companion dog
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companion dog (by Kathy [NE]) Mar 13, 2017 3:42 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 13, 2017 3:54 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 13, 2017 4:01 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 13, 2017 4:04 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 13, 2017 5:26 PM
       companion dog (by Pattyk [MO]) Mar 13, 2017 5:57 PM
       companion dog (by Gene [OH]) Mar 13, 2017 6:51 PM
       companion dog (by cjo'h [CT]) Mar 13, 2017 8:51 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2017 6:30 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2017 6:31 AM
       companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Mar 14, 2017 6:38 AM
       companion dog (by Emily [TX]) Mar 14, 2017 7:45 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2017 7:50 AM
       companion dog (by Ken [NY]) Mar 14, 2017 8:11 AM
       companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Mar 14, 2017 8:21 AM
       companion dog (by AllyM [NJ]) Mar 14, 2017 8:55 AM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 14, 2017 9:51 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2017 12:53 PM
       companion dog (by Emily [TX]) Mar 14, 2017 12:55 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2017 12:56 PM
       companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Mar 14, 2017 1:07 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 14, 2017 1:58 PM
       companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Mar 15, 2017 7:22 AM
       companion dog (by Rick [NJ]) Mar 16, 2017 7:49 AM
       companion dog (by cjo'h [CT]) Mar 16, 2017 8:10 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 16, 2017 9:42 PM
       companion dog (by mike [CA]) Mar 17, 2017 1:51 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 17, 2017 2:02 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 17, 2017 3:20 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 18, 2017 8:28 AM
       companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Mar 18, 2017 9:20 AM
       companion dog (by Rick [NJ]) Mar 18, 2017 9:26 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 18, 2017 3:32 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 18, 2017 5:31 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 19, 2017 10:04 AM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 19, 2017 3:20 PM
       companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Mar 19, 2017 4:32 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 19, 2017 6:44 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 19, 2017 6:49 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 20, 2017 5:30 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2017 10:35 AM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 20, 2017 10:43 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2017 12:20 PM
       companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Mar 20, 2017 3:03 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 20, 2017 4:00 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2017 6:03 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 20, 2017 6:06 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 21, 2017 2:20 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 21, 2017 1:42 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 21, 2017 2:19 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 21, 2017 6:03 PM
       companion dog (by Rita [FL]) Mar 23, 2017 12:06 PM
       companion dog (by Patti [OK]) Mar 23, 2017 2:33 PM
       companion dog (by Honey [LA]) Mar 23, 2017 3:25 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 23, 2017 6:08 PM
       companion dog (by Marianne [ME]) Mar 23, 2017 7:55 PM
       companion dog (by Blue [IL]) Mar 23, 2017 9:15 PM
       companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Mar 24, 2017 4:52 AM
       companion dog (by Paulette [WY]) Mar 24, 2017 6:13 AM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 24, 2017 12:28 PM
       companion dog (by Mel [WV]) Mar 24, 2017 12:52 PM
       companion dog (by John... [MI]) Mar 25, 2017 12:51 PM
       companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Mar 25, 2017 5:42 PM
       companion dog (by RB [MI]) Mar 29, 2017 5:40 PM
       companion dog (by steph [KS]) Mar 31, 2017 2:21 PM


companion dog (by Kathy [NE]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 3:42 PM
Message:

I have a potential tenant who has a "companion dog". the dog does meet our weight restrictions. I have always charged a "non refundable pet deposit and $15 more a month". She claimed she has all of the paperwork to show it is a "companion dog:" but did not realize that she had to pay extra for this dog.. It was my understanding that we have to accept "companion dogs", but I have never been questioned before about non refundable deposit and charging extra for a dog. ....Is there a law that requires companion dogs are accepted with no deposit and no additional pet rent? . --67.3.xxx.xx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 3:54 PM
Message:

Sometimes emotional support animals are called companion animals so my earlier comment is incorrect.

If you do a search on this forum for emotional support dogs or animals you will find a lot of discusssions on the topic. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 4:01 PM
Message:

Yeah, you need to be very careful here. There is no such thing as a "companion dog" officially -- but the fact that she says that she has the paperwork tells me that she actually means "emotional support animal" most likely.

Emotional Support Animals are also sometimes called "Companion" animals. Those absolutely ARE protected under the FHAA and they are NOT considered pets and you CANNOT charge an additional deposit or rent for them.

I think this is just a misunderstanding of terms. It sounds like an ESA to me.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 4:04 PM
Message:

I've found a lot of useful and useable info by googling

fraudulent requests for assistive/emotional support animals

The state of Virginia addresses this very thoroughly. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 5:26 PM
Message:

services.dlas.virginia.gov/User_db/frmView.aspx?ViewId=4608&s=16

--173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Pattyk [MO]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 5:57 PM
Message:

Good reading when i googled. fraudulent requests for assistive/emotional support dogs. --66.87.xx.xxx




companion dog (by Gene [OH]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 6:51 PM
Message:

LisaFL, very good information.

