Is That Furry Condo Companion a Service Animal or a Pet?

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P.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Is a service animal considered a pet?

Mister Condo replies:

P.M., for the most part service animals or Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not considered pets as they are deemed medically necessary and condo associations have been forced to allow these animals residency within units as “reasonable accommodation” in the eyes of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Many associations have made the mistake of classifying service animals and ESAs as pets and have tried to enforce their “no pet” or “one pet” rule only to be taken to court by the unit owner with the service animal or ESA prevailing. So even though two dogs may look the same, if one is a service animal or ESA, that dog can pretty much live in any condo his owner desires, even one that doesn’t allow pets, because that dog isn’t a pet. All the best!

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