What would you do?

I doubt it. There has always been some confusion between the two. This from the Delta Society's website:
According to the law you've quoted ("the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide animals"), you would need to be training this dog for a blind, deaf or physical handicapped person.
Here's some more info on service animals (includes definition according to the ADA)
service animals and housing
This is also sort of interesting about emotional support animals
Otherwise, if you really think you have a service animal and are being denied housing, consult a lawyer.

you are much better off looking for new housing. when you rent, you have to make major compromises when it comes to having pets.

Yep, I would move asap.

First Basenji's

Yeah, I think it's going to be hard to argue this one.

I'd look for a new place to live. When renting, you want to be assured that you and your landlord are clear on pet terms, so that there is NO reason to rehome a pup due to "my landlord changed his mind" as I often hear/read. If you start off arguing with the apartment manager over terms that are not as you define them, I'd be be concerned that the landlord would have it in for you in the long run… (I've learned to be paranoid about this due to many crappy landlords over the years).

I think it's worth it to forfeit a deposit (if you have one on the apartment already) and put in the extra time to find a place that IS pet-friendly. If you decide to cancel a rental commitment, I would tell the landlord why -- "Being able to keep pets on the property is essential to my living arrangements." Something like that. It won't make a difference in the immediate situation, but I think the more that renters in a community insist on their desire to keep a pet, the greater the possibility that policies will change over time. For now, yes, renters with pets have to make some sacrifices, but you have some time to hit the ads and keep looking. Something suitable should come up.

Good luck!


Therapy dogs are NOT service dogs and have no special rights to go anywhere that they are not invited. I know, I have 3 certified therapy dogs. They are NOT allowed on planes, in restaurants or anywhere else that dogs are not welcome. Personally, I'd look for somewhere else to live!

Exactly! Even if you were training your dog to be a therapy dog, that is not the same as being an assistance dog. Either you, yourself need to have a disability that could be helped by a trained assistance dog. OR you are a trainer that is training a dog for someone else as an assistance dog. But NOT the same thing as a therapy dog, at all.

I wouldn't even TRY to argue that one.

You'll spend too much (negative) energy fighting to have the dog in that apartment with you. Even if you somehow can talk your way into it, you can bet the management are going to be watching you and your b so carefully. ANY problem and you may be forced to leave. I would look for a different place to live, and then put all your energy into training a great service dog.

Thanks for all of your help. We are going to ask to be let out of our lease. Do you think I could at least argue to get the security deposit back or probably not?

What does the lease contract say? I would think it depends on what you signed. Nowadays, it's more important than ever to read an entire contract and all the fine print so carefully, because in this economy, people do not want to lose out on any possible income.


Thanks for all of your help. We are going to ask to be let out of our lease. Do you think I could at least argue to get the security deposit back or probably not?

Oh I'd certainly ask for it back. No harm in asking!

Definitely ask for your deposit - nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'd be doing a lot of talking to trainers to see what success they have had or not had with training a basenji as a therapy dog. They are pretty active, and it might be good to find out from those who know whether they can be trained to be calm and gentle on demand…...

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