I am glad that Virginia is looking into the fraudulent requests for emotions support animals. I hope other states and the federal government will do the same.

I passed on this information to the gentleman who leads our local landlord group.

Thanks! --99.165.xx.xxx




companion dog (by cjo'h [CT]) Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 8:51 PM
Message:

Kathy, when you come across a legitimate pet, I understand that there is no such thing as a non refundable deposit,it has to be designated as a non refundable pet fee and of course pet rent. So much per month,whatever the market will bear in your area, check what the big boys charge, then you go a couple of dollars less. Charlie.............. ............................................................. --174.199.xx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 6:30 AM
Message:

I am indeed glad that Virginia is looking into this problem, but even the Apartment Association presenting it to them for review admits that they don't seem to know what could possibly be done.

They mention 3 states that have laws to try to prevent this fraud -- but then admit that they are all basically impossible to enforce because there isn't a well defined way to define what that "fraud" is. There simply isn't a way to prove that a person has faked a disability in any cost effective or otherwise reasonable manner.

In other words, hoping that state laws are going to come along and somehow "fix this" for us is a joke/dream. It just isn't going to happen -- because there isn't an easy way to "fix" it.

The summary of this presentation is that they basically go "We hope you look into all of these laws that other states are trying (that we just admitted don't really work), but we're open to ANY ideas you have too because we really have no idea how to resolve this either!"

I don't see that going very far, unfortunately. :(

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 6:31 AM
Message:

That being said, I thought that was a GREAT article explaining the sorts of things that we've already been sharing here for years (about what laws apply to us, what can be asked for, and so on)!

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 6:38 AM
Message:

Yes, I really appreciated that article. Thanks! --173.22.xx.xx




companion dog (by Emily [TX]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 7:45 AM
Message:

I consider it a positive if a state is actually even admitting there is a problem in this area. Doesn't solve the problem, but might bring more pressure on these so-called "doctors" whose bread and butter is writing ESA letters for everyone who pays them $100. --155.201.xx.x




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 7:50 AM
Message:

Indeed. In fact, that may be the only REAL solution to this problem: start questioning and fining more doctors for stating that someone has a disability if they do not. Again, hard to "prove" -- but, in extreme cases (like the online doctors that do these letters for hundreds of people per year), they could be reviewed by a panel of other doctors to see if they agree.

So, it COULD be done, at least. If we had more doctors worried about giving out these diagnoses and stating that an ESA is required, then we'd have less of a problem...

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 8:11 AM
Message:

If the state required that the Dr and patient had to have a face to face meeting for it to be legit that would eliminate the online stuff.It seems logical that a Dr would have to meet with someone to diagnose something --24.25.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 8:21 AM
Message:

The thing is, if we believe the tenant is lying (such as not even knowing the terms for such things) and disqualify them for lying if nothing else, are they going to sue? If they do, don't have at least have to prove to the court they weren't lying? I don't know. --173.22.xx.xx




companion dog (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 8:55 AM
Message:

Allowing pets helps me keep tenants for up to fifteen years beyond.

Say, all my stars went away. I may have to stop working here as I have been doing for many years, to help others. Hmph. --73.33.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 9:51 AM
Message:

I was especially surprised to find that the California code (last page of article) has a paragraph that addresses online services primarily in the business to sell assistance animal letters and seems to imply that you can disallow them and require the letter be from a professional who has actually seen the patient.

I think creating a form which emphasizes the penalties might scare some of the bogus ones away or at least make them think twice. Anyway, glad it was useful. I thought it was good as well. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 12:53 PM
Message:

WMH: "Companion Animal" is not actually a bad term for an ESA. It is even mentioned in the article as appropriate -- it says it is "used interchangeably to describe ESAs." So, it wasn't a situation where they "didn't know the term for such things" at all. Note that the FHAA that we have to follow doesn't even just say "Emotional Support Animals" -- it first calls them all "Assistance Animals."

So, trying to argue that they are "lying" based on just calling it a "Companion Animal" is a stretch, at best. That is a fine and widely accepted term for an ESA.

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Emily [TX]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 12:55 PM
Message:

Ken, indeed. My dad is a doctor and has always lamented the many people who would call the office wanting him to call in Rx for "some antibiotics" without coming in.

Then again, I hear there are doctors doing this now too. I have friends, mostly those with small children, who think it's the best thing since sliced bread that you can now get a cold or respiratory infection diagnosed online. I can't recall the site but it is definitely a thing. Of course, I imagine these are people who are *actually* sick and just want to avoid having to go somewhere. --155.201.xx.x




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 12:56 PM
Message:

AllyM: The stars here are based purely on the number of posts only. The top 10 get 3 stars, then the next 40 get 2 stars, then the next 50 get 1 star (so the top 100 all get stars).

