issues getting the documentation from your primary physician.

  • Stephen White

    Interested to hear their response Chris!

  • Stephen White

    Sounds unfortunate, but what can the landlord do? There was an incident and there needs to be a response. Who knows, maybe the insurance carrier is even requiring it. Just because it’s a service dog, doesn’t exclude it from recourse in the event of an injury. As you experienced firsthand when they quarantined the dog for 10 days. Might be best to move on Steve. The incident will be the judge’s focus in the eviction, not the dog’s certification in my opinion.

    Interested in what the outcome is, keep us posted.

  • Stephen White

    That’s a great question that I’ve never been asked before Maaika. I don’t know the answer, but I can see this falling under “reasonable accommodations” and the landlord letting you out of the lease. Unless he feels like installing an elevator for the dog.

  • Jennifer Ramirez

    I also live in hud and have a ESA. When I got my daughter her own ESA hud trying saying I still could only have one ESA per household. I asked that they look into it because I believed they were wrong. They were:) after they made a few calls they apologized for their lack of knowledge on the situation and said they learned that even if there’s 5 people in the house there could be 5 dogs. Push the issue. Like my case they probably just aren’t educated enough on the issue. Good luck!

  • Stephen White

    I don’t understand why this is a big deal. For any renter’s insurance policy you would list the landlord. And renter’s insurance can be required as a policy. If anything the landlord should force every tenant, not just the ones with animals, otherwise this could be seen as discrimination. But honestly, the guy is trying to protect his property in the event of something awful, like a dog attack. I don’t think there is any ill will here. And I don’t believe the request to carry renter’s insurance is reasonable. It’s for everyone’s benefit, especially you, the tenant. I say give the guy a break and get the insurance. If you want to raise a stink about something, let it be that he didn’t charge every tenant.

  • Stephen White

    This might be a stupid question, but is the eviction directly related to the ESA?

  • Stephen White

    1. No, the landlord does not lose his rights. The tenant need to provide proper notice that they require a service dog, it’s not implied.
    2. Absolutely the tenant has to inform the landlord.
    3. What would be the point in keeping the deposit? As a punishment? If there are no damages, or any legit reasons to withhold any of the deposit, it should be returned. If this tenant lied about having the dog, and then threatened to sue over discrimination, she’ll certainly have a real big problem with not getting the deposit back. And unless you have a good reason to withhold, it’s not worth the headache. Accept that it’s a bad tenant and get out of the situation as fast as possible for your own piece of mind.

  • John Silvermann

    Hello. I like to know if a landlord can put restrictions on an emotional support animal inside a residence. For example, restricting the companion animal to certain rooms or requiring the companion animal to be on a leash while ‘inside’ the tenant’s apartment. Thanks.

  • MRS

    If a home is not considered a HUD home, does the owner still have to follow the same laws for service animals? For example, pet deposits or extra rent each month?

    • Stephen White

      Yes, the same laws apply whether it’s a HUD home or not.

    • Kathryn Vignati

      No. Landlords cannot charge pet rent or deposits for service animals. THEY ARE NOT PETS. They can, however, charge for damage done by the service animal, and can require that guidelines designated to protect the property from damage be followed, e.g., picking up pet’s waste.

  • Stephen White

    Did you do a final walk through on the rental unit? Did they provide you with documentation of what the damages are? It’s certainly possible someone is lying and trying to steal your money. If that’s’ the case, you should contact your attorney to find a legal remedy.

  • Stephen White

    Yes, you should inform your landlord as soon as possible. And yes, you should also share any documentation if it relates to the animal specifically.

  • Stephen White

    Unfortunately, the lease was broken and therefore the landlord is acting within his rights to serve the eviction. Of course you should have done everything according to the law/lease requirements, and this is the worst case scenario of not following those requirements. As for the landlord’s position, keep in mind that if he’s been around a while he’s probably heard every excuse and has been lied to many times over about pets. And I’m sure like most landlords, the unauthorized pets caused damages that add insult to injury. So I can see where both of you are coming from in this situation. But since the damage is done (so to speak) it’s best to move on and learn everything you can from the situation. And have the documentation ready for the next place you move into ahead of time.

