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Old 07-20-2008, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Texas
3 posts, read 20,891 times
Reputation: 13
Default Where to get the form needed to keep a companion animal

I will be moving soon and as always am worried that I won't be able to find an apartment that allows pets.
My 2 cats mean so much to me; and I feel that I can't be without them. When I'm not feeling well (I have several health problems); it is a great comfort to me to have them with me.

My problem is when I talked to my doctor about getting the form for companion animals, she hasn't heard anything about it.

I know that it is a Federal law that people be allowed to have their pets, even if a landlord or apartment manager doesn't allow pets; if the tenant has the note or form signed by a doctor stating that the pet or pets is a companion animal and is necessary for the health of the patient. This can be for physical health reasons or mental/emotional health.

So, my questions are: Where does a person get the form to have a companion animal or animals? Or where does a doctor get the forms? Or can the doctor simply write a note stating that the patient be allowed to have their pets as companion animals?
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Alvarado, TX
2,912 posts, read 2,783,293 times
Reputation: 767
I think you'd have better luck in getting an answer in the pets forums. Good Luck!
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,315 posts, read 4,328,480 times
Reputation: 1489
Quote:
Originally Posted by sissy1 View Post
I will be moving soon and as always am worried that I won't be able to find an apartment that allows pets.
My 2 cats mean so much to me; and I feel that I can't be without them. When I'm not feeling well (I have several health problems); it is a great comfort to me to have them with me.

My problem is when I talked to my doctor about getting the form for companion animals, she hasn't heard anything about it.

I know that it is a Federal law that people be allowed to have their pets, even if a landlord or apartment manager doesn't allow pets; if the tenant has the note or form signed by a doctor stating that the pet or pets is a companion animal and is necessary for the health of the patient. This can be for physical health reasons or mental/emotional health.

So, my questions are: Where does a person get the form to have a companion animal or animals? Or where does a doctor get the forms? Or can the doctor simply write a note stating that the patient be allowed to have their pets as companion animals?
The policy for federally funded housing is here:Overview of Housing and Companion Animals.

Some state of Texas info:House rules

Depending upon the city, there may be a fair housing law that does allow companion animals in public housing.

It appears as if there isn't a standard form, but you could check with your local housing authority to be sure.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:16 PM
 
16 posts, read 75,300 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sissy1 View Post
(...)
So, my questions are: Where does a person get the form to have a companion animal or animals? Or where does a doctor get the forms? Or can the doctor simply write a note stating that the patient be allowed to have their pets as companion animals?
Hi there!
My sister forwarded me this link, and i hope you get this response.

Recently my doctor wrote a note for me (just a typed up note on paper with his letterhead) stating that he feels having an animal companion would be of great benefit to my health -and recommending i get one.

So, after a few months of contemplating everything, i finally broke down and just went to visit the Humane Society about 3 times and spent a great deal of time with various dogs until i found the right one.

Without any mention of it to my landlord (who said NO to pets), i adopted my little "Sadie."

The way i look at it is, if you have:

#1) a documented medical and/or mental condition, plus
#2) a letter from your doctor recommending you have a pet

...then i cannot see any way that a landlord of sound mind would dare to challenge that.

If your landlord is foolish enough to take you to court over it, then i honestly feel you would have support from the ADA. Especially if the rules on this aren't clearly outlined in the area where you live.

It's a risk, but it's a risk WELL worth taking. I feel MUCH better (both physically AND mentally) since adopting my sweet angel, and that improvement is also documented in my medical records as being a result of now having a doggie companion! (FURTHER evidence to back me up, should my landlord ever decide to make a fuss over this)

I say GO FOR IT! Ask your doctor to just write up a letter on his/her letterhead and go adopt yourself a furry companion! It will benefit you in so many more ways than one!

Aloha!
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:24 PM
 
16 posts, read 75,300 times
Reputation: 22
P.S. There's a lot of good info online regarding "Therapy Dogs" or "Assistance Dogs." You can order photo ID cards for your pet (as a "Service Dog") without having to pass any certification requirements Here ---BUT keep in mind it is illegal to claim it's "Service Dog" if it is not certified.