For some reason, you are listed on that list as "allyM" (with 2 stars). It seems to not be matching the case correctly, so you posting as "AllyM" doesn't seem to show your stars.

Just wanted you to know that it isn't because anyone removed them from you or anything. It's just that your name isn't matching up for some reason. If you posted a "allyM" right now, I think they'd show up again.

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 1:07 PM
Message:

John, I wasn't thinking about this particular case, I was thinking in general. I had someone apply and said they had a "Service Dog" (with papers no less) which has a very specific meaning. I asked what services the dog was trained to provide, and the person said, "Oh I think it goes to rest homes and hospitals."

That's a Therapy dog. When I told her that, she got all flustered and said, "Oh well I don't think it is trained to do anything wonderful like a seeing eye dog or something."

So - a lie from the get go. A person with a true SERVICE dog would probably know what it was and what service it is trained to provide.

I wonder if it is legal to require a real life health care professional's prescription letter? I didn't quite get that from the article or I missed it. --173.22.xx.xx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 14, 2017 1:58 PM
Message:

Ok -- I agree with you on that part then. If they say Service and mean anything else, I think that is a problem. Although, like you said, likely still not enough to work in court. Hard to prove they lied just because they said the wrong term. Especially since, in court, even the judge is likely to know the difference among a Service Animal, Comfort Animal, ESA, Therapy Animal, Assistance Animal, and so on. :)

In any case, very few people say "Service Animal" now. Tenants know the game. They know to say Comfort or Emotional Support.

So, I think we're only weeding out a tiny percentage that say it wrong these days. They go online and know exactly what the say. The problem ones are the ones that fake it well -- with paperwork and everything. Currently, we just don't have a way around those ones that are lying -- because the information is easy to find for them on how to fake it.

To answer your question, it looks like just one state so far is trying to make it be a "real life professional", but even that is questionable, at best. So, from a federal level, no, I don't see that we can disallow "online doctors" at this point. :(

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 15, 2017 7:22 AM
Message:

Wow, WMH - your person obviously didn't know what they really had.

Someone with a real SERVICE DOG definitely knows what they have. Remember, the ADA says we can ask, "What tasks is the dog trained to perform?"

If they can't tell me tasks, it is not a service dog.

I'm becoming a real expert. Mine goes with me pretty much everywhere these days. Every so often I am challenged. I've learned to handle it.

I had a call recently from someone who mentioned they had a "service dog". "Oh really? What organization did you get your SD from? What tasks is it trained to provide?" Now, I know they don't all come from organizations. Heck - mine didn't. I am working with a private trainer. But MANY of them do come from organizations.

The clincher is that "What tasks is it trained to provide". The caller didn't have an answer for me, when I asked about the training. So, I probed more. "It just does it, was their response."

Uggg - making it bad for everyone.

I showed to one yesterday who has a roommate with a "Service Dog". We had a long discussion about what the different meanings are. She wants to bring her own dog down from her parents. When I mentioned my requirements for an ESA, she said my dog fee was easier than my requirements for an ESA. --131.151.xx.xx




companion dog (by Rick [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2017 7:49 AM
Message:

My 2 cents is don't do it.

I had a case with a couple that ended up being broke fraudsters.

Checks never officially bounced but were frozen from the sending banks side for suspicious activity.

Long story short the girl had paperwork for a "companion dog" from a real office here in NJ. Sent me a copy of it I called the office to verify. Even showed me the medication she has to take for her "nervous" condition.

Long story short unless the person is blind and it's a seeing eye dog any "companion dog" is just a legal way for tenants to try to bend the rules. If you have a no pet policy then treat that animal as any other dog. In most cases these animals are not professionally trained and will run around and jump around like any other dog.

Once again just my two cents. --12.42.xx.xx




companion dog (by cjo'h [CT]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2017 8:10 PM
Message:

John,Miss Ally, Rick,just caught something on the news, The State of Massachusetts is cracking down on bogus support animals If they find someone trying topass a regular dog as something other than what it is,$500 fine. That's good.............Charlie............................................. --174.199.xx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 16, 2017 9:42 PM
Message:

I did a quick search, but couldn't find anything recent. I'd be curious what they are proposing since, as I said above, most current states trying to do this are having trouble because you can't easily prove anything.

Sure, faking a SERVICE Animal is easier to detect. But most of us don't have that situation -- we have fake Emotional Support Animals -- and that is a lot hard to prove.

- John...