  • Stephen White

    Sounds like the landlord is dealing with a restrictive breed issue from his insurance company. Many insurances do not allow certain types of breeds, and bulldogs is a common one I believe.

    Being that the animal is an ESA, the landlord does have some say considering it’s not a service animal. A service animal is trained and certified, and therefore allowed in places (such as common areas and public places) where an ESA wouldn’t be allowed. My best advice is to work with landlord and his insurance company to find a solution. You can always fight it, but there have been many cases where a judge rules on the side of a landlord and considers certain situations like this to be an unreasonable requests if it means the landlord will lose insurance coverage.

    • Kristina Denney

      Thanks for your reply. Our lease does not restrict American Bulldogs and our dog was accepted as a pet when we first moved in. The issue started when we asked to list him as an ESA and not a pet.

      • Stephen White

        Thats bizarre I have to say.. why would the dog be an issue after it was deemed an ESA?

  • Stephen White

    I’m definitely not giving any legal advice here Kay, but I appreciate your concern. And from my understanding, the designation of a service dog allows access whereas an ESA does not have. For example public places and restaurants. Without certification, or proof of training, how would anyone know what dogs are service dogs and what dogs are not?

  • Stephen White

    I have major issues with emotional service animals too DSA. As do most landlords who feel that the system has created an easy loophole for people who want pets and not be bothered with housing policies against them.

    But at the end of the day, the leasing company is correct. Even the ADA says that allergies are not enough to consider the accommodation unreasonable. And as for your fear of the potential damage (nothing is worse than cat urine), I again agree with you but it comes with the territory. The best thing you can do is be proactive and inspect the unit at least annually to ensure there is no damage to floors and carpeting.

  • Stephen White

    Regardless of whether they are allowed to do it or not… why wouldn’t you clean up after your own dog? If you acknowledge it’s your dogs hair, it shouldn’t even be a question, it’s common courtesy.

    The ADA “does not require covered entities to provide for the care or supervision of a service animal, including cleaning up after the animal. This is the responsibility of the handler”

    Thankfully the ADA uses some common sense with this one. But with all the other restrictions, it wouldn’t have shocked me to learn that the landlord is responsible to clean up after someone else’s animal.

  • Stephen White

    “While Emotional Support Animals or Comfort Animals are often used as part of a medical treatment plan as therapy animals, they are not considered service animals under the ADA. These support animals provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities. Even though some states have laws defining therapy animals, these animals are not limited to working with people with disabilities and therefore are not covered by federal laws protecting the use of service animals.”
    https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet

  • Stephen White

    Landlords have successfully made the case that breed was an unreasonable accommodation for an ESA if it caused the landlord undo harm – ie. being dropped from insurance, etc.

    Since an ESA is not the same as a service animal, the insurances companies do not lump them into the same designation. To them, it matters if the animal has been trained or not.

  • Stephen White

    Get an attorney. Your security deposit must be itemized and returned within a certain time frame. They cannot just refuse to communicate with you.

  • Stephen White

    If you’re not on the lease, I would think technically you cannot live there. Most leases require all occupants over the age of 18 to be on the lease. So how would they even know it’s a service dog? None of the steps have been taken to approve you, or the dog.

  • Stephen White

    They cannot restrict the type of animal.

  • Stephen White

    Well you wouldn’t be evicted, just not offered a renewal. You’d have to prove the reason you were not offered a renewal was due to the dog to be able to claim discrimination. Otherwise, with proper notice, a lease can be terminated when the terms are up. Happens all the time for a multitude of reasons.