You would be safer claiming it is a "Therapy Dog," and get one of these cards to carry around with you: http://www.sitstay.com/dog/supplies/...2&top_category=

Aloha!
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:51 PM
 
16 posts, read 75,300 times
Reputation: 22
Sorry! I'm back again and had to post this link! It appears we are protected more than i realized, and that "Service Animal" can even be a dog trained by your own self -And that carrying an "official" certification is NOT a requirement!

See THIS (broken link)link and click on the Downloadable card, and check the rest of the site (like HERE (http://www.deltasociety.org/ServiceAccessHousing.htm - broken link)) for valuable information & know your rights as a tenant with a Service Animal!
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:35 PM
 
7,162 posts, read 7,248,494 times
Reputation: 10089
I think that if you signed a lease with a landlord agreeing that you would not have any pets and then obtained a pet, even if your doctor said it would be good for you, you would be breaching the contract. If you said it was a service animal, or a therapy dog, both of which are highly trained dogs that perform particular services, and it was not such a dog, it would most likely be considered fraud.

I believe that this is true at least in relation to a private landlord. The rules may be different in public housing.

To the OP: Why do you think you won't be able to find an apartment that allows cats? I rented for years and always had either a cat or a cat and a dog. Have things change in the rental world?
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:30 PM
 
16 posts, read 75,300 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
I think that if you signed a lease with a landlord agreeing that you would not have any pets and then obtained a pet, even if your doctor said it would be good for you, you would be breaching the contract. If you said it was a service animal, or a therapy dog, both of which are highly trained dogs that perform particular services, and it was not such a dog, it would most likely be considered fraud.

I believe that this is true at least in relation to a private landlord. The rules may be different in public housing.

To the OP: Why do you think you won't be able to find an apartment that allows cats? I rented for years and always had either a cat or a cat and a dog. Have things change in the rental world?
You are essentially suggesting that if one becomes disabled after signing their lease, that disabled person has no rights under the ADA. Even with a private landlord and/or previous agreement, ADA laws always apply. Read the links i posted & the laws pertaining to Service Animals. (I am assuming the OP does have a documented disability.)

As for the your Q to the OP: Housing for people with pets is quickly disappearing all around the nation -particularly in denser areas or vacation destinations. Just take a quick glance at the classified ads around the US.

"NO PETS"
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,494 posts, read 9,210,965 times
Reputation: 1262
just like Marlow, i have never experienced ANY problems finding rentals that allow pets in Texas-especially out in the country. i have never lived in the big cities, but i do know that Austin has a reputation for being one of the most DOG FRIENDLY CITIES IN THE USA. if you look at Austin ads on Craigs List or newspaper, you will find more that allow dogs/cats, than ones that dont.
you should have ZERO problems finding pet friendly rentals. not sure why you are concerned-you are from Texas, right? have you had problems before? if so, i am very curious as to where?
oh and by the way, there are LOTS more houses for rent because off foreclosures and people moving to "downsize" due to the economy today in the USA. not a day goes by that the news doesnt talk about the real estate crunch. that opens up ALOT more places to rent. heck, i have seen TONS more rentals and even "assume my loan" "assume my mortgage" ads everywhere!

Last edited by NOTAM; 07-22-2008 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:55 AM
 
7,162 posts, read 7,248,494 times
Reputation: 10089
Quote:
Originally Posted by KauaiFinn View Post
You are essentially suggesting that if one becomes disabled after signing their lease, that disabled person has no rights under the ADA. Even with a private landlord and/or previous agreement, ADA laws always apply. Read the links i posted & the laws pertaining to Service Animals. (I am assuming the OP does have a documented disability.)
If you become disabled after signing a lease, you might very well have rights under the ADA. But you're going to have to find a lawyer to represent you and file a lawsuit if the landlord doesn't agree to accomodate you. Seems easier just to find a place that allows pets.
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