--216.176.x.xx




companion dog (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Mar 17, 2017 1:51 PM
Message:

glad to see the states are getting busy addressing the bogus animals. NO ONE would deny someone truly needing an animal and those who do benefit from the skills of a service dog are likely as annoyed at the bogus claims as landlords are. to call pigs or turkey support is to minimize the situations of those who are legit --76.176.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 17, 2017 2:02 PM
Message:

Agreed. That being said, I think part of the problem is that I think that some people -- even here -- think that there are NO valid "emotional support animals." I think a lot of people here actually think that Service Animals are "real" and ESAs are "only used to get pets in without paying for them."

I think that is also part of the problem -- this idea that all ESAs are just pets. We need to find a good middle ground, I think, before much progress is made. We're all so jaded because we've seen so many ESAs that we are "sure" are fake that we don't acknowledge that there are legit ESAs out there (that are NOT Service Animals).

- John...

--216.176.x.xx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 17, 2017 3:20 PM
Message:

The thing is John all ESA's pets and all pets are ESAs.

So just pay the pet fees and live in pet friendly housing. If it defecates, chews, smells etc.....it's not a mere assistive device. Landlords rights and interests have a right to be protected. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2017 8:28 AM
Message:

As I said, that is part of the problem -- this "all ESAs are pets and all pets are ESAs" stuff. LLs going with that attitude make it harder to every fix this. Because if we're unwilling to admit that real ESAs exist, then no political change to try to stop fraudulent ones will ever come.

In other words, if we won't compromise, then we're going to LOSE. This attitude of "There is no such thing as an ESA that isn't really just a pet in disguise" will hurt us all in the long term.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2017 9:20 AM
Message:

ESA's are very real. Think of the programs that are training them and pairing them with returning Vets! Training them to recognize the symptoms of trauma and stress and panic disorders. Emotional disorders, not physical ones.

They aren't "service animals" in the traditional sense but they are certainly real and do very good work.

But I think if a person is able to go to work, party afterwards, go away for the weekend with friends, in general live a normal life, their animal is a PET...even if they do get comfort from snuggling with it. Don't we all? --173.22.xx.xx




companion dog (by Rick [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2017 9:26 AM
Message:

WMH i hear what your saying and thats nice and all but as previous posters said... in general all pets are ESAs by that logic. And just like anyone can get a prescription for adderal and xanex these days just because... so can you get paperwork to get a companion animal...

Its not the landlords problem. You have a no pet policy usually for a reason... then stick with it... emotions and pity dont make good business. --68.194.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2017 3:32 PM
Message:

Rick: You kinda started one way and then ended the other.

These aren't pets BY LAW. We can argue all we want about how they SHOULDN'T be or how they are often FAKED, but that does not change what we have to allow as landlords.

You CANNOT just say "This is not my problem! I have a no pet policy for a reason!" and not take them.

If they have the proper documentation for an emotional support animal, then you cannot deny them based on your "no pets" policy or you are violating federal law.

So, your advice seem poor here unless I'm misunderstanding you?

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 18, 2017 5:31 PM
Message:

John (MI),

ESAs may be real. But they are still animals. If you want or even need one it's not unreasonable to expect to pay for your need. It's unfair to expect not to when it involves someone else's property, liability and risk. It violates the landlord's rights. And the rights of others who choose to live in an animal free environment. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2017 10:04 AM
Message:

That is simply not how we treat people with disabilities in the USA, sorry. It IS considered "unfair" to force them to pay for something like an animal that they require because of their disability. It is NOT considered a pet.

Sorry, but federal law simply disagrees with you that it "violates the landlord's rights."

- John...

--71.13.xx.xx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2017 3:20 PM
Message:

I understand. But it still does. And unfair laws which give favoritism do more harm than good. My opinion of course. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2017 4:32 PM
Message:

Actually, a lot of the dogs being trained for Vets are service dogs. They are psychiatric support SDs. The difference is in the training. The SDs are trained to sense an episode and respond. They also have the training to accompany the person in public.

By comparison, an ESA does not require any training.

You know, this could all be solved if we were allowed to require a Canine Good Citizen certificate fron AKC in our dogs. --66.87.xx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2017 6:44 PM
Message:

LisaFL: Ok, we can agree to disagree. As another example, if a blind person is allowed to use a seeing-eye dog to go into the post office, I don't feel that their right to do so is because of an "unfair law" that gives "favoritism" that does "more harm than good" even if some postal worker is allergic to dogs or some 3-year-iold kid waiting with his mother at the counter is scared of dogs and they have to deal with that.

Some might argue that the law which allows that is unfair. I would disagree. Again, I guess we can agree to disagree.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 19, 2017 6:49 PM
Message:

Barb: I like the idea of the CGC from AKC, but don't feel that it solves everything. Basically, I think cats make very good ESAs for some disabled people (that are NOT faking them). But most of those cats could not pass the CGC tests, but would still be good ESAs.

But, yes, I'd personally love to see CGC required for dogs that are supposedly ESAs. I think it would be a huge improvement.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 5:30 AM
Message:

John, alas we will probably always disagree.

