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Desperate to keep my cat but unsure if she would qualify as an ESA

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Old 08-23-2009, 05:59 PM   #1
MkittJD
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Default Desperate to keep my cat but unsure if she would qualify as an ESA

Hi everyone

Just going to cut to the chase here: 6 months ago a kitten adopted me. She was 5 weeks young, black, and beautiful. The problem is my apartment didn't allow pets, but I just had to keep her. I was in a very dark place in my life and I literally had no one. I know people say this all the time but I truly mean it. My friends had all drifted away (college had sent us in different directions) and the rift between my family and I had gotten bigger for reasons I won't get into. Point is I was absolutely miserable; I spent my days doing absolutely nothing. It was a mix of forcing myself to eat, staring into the ceiling thinking of things I could do, but wouldn't, and mostly crying. I may have been depressed but was too proud to seek help.

But then she came into my life and I had found a new purpose. I was eager to get up again, I was active, I constantly kept the house clean and I was able to laugh again. For once it felt great to be responsible. She in return gave me much happiness, and she even brought me closer to my family (my mom and older sister claim to hate her but I always catch them playing with her). I know it was wrong of me to keep her despite knowing the lease wouldn't allow it, so I immediately began my hunt for pet-friendly apartments. Much to my luck a friend was moving in to town so the rent was going to be much less than anticipated.

However, problems have surfaced and long story short I cannot keep her at the new place either. Now I am at a loss for direction. I love her, she is my baby and I want to keep her.. but there have been days where I felt it would be best to give her up (for her sake but certainly not mine), but I have not been able to do it. I've been crying for weeks now losing sleep over it. As a result, I failed my finals for the spring semester and completely missed enrollment for fall. I just want to keep her and I don't understand why apartments are being so strict. She is well-behaved. She hasn't caused any sort of damage to property (only my arms and legs) and she is very quiet; not a nuisance to me or my neighbors at all. So a friend told me about the possibility of admitting her as an ESA.

She truly is a huge source of support but since I had been living without a pet for years in this apartment I'm not sure if management will question my integrity--even though I had truly been miserable for all those years. I also don't know if it's even acceptable to just approach a therapist and tell them about the situation just to acquire this doctor's note, but I sincerely do need her. What do you guys think?
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
mrsD
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Some places will accept a fee applied to your deposit for a pet.
Ask if this can be a compromise for you.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:32 AM   #3
MkittJD
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Apartment B didn't buy it. I'll see if my other manager will.. though I'm afraid if she doesn't, bringing up the emotional disability later on will sound less credible.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
lyndarva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MkittJD View Post
Apartment B didn't buy it. I'll see if my other manager will.. though I'm afraid if she doesn't, bringing up the emotional disability later on will sound less credible.
I know of people who have given their apartment managers letters from their doctors on the need of the animal and they didn't have a problem. I guess one problem would be if the manager decides they don't want a "mentally disturbed" person living there. Just saying ... you know how the public views mental illness and emotional issues.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:13 PM   #5
StephK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MkittJD View Post
Hi everyone

Just going to cut to the chase here: 6 months ago a kitten adopted me. She was 5 weeks young, black, and beautiful. The problem is my apartment didn't allow pets, but I just had to keep her. I was in a very dark place in my life and I literally had no one. I know people say this all the time but I truly mean it. My friends had all drifted away (college had sent us in different directions) and the rift between my family and I had gotten bigger for reasons I won't get into. Point is I was absolutely miserable; I spent my days doing absolutely nothing. It was a mix of forcing myself to eat, staring into the ceiling thinking of things I could do, but wouldn't, and mostly crying. I may have been depressed but was too proud to seek help.

But then she came into my life and I had found a new purpose. I was eager to get up again, I was active, I constantly kept the house clean and I was able to laugh again. For once it felt great to be responsible. She in return gave me much happiness, and she even brought me closer to my family (my mom and older sister claim to hate her but I always catch them playing with her). I know it was wrong of me to keep her despite knowing the lease wouldn't allow it, so I immediately began my hunt for pet-friendly apartments. Much to my luck a friend was moving in to town so the rent was going to be much less than anticipated.

However, problems have surfaced and long story short I cannot keep her at the new place either. Now I am at a loss for direction. I love her, she is my baby and I want to keep her.. but there have been days where I felt it would be best to give her up (for her sake but certainly not mine), but I have not been able to do it. I've been crying for weeks now losing sleep over it. As a result, I failed my finals for the spring semester and completely missed enrollment for fall. I just want to keep her and I don't understand why apartments are being so strict. She is well-behaved. She hasn't caused any sort of damage to property (only my arms and legs) and she is very quiet; not a nuisance to me or my neighbors at all. So a friend told me about the possibility of admitting her as an ESA.

She truly is a huge source of support but since I had been living without a pet for years in this apartment I'm not sure if management will question my integrity--even though I had truly been miserable for all those years. I also don't know if it's even acceptable to just approach a therapist and tell them about the situation just to acquire this doctor's note, but I sincerely do need her. What do you guys think?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, anyone with a disability is legally allowed to have a service animal (as long as they don't disrupt the peace), and cat's aren't exempt. A friend of mine knew someone that had a parrot as a service animal.
However, your disability has to be diagnosed by a medical/psychiatric professional. You'll probably need to have a psychological evaluation. I've had them done and it's not so bad, no need to be nervous about it. And a lot of people suffer from depression, so don't be embarassed about it.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
seachylde
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Hi,
If you have ever sought treatment for your depression, you should qualify. Any medical doctor, therapist, social worker, or anyone with a license in the mental heath field can wright your letter. My service animal was once an esa. You may have to be forcefull with the landlord, but stick to your guns. Often a letter from a lawyer defining your legal rights in this area will stop harrassment.
Good Luck, seachylde
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