  • Stephen White

    A companion animal is different than a service animal and does not require any certification. However, a person with a companion animal has many of the same rights as a person with a service animal. The fact that she is not on disability should not matter, and should not be brought up whatsoever. This is not required to have a companion animal and I’m sure there’s a way to claim discrimination based on this assumption. The other tenants with dogs should be looked at as completely unrelated, again this person has a companion animal, not pet. At least according to the law. So unfortunately, yes her threats are somewhat legit. My advice would be to consult your attorney and be prepared in the event she does push the legal issue. And I would do it sooner than later, especially before you have any further communication with her and possibly dig yourself into a deeper hole. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but landlords confuse the service animal versus companion animal all the time and get themselves into trouble, so I would take this seriously.

  • Stephen White

    It’s unfortunate Rachel, but as the saying goes “a few will ruin it for all”. If you’ve ever had to deal with extreme pet damage, it’s not something you want to relive. Or even think about. So landlords absolutely feel like their rights to choose are being violated. Or at the very least, often feel bullied by people that come off with an attitude of entitlement. This is a recipe for potential disaster. So yes, you’re going to run into some “old school” landlords who are ignorant of housing laws surrounding an ESA. To them it’s illogical that they can’t make this decision when it’s them who will have to clean up the mess. Or pay for damages to their property. This is the mindset I’m trying to open your mind to, but I’m not supporting it. I get it, but I also get why there are laws to protect those who need an ESA. My advice is to find a good fit. Even if a landlord is obligated to take the ESA, you still don’t want a bad relationship knowing the landlords hates the idea. Or creates a situation where you’re constantly defending your rights. Find a good fit, where the landlord seems open and accepting and you feel good about everything. This is what works best. Not constant contention.

  • Stephen White

    Thanks for sharing Cheshire. It goes against all logic that there is no documentation required. There are differences in the designations, but the only way to tell the difference between a service animal and an ESA is to trust the person who’s telling you. It will take a few big lawsuits to finally require some form of authenticating I guess.

    • Areema

      I know it is frustrating to think people might be scamming the system, but please, it is far better to err on the side of caution and respect of the individual with a disability. Even with no formal certification process, landlords are protected. They are not required to cover any damages the animal makes to the property, nor do they have to allow an animal to stay if it is a danger to other tenants, etc. Upsetting if people find a way to scam? Yes. But pleas don’t allow this suspicion to taint the way you treat everyone with a service dog.

      As someone mentioned above regarding mandatory training and certification: many people with a disability can’t afford a formal trainer. Regarding the idea of mandatory vests: someone may need the assistance of the service dog without wanting to advertise to everyone around that they have a disability. I have epilepsy, and 99 percent of the time, I look completely normal. For me, explaining my diagnosis to strangers is still painful and embarrassing– and I am not alone in this.

      At any rate, landlords and business owners do not ever need to put up with a poorly behaved, aggressive, or destructive animal under any circumstance. In exchange, it is kind to trust the words of your tenants/customers. I promise you, they are exhausted with trying to answer prying questions and having to explain their rights again and again and again. It means the world when others are well educated and don’t pry beyond what is legally necessary. Cheers!

  • Stephen White

    Great resource, thanks again Cheshire!!

  • Stephen White

    True. And still baffling to me that the whole registration/certification is basically on the honor system. It’s like me getting pulled over by a police officer and saying “I don’t have my driver’s license on me, but trust me I have one”. In our current society that requires proof of everything, it’s completely counter-intuitive that something as important as this is so informal. It does not compute.

  • Stephen White

    So sad that this is a response from a tenant with 2 ESA’s and an SD on the way. Clearly you’ve never had to deal with the dark side of animals in rental units. Unfortunately a lot of landlords are ignorant to the rules because the rules themselves defy logic, and their experience tells them to stay a million miles away from animals on the property. If you want to be a good advocate Roolin, help the ADA come up with a system to authenticate the people who really need the animals and penalize those who abuse the system to have a pet in their apartment. Then and only then will people not feel discriminated against.