I just believe some things go too far and this is one of them.

I don't believe most ESa's are legitimate. Perhaps I don't have your common sense but I don't think you can claim the need for an animal who is left home all day while someone is at work to be medically necessary. Nor do I see it as unreasonable to expect to pay for your own personal needs.

A shut-in who doesn't leave the house without the animal is a more bonefide need. But even in a case like this I believe the owner of the property who is assuming the risks should have the rights to limit their exposure and risks.

So we're just not going to agree and I do believe this requirement increases costs for everyone which does more harm overall than good.

--173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 10:35 AM
Message:

The fact that you "don't believe most ESAs are legitimate" does not make it fine to discriminate against the ones that aren't. That was my point from the start: I think almost all of us here agree that there is abuse of this -- that SOME people are using fake "ESAs" to get around no-pet rules. But that's my point -- only SOME of them are fake. There ARE legit ESAs out there. Therefore, I feel it wrong to go "Well, lots of people cheat, so I'm going to discriminate against ALL of them."

(You then go on to give anecdotal evidence about someone leaving one at home all day -- which really doesn't apply for multiple reasons: 1. Your example might be a faked ESA, but that doesn't change the fact that real ESAs exist; and 2. We are not trained to judge the mentally handicapped and determine WHEN they need or don't need the ESA.)

YOU might think a shut-in is a "bonefide need" and someone who actually works during the day is NOT, but I'm certainly not trained to make that diagnosis (and, really, don't think you are either).

You seem to keep thinking that all ESAs are fake, so it doesn't matter if you illegal discriminate against ALL of them. I disagree that is the way to handle this.

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 10:43 AM
Message:

I'm not sure you understand my position. I don't care if they are real or fake.

They come with a cost and risk. The law unfairly favors one side over the other and forces the landlord to assume the risk and liability. I believe this is wrong.

I won't illegally discriminate as you suggest but I will discrimate to the point that it will make things costlier to everyone in order to protect myself. That is now my only option based on the unfair laws as they are currently written. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 12:20 PM
Message:

Ok, I see that you don't care if they are real or fake. That just seems surprising to me, I guess. I don't think laws to help people with disabilities are wrong or "unfairly favor" them. I think it helps to make things fair for them.

I noticed that you ignored my question about the seeing-eye dog for the blind person. Do you feel that accommodating a blind person with a seeing-eye dog is "unfairly favoring" them? Or do you think it is reasonable that we have to allow a seeing-eye dog in a no-pets building? Do you think it is wrong that we have to allow seeing-eye dogs?

Just curious of your position since I was apparently misunderstanding it previously?

- John...

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 3:03 PM
Message:

My desire is that an ESA in housing be subject to the same requirements that an ESA on a flight is under the Air Carrier Access Act.

I want a letter from a medical or mental health professional, written on letterhead, providing license number, written under one year ago. It needs to state that the animal is necessary as part of the treatment plan.

John, I hear you about the cats. Sometimes, they make good ESAs. For a dog, if it were required to pass the CGC test, we would at least know it had some basic training and that SOMEONE had worked with it. --131.151.xx.xx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 4:00 PM
Message:

John, I must be a blind person because I've checked this thread twice and don't see anywhere where you asked a question about a seeing eye dog.

So it would be unfair to accuse me of ignoring something I didn't see or that didn't happen. I did see where you gave an example and offered an opinion about a blind person with their seeing eye dog going to the post office but I must have missed the question you're referring to.

Probably doesn't matter since this seems to be a circular conversation. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 6:03 PM
Message:

Barb: You pretty much CAN ask for that for an ESA except for the "every year" part (and even that is questionable and may be allowed). You can absolutely require the letter by a verified healthcare professional that states that the person is disabled and requires the animal to be able to live a normal life in your housing. So, it seems like the law already allows what you want?

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 20, 2017 6:06 PM
Message:

LisaFL: I didn't flat out ASK it -- but in the post dated "Mar 19, 2017 6:44 PM" above, I replied to you talking about things being "unfair" and said that I didn't think that a seeing-eye dog for a blind person was "unfair" to accommodate. I was therefore curious how you would feel about a seeing-eye dog for a blind person and whether or not it would be "unfair" that you can't charge pet fees for it.

I guess I thought the question was implied due to our discussion at the time.

Do you NOW see that I'm asking you (since I DID flat out ask it in the post dated Mar 20, 2017 12:20 PM)? Because you still didn't answer it.

