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How does one qualify for a companion animal if one has long-term GAD and major depressive disorder? ?

Posted Oct 07 2009 4:41pm

Posted:  GAD

I would like to have a pet to relieve anxiety and depression and have been advised this is a good form of therapy, but live in an apartment that does not allow pets. I understand that if there is a doctor' s order, an exception must be made or it can be considered discrimination based on disability. What is the process to qualify?

It will take a fair amount of work on your part but it can be done. First get on the ADA website and read up on reasonable accommodation. Get your doctor to write a specific order as to why you need a dog, not just that it might help. Documentation is the key. Contact the city you live in and ask for the rental rules, ask for the disabilities advocate or contact free legal services in your community. Stay away from people who want to charge you for help, most of the professionals I know work pro-bono for these cases. After you have everything well documented, which also should include the plan you have to maintain the dog( health, shots,poop) and renters insurance; go to your landlord and make a presentation. If he is not the owner ask that the owner be at the meeting. The more you can show you did your homework and that the benefits out weight the downside, the better chance you will have. Last of all, never take NO for an answer. If they say no-ask why and how can you get them to change their minds. Good Luck. Keep in touch if you need an specifics as to your community, state or what ever.

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