  • Stephen White

    First and foremost I hate the “tester” system in place for Fair Housing. Ask them what evidence they have and what credentials the testers have. Typically it’s the tester’s definition of feeling “discriminated against” that prompts these extortion attempts. My advice is to fight this with everything you got. Consider the money you’ll spend settling the issue anyway. Not counting the other violations they can try to pin on you down the road.

    It’s a shake down and no different than having a bunch of thug mobsters come into your business demanding money. Don’t stand for it if you feel you did nothing wrong.

  • Stephen White

    Why you? I mean especially if he allows other pets, I can’t put the pieces together why he’s choosing to evict you. If it is specifically because of the service animal, then he’s obviously wrong. But it seems like there’s more to this story.

  • Stephen White

    Yes you have to allow the animal. You cannot ask for a recent doctors note either. As much as that might not make sense, it’s the law. You might be able to make a case that she is technically not under lease yet, but is it worth the hassle when you’ll be renting to her officially anyway in a month or two?

    • Jam

      How do I know that her depression is disabling her from any major life activities? She lives with a boyfriend and three other friends. I see she is also a volunteer at an animal shelter. I might see if she lived alone and couldn’t work or go to school, but she seems to function just fine. How does a live in cat give any more support when your already surrounded by support. The reason she gave me was her mother where the cat stays is losing her home so she wants to bring the cat to her apartment. Thanks

      • Stephen White

        Your questioning is not illogical.. but it is unlawful. You cannot question a person’s disability status.

        This is my problem with Fair Housing and the ADA not getting together to create a registration system. Landlords cannot ask questions and have to take tenants at their word for the most part. Which is how so many people abuse the system and turn landlords off to the idea all together. It’s a broken system currently, nothing else to say.

      • seiitsu

        It’s none of your business how her disability works or how she handles it, and someone appearing to function doesn’t mean anything. You have to accommodate the cat if you’re letting her move in, provided it doesn’t meet any stipulations above, which I doubt.

    • Jeffrey Carlton North

      I just read on the CA site that the doctors note must be written within the year, i.e. 12 months. Pertaining to ESA, not service animals.

  • Stephen White

    Below here is exactly what the ADA says.. notice what it says about excessive barking. Just because an animal is a service animal or companion animal, it doesn’t have the right to be a nuisance. And I don’t see anything about the connection between the animal and travel with it’s people anywhere. But tread carefully with this because you may not have the right to question it.

    “The handler is responsible for the care and supervision of his or her service animal. If a service animal behaves in an unacceptable way and the person with a disability does not control the animal, a business or other entity does not have to allow the animal onto its premises. Uncontrolled barking, jumping on other people, or running away from the handler are examples of unacceptable behavior for a service animal. A business has the right to deny access to a dog that disrupts their business. For example, a service dog that barks repeatedly and disrupts another patron’s enjoyment of a movie could be asked to leave the theater. Businesses, public programs, and transportation providers may exclude a service animal when the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. If a service animal is growling at other shoppers at a grocery store, the handler may be asked to remove the animal.”

    • Jeffrey Carlton North

      That is very true, however, an allowance must be made to provide the owner of the service animal or ESA the opportunity to correct the behavior problem.

  • Ray Romano

    Can a landlord make a tenant pay the increase in landlord insurance if the landlord allows an ESA?

    • Stephen White

      Great question Ray. Not sure if it’s a black and white answer, but this is directly from the ADA –

      “the landlord is permitted to weigh the costs of permitting the emotional support animal and may deny the request for accommodation if the financial or administrative burden will be too great. Likewise, if the animal presents a danger or risk to existing tenants, the landlord may also be permitted to deny the request”

      Not sure I translate this directly to the landlord being able to charge the additional fee for insurance.. but I think the case can be made.