You seem to say that you don't want to answer it because it is a circular argument? I disagree. I think it matters quite a bit to our discussion.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2017 2:20 AM
Message:

John,

My point is that mandated social-engineering schemes have unintended consequences. It's a slippery slope when government favors the rights of one group at the expense of another and that too comes with unintended consequences. Current, easy to manipulate ESA laws cross this line. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2017 1:42 PM
Message:

I think we all agree with that. The issue is how to handle them, of course. You seem to think that the way to handle some people cheating the "easy to manipulate ESA laws" is to disallow all of them and not care if they are valid or not. Is that correct? Because that is where we seemed to be disagreeing before -- you seem to imply (or flat out state) that you consider all ESAs to be pets and treat them that way.

We all have laws that we know can be manipulated -- but that doesn't mean we ignore them even for the ones that AREN'T cheating. (And, again, we are not trained to judge who is and is not disabled and does or does not require an ESA.)

That being said, sometimes the government DOES need to step in for things. Unfortunately, bad landlords DID and DO discriminate against people based on their gender, familial status, religious beliefs, and so on (including disabilities). So, sometimes the government had to step in and "favor the rights" of the disabled or religious or people with children -- even over the "rights" of a landlord to "have whoever they want" in their rentals. Because, again, some landlords suck and would actively discriminate against them.

So, I just don't see that anti-discrimination laws "cross the line". They exist because too many landlords treated certain groups poorly. We shouldn't be deciding who is "cheating the system" when we're not medically trained to do so.

I think that is what you are doing when you say that all ESAs are pets. I don't think laws preventing that are "violating the landlord's rights."

- John...

P.S. Still curious of your view of a blind guy with a seeing-eye dog. Weird that you won't answer a simple question. :(

--207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2017 2:19 PM
Message:

John,

I really don't disagree with you as much as it may seem.

"You seem to think that the way to handle some people cheating the "easy to manipulate ESA laws" is to disallow all of them and not care if they are valid or not. Is that correct?"

Not exactly. But if I had two similar applicants and one had pets and the other had an ESA I would definitely choose the one with the pets. Why? They're not advertising themselves as mentally unstable and they are willing to pay for their animals. The cheaters have made them all suspect (unintended consequece).

I once had a situation where someone informed me after the fact that they had three ESA/dogs. Really? You need three large ESA dogs? I merely apologized and said I'd decided to sell the house instead because I wasn't going to violate the law nor was I going to be forced to accept risks I did not want. (Unintended consequence).

"Because that is where we seemed to be disagreeing before -- you seem to imply (or flat out state) that you consider all ESAs to be pets and treat them that way."

I do believe landlords should have the right to protect themselves. So I guess you're correct regarding my thoughts on that one. If you have special needs you need to take responsibility for them.

"We all have laws that we know can be manipulated -- but that doesn't mean we ignore them even for the ones that AREN'T cheating. (And, again, we are not trained to judge who is and is not disabled and does or does not require an ESA.)"

And we all have a responsibility to protect our own interests.

"That being said, sometimes the government DOES need to step in for things. Unfortunately, bad landlords DID and DO discriminate against people based on their gender, familial status, religious beliefs, and so on (including disabilities). So, sometimes the government had to step in and "favor the rights" of the disabled or religious or people with children -- even over the "rights" of a landlord to "have whoever they want" in their rentals. Because, again, some landlords suck and would actively discriminate against them."

I guess I disagree here too. I believe the landlord is best suited to decide who he wants living in the property he owns and has all the risk. Who wants to live in a place they're not welcomed or valued even through government force? Rental housing is not a public service responsibility.

"So, I just don't see that anti-discrimination laws "cross the line". They exist because too many landlords treated certain groups poorly. We shouldn't be deciding who is "cheating the system" when we're not medically trained to do so."

We, who have interests to protect are the ones being forced to decide who is cheating the system because they system hasn't done it. Not when anyone can pay $99 online and have their unneutered pit bull deemed an ESA by an out of state company who has never never seen them before.

"I think that is what you are doing when you say that all ESAs are pets. I don't think laws preventing that are "violating the landlord's rights."

When laws allow anyone to certify their pet as an ESA it most certainly is violating the landlords rights.

- John...

"P.S. Still curious of your view of a blind guy with a seeing-eye dog. Weird that you won't answer a simple question. :("

I have no issue with the blind guy taking his trained seeing eye dog to the post office or any public place.

--173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 21, 2017 6:03 PM
Message:

Well, I still think most of your anti-ESA relies on the idea that you want to group ALL people with ESAs into the same group as "just pets" that are cheating the system. Your original statement where you'd take the pet person over the ESA person because they are "mentally unstable" clearly shows that to me.

Again, we're not here to diagnose people. I think it is wrong to decide that someone with a disability is "mental unstable." Yes, I know people cheat with ESAs. But not everyone. Therefore, calling the ACTUALLy disabled ones "mentally unstable" is the unfair discrimination that those laws were created to prevent.

So, I guess this isn't worth discussing much any more. Hopefully we're not as far apart as it seems -- as you said. But, based on how you repeatedly label the disabled (and I mean the non-cheaters -- the ACTUALLY disabled), I think we may be too far apart to reach any agreement.

