Service animals

How do you take on service animals in your park? Do you ask them to carry insurance if they are over 30 lbs or aggressive breeds? Do you ask to see the dogs credentials? Thoughts?

In CA, law requires that documented emotional support animals be accepted. I require tenant to complete a document stating the pet is a support animal, and back it up with a doctor letter. They are also required to sign a pet agreement and abide by Park pet rules. With this documentation, I believe my liability insurance cannot be canceled for allowing said pets in park. I also count ES pets as part of total pet count allowed (2). So far, so good.

  1. Treat them like wheelchair ramps. They are only there to help someone live with a disability.
  2. If the animal doesn’t violate your agreements, then just treat it as a pet.
  3. If it does, demand a written request for a reasonable accommodation where a Doctor or other qualified medical professional, in writing, states that the customer has a disability that must be treated by an animal that violates your rules, and that this is the best method of treatment compare to other methods. I have yet to see a Doctor etc. put this in writing.
  4. Make them restate their need annually.
  5. Again treat this animal like a wheelchair ramp, because legally, its the same thing.
  6. Don’t get in the business of making judgments about dogs.
  7. There are no government credentials out there for service animals, just BS websites that sell patches and jackets that say service animal. There is no government agency that registers and certifies service animals either.
  8. But remember that even if this is a service animal, they must document that it is necessary for their treatment and therefore, you must make an exception to your rules.



Two options.

  1. Ask the tenant for the documents noted above updated annually
    -letter of medical necessity from a licensed professional

    • letter of affirmation of need from the tenant
    • updated vaccination records
      AND, remember, if the dog bites or tries to bite anyone, you can refuse to allow it even if the tenant
      supplies all the above
  2. Use - they charge the tenant $20 and do all the leg work. It gets you out of the pet management /choosing business. You set the standards, and that property management website carries out your edicts plus follows Fed guidelines

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