  • Stephen White

    This is from the ADA – the landlord is permitted to weigh the costs of permitting the emotional support animal and may deny the request for accommodation if the financial or administrative burden will be too great. Likewise, if the animal presents a danger or risk to existing tenants, the landlord may also be permitted to deny the request.

    A service animal cannot be denied for breed, but an ESA is not the same. A case could potentially be made to deny the animal based on breed and loss of insurance coverage causing an undue burden (ie losing their insurance coverage).

  • samantha mcknight

    If the landlord had a limited pet policy(only allowed to have ONE dog,) and my child gets a service dog(he has type 1 diabetes and we are on a waiting list for a dog) can they make us choose between our service dog and the dog we already have? The landlord told me that once we obtain the service dog, that we would have to get rid of our current dog because we are only allowed to have ONE dog! So im just curious if they can do that.

    • seiitsu

      No, service dogs are medical equipment, not considered pets. However, a service dog in training does not count, so if you were to owner train, you would have to choose between the training dog and your pet dog.

  • Brian Kovacs

    Hello-
    I have a tenant who has been trained to be a a handler for an “ADA trained dog a working dog and technically not a pet.” Tenants words. So the dog is not for the tenants needs but for her physical therapy job.

    I support service dogs and don’t have an issue but I feel within in my right to ask for a dog fee because of the additional wear on the property. The dog is not for her and I think technically the dog is a tax right off for her if it for a service she provides.

    Thanks
    Brian

    • Stephen White

      I’m with you on this one Brian. She is bringing her work home with her.

  • seiitsu

    No. If you have a note from your doctor saying you have a disability and your cat is your ESA, he cannot charge you a deposit and has to accommodate you.

  • Alyssa

    Please, someone read this. I know this is long, but I’m desperate…

    I have lived in my apartment for 3 years, and I’ve had an ESA for the past year. The complex has 200 units, and I’m one of the longest-staying residents. I’m not sure why, but my landlord HATES me. She took over as the manager almost 2 years ago, and she has always had some vendetta against me. I am truly so quiet and respectful and I pay my rent early. I find myself swallowing my pride every time I talk to her, as she’s very unprofessional and, frankly, bipolar. She has literally screamed at me for things I did not do, and I’m a very shy, soft spoken, and respectful person. She refused to give me a replacement key when I lost mine (even when I offered to pay for it…she said she was “busy with other things” and “didn’t have time for it”). I ended up finding it before I had to call a locksmith. She sends newsletters to all the residents each month with new rules for the complex that are absurd and not in the lease we signed (such as, not allowing Christmas decorations, or not allowing us to talk on our phones in the parking lot). It’s crazy. I don’t want to move because I love the location, and I don’t have to deal with her often, even though she lives on the property.

    Anyway, here’s my concern: I live upstairs in a two story building, and I have a pretty large balcony. I built a contained grass patch/fake yard for my dog to do his business on my balcony. He has always done his business there, and is completely house trained. I pick up his waste and clean off the patch at least every other day. I have never got a complaint from any tenants or my landlord about him. However, yesterday my landlord called me and asked for permission to enter my unit for a “plumbing emergency”. My fiancé was home anyway, so I said yes. He called me after the ordeal and said that rather than sending maintenance to check the plumbing, she personally showed up with two other employees to back her, and they went straight to our patio and took pictures of his patch. Apparently, his urine spills over the side of my balcony and has been dripping into my downstair neighbor’s yard. They pulled a ladder up to the gutter under my balcony and cleaned it. She told him “If you want to keep the dog….you have to live somewhere else!” She would not give him details or explain exactly what actions she was planning on taking (she has not actually given us an official eviction notice-she’s known for making dramatic statements that aren’t valid or even legal). We have never received a warning, and I didn’t even know this was happening. Of course I am willing to resolve the issue, but she just cornered us with this and took pictures and threatened us. Today I took work off so I could drive my ESA to a nearby park every time he had to use the bathroom, because I don’t know if I am supposed to fix the problem on the balcony, or take him off the property to pee, or get rid of him. I’ve just been “sneaking” past the office with him because she makes me feel so icky and I don’t want her to see me or the dog and give her any ammo. I should not have to feel like this. The lightbulb in my kitchen went out months ago, and I have not asked them to repair it because I don’t want to deal with her or piss her off. My shower door has been out of alignment for a year, and again, I’m too afraid to ask the office to fix these basic issues, because she is so bipolar and capable of screaming at me over these petty things. If I even check my mail while she’s in the office, and we make eye contact, she will call me into her office and make up something to complain about, even when it’s usually completely left field and not true. Example: she once saw me checking my mail, and called me into her office to accuse me of throwing cigarette butts in the parking lot. I told her I don’t smoke. She replies “I know, I know, but, I am getting complaints about the cigarettes…I need you to use an ashtray…” and continued her rant until I humbly just agreed so I would not be late to work.