Thanks for the discussion though.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Rita [FL]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 12:06 PM
Message:

My son has a support dog. However, when we travel I come across animals that are called emotional support animals. I can tell right away if they were trained for this or they order the vest on line. When we got my sons companion he was two years old and completely trained. He only barks when my son is in trouble. He reacts to his commands and we keep up his training. It is hard to see these other animals give these devoted trained animals a bad rap. --98.249.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Patti [OK]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 2:33 PM
Message:

Our signs on the property when for lease says NO ANIMALS and that is exactly what it means. It is a waste of our time talking to people who call to ask about our properties and they still ask. We have it on our flyers and apps and they just keep asking we are in a world of idiots and that includes people who have handicapped, companion animals, etc.We get answers like it a therapy or a companion, etc. It's still a animal and they cause more damage than an humans can. --24.253.xxx.xx




companion dog (by Honey [LA]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 3:25 PM
Message:

I just had to pay a Notary $25 bucks to stamp a letter to send to the Sewage & Water Board to prove that I subscribe to a Sanitation company for garbage pick-up. Don't ask why. So really, I think that if and when a prospective tenant comes a calling with anything but a "real" pet and willing to pay my Pet Deposit, or not, he or she should have to have a locally notarized letter from their doctor that this animal (dog, cat, frog, mosquito, what's next?, is needed AND a notarized letter from their animal's Vet. saying it's legitimate. By locally, I mean in the state or city in which your property stands. They can bring all the fake paperwork they want, but tell 'em it's got to be NOTARIZED!

--70.171.xx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 6:08 PM
Message:

Rita: Emotional Support Animals are not required to be trained at all, so what you are saying basically doesn't make sense. You say your son has a "support" animal. Is it a Service Animal or an Emotional Support Animal? In any case, no training is required for "support" or "comfort" or "emotional Support" animals.

Patti: Are you saying that you flat-out deny anyone with an animal even if it is a Service Animal and they are handicapped or disabled? That is what it sounded like you were saying. You realize that is a violation of federal law, right? Wow.

Honey: Requiring that the proper paperwork be notarized is likely a violation, but whatever.

Wow. Lots of people here that just don't care about the law because they've decided they are being discriminated against. The irony for not seeing the same thing in real disabled people is just amazing. (Again, I get the dislike for fakers -- but this is clearly going well beyond the fakers for many of you!)

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Marianne [ME]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 7:55 PM
Message:

After a tenant had a companion animal in a unit, I had to have ServePro clean the unit for the next tenant who was highly allergic to pet dander. That cost plenty. The first tenant left the place "clean" but not clean enough! The woes of landlords are many. --172.101.xx.xx




companion dog (by Blue [IL]) Posted on: Mar 23, 2017 9:15 PM
Message:

John, Patti has posted these opinions before.. she will hang from her own pitard. --75.132.xxx.xx




companion dog (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2017 4:52 AM
Message:

John MI,

I'm surprised you're so aghast!

Like I said, unintended consequences. Pretty much found everywhere there are poorly thought out government regulations.

Honey,

That's a good idea. Maybe getting it notarized will seem more official to them and make anyone who is faking less likely to do so. Every bank I've ever used offer free notary services to their customers. Requiring they have renters insurance helps too. --173.170.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Paulette [WY]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2017 6:13 AM
Message:

We had a team from the local HUD office do a seminar for landlords last year. The ESA issue was brought up & discussed quite a bit. Even they know & understand that a lot of people try to pass off their regular pet as an ESA just to save on the pet rent & deposit. Very few landlords in my area accept pets at all.

The advice they gave us is to call them when someone requests to have an ESA in one of our units. They will help us handle the situation correctly to avoid a lawsuit. --71.15.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2017 12:28 PM
Message:

LisaFL: I'm surprised/aghast because MOST people here seem smart enough to realize that even though we might not LIKE some of the laws that are poorly written, we still have to FOLLOW them to not get ourselves into trouble.

That would be normal and not surprising to me. What surprises me is the number of people that flat out admit that they don't care and are going to violate federal law anyhow because they feel they have the "right" to do so (which they clearly don't). But, whatever.

Personally, I don't think that is how we make any progress as landlords. Ignoring the laws and discriminating illegally anyhow is only going to make it WORSE for most of us.

If you want real change, you need to take action in a real manner -- not just ignore the law. Those ignoring the law are a big part of the problem -- they are making it worse for the rest of us as LLs. :( - John... --207.241.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Mel [WV]) Posted on: Mar 24, 2017 12:52 PM
Message:

It's not a service animal! It is a pet and should be treated that way!

