As I stated in my last post one of the conditions to my moving was my being about to keep my dog, Moo. When you are moving into a condo association with a “NO Pet” rule this can be hard on someone who’s dog is not just a pet. Fortunately the Federal Government passed a law about discriminating against someone with disabilities when it comes to housing, it’s called the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988. This allows for people with disabilities to request a reasonable accommodation, such as a waiver of a “no pets policy,” for any assistance animal, including an emotional support animal.
For more on what an emotional support animal is click here.
I want you to know that just because you want to keep your dog doesn’t make them an emotional support animal, and even if you get your doctor to write the letter stating you need an ESA; you may still have a fight ahead of you. I know that I did. The first letter I submitted to the condo association was denied by their lawyer because my doctor and I didn’t get specific enough. I had a real problem with telling what I viewed as my personal business to a board of strangers. I felt that it wasn’t really any of their business. I still feel that way. But as my doctor pointed out, they and their lawyer needed to make sure that what I was asking for was something that I actually needed and not something I just wanted. After much thought I finally told my doctor to tell them exactly why I needed an ESA. My doctor and I ended up composing the letter together so that not only was I comfortable with what was disclosed but also the reasons I needed an ESA were VERY clear.
To see my letter click here
Needless to say that within two days of receiving this letter, I got a letter back stating I was able to move in with Moo. Since then we have had a few people, say something about him living there, but I keep him on his leash at all times when he is outside, I clean up after him and he doesn’t bark, so there isn’t much they can complain about. Beside the fact that, the board has said that if anyone has any problems/questions to send them to them and they will take care of it. This is great for me as I don’t do well with confrontation.
Now if I could just get my Father to read my doctor’s letter so he will stop saying things that are either stupid or wrong. But since I can’t get him to read anything that might be a help to me, I’m not holding my breath. After all he likes to believe that there is nothing wrong with me, so that he doesn’t have to feel guilty. If he’s asked my dog is there because I have epilepsy. Boy, I wish my letter said something about that. But I look at it this way, it makes my father look ignorant because he doesn’t know why his daughter needs an ESA.
One more thing: DON’T pay to have your ESA registered. There is no law that recognizes an emotional support animal registry. Don’t waste your money! The law only requires a doctor’s letter.