Man Sues Condo Association For Right To Keep Dog As Service Animal

, Daily Business Review

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A condominium association has been fighting it out in court for nearly one year with a homeowner who sued when the association moved to ban his dog.

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  • Marcy LaHart

    I am always happy when a victory in one of my cases gets press, but there are some points I wish to clarify. First, while not clear from this story, my client, Paul Alexander Warren, sought a waiver of the no pet rule two months before bringing his assistance animal, a mixed breed dog named Amir, to live with him in his unit at DelVista Tower. He did not bring the dog to his condo and then attempt to get an accommodation. Second, Amir is not a "service animal" and we have never asserted that he is. Service animals are trained to perform a task or tasks to assist a person with a disability. Amir is an emotional support animal, and while Amir is well trained, and has even earned his Canine Good Citizen certificate, he did not require training to provide emotional support to Mr. Warren. As anyone that has ever loved a dog knows, dogs can boost moods and lessen depression and anxiety simply by providing companionship and unconditional love. The ruling in this case is significant because the judge has clarified that breed restrictions contained in municipal ordinances may not be applied to emotional support animals. At least one court had already ruled that local ordinances may not be used to ban service animals, the ruling in Mr. Warren‘s case is significant because the judge has clarified that breed restrictions contained in municipal ordinances may not be applied to emotional support animals.

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