The following are excerpts form the US Dept. of Justice 2010 ADA Guidelines. I checked to see if there was a newer version and if there is, I could not find it. So unless you have local laws in place that would be in addition to this...the support or companion pet CAN be charged for and you MAY prohibit it if you want to. UNLESS IT IS A SERVICE ANIMAL by state statues!!

The DOJ puts it like this...

"Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support DO NOT qualify as service animals under the ADA."

"A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animalís presence."

"People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals."

"If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal."

I think if you use the guidelines set forth but the ADA (unless state law in conflict with it) you should be able to charge or deny the pet. Yes I said pet because that is what you described according to these guidelines. --72.28.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2017 12:51 PM
Message:

Mel: You are a bit confused and incorrect. The problem is that everything you just mentioned is in relation to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). You (and that judge) are correct that the ADA does not include Emotional Support Animals. They absolutely do not qualify under the ADA as you just said.

The problem is: that is NOT THE LAW that Landlords have to follow. We have to deal with the FHAA (the Fair Housing Amendments Act). THAT is the law that covers Emotional Support Animals and makes it clear that they are NOT considered pets.

So, you are right that the ADA does not really apply (it does slightly, but that's a side issue). You are right that it isn't an issue unless some other law applies. Where you go wrong is saying that it has to be some state or local law. There IS another law that applies -- and it is the FHAA -- and it is a FEDERAL law.

So, again, you've stated this before on this forum and it is very dangerous information. Because it looks accurate if someone doesn't realize that it is NOT talking about the federal law that applies to landlords. It's talking about the ADA -- which is NOT what we have to worry about.

Please read up on the FHAA -- and stop spreading misinformation about how landlords have to handle Emotional Support Animals. Your repeated advice that they are "pets and should be treated that way" is wrong and legally dangerous for landlords that don't know better. You're talking about the WRONG LAW.

- John...

--75.133.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2017 5:42 PM
Message:

An ESA applies to us landlords.

The ADA is what allows me to take my trained service dog into a hotel, even one that says no pets.

I take Scooter with me everywhere. Hotels, airplanes (an ESA requires a letter from a me tal health professional under a year old - my SD does not), restaurants, movie theaters, wtc. An ESA doesn't go to most of those.

We have to allow the ESA into our rental homes. Even no pet homes and apartments.

--67.43.xxx.xxx




companion dog (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Mar 29, 2017 5:40 PM
Message:

Who (including Landlords) likes anything shoved down

their throats.

I hear ya, Lisa. {FL}

--71.13.xx.xxx




companion dog (by steph [KS]) Posted on: Mar 31, 2017 2:21 PM
Message:

Therapy Animals

Many people confuse Therapy Animals with Service Dogs. A therapy animal is most commonly a dog (but can be other species) that has been obedience trained and screened for its ability to interact favorably with humans and other animals. The primary purpose of a therapy animal is to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with learning difficulties.

Click here to find out how to become an NSAR Therapy Animal Team member.

Therapy animals are privately owned and tend to visit facilities on a regular basis. A therapy animal is only half of the equation, however. A responsible, caring handler is an important member of the therapy animal team. At the end of a visit, therapy animals go home with their owners. Most commonly, therapy animals are dogs; however, NSAR routinely registers cats, rabbits, and other species that have shown they like people and have the temperament to work with them.

Although therapy animals provide a very important therapeutic service to all kinds of people in need, they are NOT considered "service animals" and they and their handlers have no protections under federal law (ADA, the Fair Housing Act, Air Carrier Access Act, etc.). Some states, however, have laws that afford therapy animals and their handlers rights and protections.

Therapy animals may be classified into three different types:

Therapeutic Visitation

The first (and most common) are "Therapeutic Visitation" animals. These dogs are household pets whose owners take time to visit hospitals, nursing homes, detention facilities, and rehabilitation facilities. Visitation dogs help people who have to be away from home due to mental or physical illness or court order. These people often miss their own pets, and a visit from a visitation animal can brighten the day, lift spirits, and help motivate them in their therapy or treatment with the goal of going home to see their own pets.

Animal Assisted Therapy

The second type of therapy animal is called an "Animal Assisted Therapy" animal. These animals assist physical and occupational therapists in meeting goals important to a person's recovery. Tasks that a dog can help achieve include gaining motion in limbs, fine motor control, or regaining pet care skills for caring for pets at home. Animal Assisted Therapy animal usually work in rehabilitation facilities.

Facility Therapy

The third type of therapy animal is called a "Facility Therapy Animal". These animals primarily work in nursing homes and are often trained to help keep patients with Alzheimer's disease or other mental illness from getting into trouble. They are handled by a trained member of the staff and live at the facility.

Therapy Animals must:

Be well tempered

Not shed excessively

Well socialized (exposed to many environments)

Love to cheer others up!

THERAPY ANIMALS MUST BE REGISTERED

--70.169.xxx.xx





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