    What are my rights? Can she evict me for this? Please someone help me… I would be heartbroken if I had to get rid of my ESA… I can’t afford to move right now, though I plan to save up for the instability I feel here. Her hate for me is out of control. I feel that she’s been looking for any reason to evict me since the day she became manager, and she finally thinks she found a reason. Is it a reason? Do I have a case? Can I handle this peacefully in a way where I don’t have to move or get rid of my ESA? He is really not a nuisance. He’s very well trained, friendly, and not destructive in any way. The issue of his pee running over the edge is easily fixable, had I known it was a problem.

  • Taylor Klekamp

    I would love to get landlords’ opinions on this. My dog is prescribed as an ESA, is well-behaved, and crated is if I am not with him. He is also a pitbull mix. I am open to paying for my own renter’s insurance and having monthly or quarterly apartment checks by the landlord to show that my dog is not damaging their property. Would this make you more comfortable in selecting a tenant? If not, could you provide other compromises and agreements I could propose that might make potential landlords more comfortable accommodating me? I would rather compromise and come to a comfortable agreement than strong-arm someone into renting to me.

    • Stephen White

      Taylor, I think the biggest resistance you’ll run into is the fact that many insurance carriers list pitsbulls and rots on their restrictive breed policies. Meaning, a landlord could potentially be dropped from their insurance if they allow the animal. This is one of the few exceptions where a landlord could deny an ESA since it would cause undo financial/administrative harm.

  • Stephen White

    I would think they need to make you aware ahead of time, but it may only be a courtesy in the short-term rental industry, I’m not 100% sure.

    I would build in a process to ask these questions before they arrive.

  • Nancy Ann Turmell-Richards

    I trained my own Service Dog because of the complexities of my disability. It is especially difficult for a trainer who normally works with Service Dogs for the Blind, or other very physically seen disabilities to train a dog to be a Service Animal for someone who suffers from PTSD. I have very specific ‘triggers’ and trained my Service Dog to have very specific responses to those triggers. There are good people out there who understand. My Service Dog was given to me by a U.S. Marine just before he deployed as a gift when he learned I was looking for a specific breed of dog to train. My Service Dog is a Blue Heeler, a Cattle Dog. He told me he “understood PTSD.” I know he does.

  • Jeffrey Carlton North

    If he is a service animal let your landlord take you to court for the eviction. Be prepared with doctors affidavit and be ready to demonstrate your service animals task. If only ESA I would look into state laws before going that route.

  • Stephen White

    Yes, asking a dog owner (even if a quad) to clean up after their animal is reasonable. A private residence is not a nursing home. Why would anyone else be responsible for cleaning someone’s mess?

  • Cora Stock

    a professionally trained service dog can be anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. but going to petsmart for puppy training and advanced training is $300 then working on specific take might take longer but it’s worth it. i’d suggest looking at helperdogharlow on instagram. that dog was trained entirely by her owner in a year and a half.