Author Topic: Landlord says doctor has prescribe breed of animal?  (Read 367 times)

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Offline Ddkitty

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Landlord says doctor has prescribe breed of animal?
« on: September 24, 2017, 08:12:47 PM »
A few months ago my therapist completed and faxed all forms required by my apartment management for an emotional support pet. They never responded even though I have called and left messages asking for an update, eventually the office did call me and asked me what kind of animal I was requesting and I said a dog. They called back and wanted to know the type of breed. I told them a Samoyed. Another two weeks went by and they never said anything further so I called them again and left messages wanting to know what was going on. Finally I got ahold of them and they told me that they needed me to bring the papers back to the therapist and have him write the specific breed on my papers. Mind you I haven't been approved or declined for an esa at this point but just wondering if this is usual practice for landlords to request that the therapist prescribe a specific breed because I was under the impression that it was personal choice. I do live in a community that has a no pet policy but there are a few people that live here that have dogs and cats and I am assuming they also had to get an esa letter. I did send the forms back to my therapist but it's going on three months since I applied.

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Landlord says doctor has prescribe breed of animal?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 09:17:17 PM »
That's not a doctor's job.  Some doctors will refuse to do that and probably they should for liability reasons.  It's up to the doctor to make a determination about their human patient's condition.  That is their area of expertise.  It is not up to them to determine which dog is well suited to be a pet or which one is well behaved or whatever.  That's not in their area of expertise.

I suggest you send them a letter certified, return receipt requested, and point out that they're dragging this out an unreasonable amount of time and that you'd like a decision within ten business days.  Refer them to HUD if they need any guidance on their obligations under the Fair Housing Act.  That's what I would do.  I don't know you and I don't know your landlord so you'll have to make a judgment call about whether that is the best approach in your specific situation.
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Offline Ddkitty

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Re: Landlord says doctor has prescribe breed of animal?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 09:44:02 PM »
That is a really good point. Perfectly said. Thank you!

Offline SandyStern

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Re: Landlord says doctor has prescribe breed of animal?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 08:52:15 AM »
Wait, I wonder if there was miscommunication. The LL might have meant that the "prescribing" letter should identify the dog you're getting, just so they can tell a snoopy neighbor, for example, that the big white fluffy dog is an ESD.  It sounds like you've gone about this exactly correctly, getting the letter and permission first, so you might go back to them and say you're happy to have the doctor update the letter to identify the dog you have chosen (spayed, female Samoyed named Rover) but they have to give permission before you get the dog, duh.

Offline Moonsong

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Re: Landlord says doctor has prescribe breed of animal?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 10:06:01 AM »
Wait, I wonder if there was miscommunication. The LL might have meant that the "prescribing" letter should identify the dog you're getting, just so they can tell a snoopy neighbor, for example, that the big white fluffy dog is an ESD.  It sounds like you've gone about this exactly correctly, getting the letter and permission first, so you might go back to them and say you're happy to have the doctor update the letter to identify the dog you have chosen (spayed, female Samoyed named Rover) but they have to give permission before you get the dog, duh.

I think there's a liability issue for the doctor, though. The doctor can't determine whether Rover is a good ESA. The doctor can't determine if a Samoyed is the appropriate breed for their patient. The only thing the doctor can determine is whether their patient is disabled and if the ESA would aid in treatment. That's it. If they 'prescribe' a specific breed or individual dog and the patient does something bad with the dog, the doctor can be held legally responsible since they said that Rover was suited for ESA work when maybe she wasn't.

Also, it's not the doctor's job.

I also think it would be better to educate the landlords over what they're allowed to demand and what they aren't, rather than just giving in to their wishes and possibly putting the doctor into a place of legal responsibility.



Though honestly, based off of the OP's description, I have a feeling that the landlords are trying to drag out the process and avoid giving them permission for the ESA. Something tells me that even if the OP got the doctor to sign off on the breed, they would ask for something else. Perhaps they would ask for the doctor to sign off on the individual dog, or ask for it to pass the CGC first, or ask that the dog be 1 year of age before being brought home, etc etc. These are just random examples off of the top of my head, I'm not saying they're realistic. All I'm saying is I feel like, based off of the descriptions of these landlords so far, this is avoidance stuff and giving into this request will only cause them to think of more.
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