I have been told that the ADA contains provisions for dogs. For example, if you have dogs and a medical professional states that the dogs directly influence the owner’s health in a positive way & that their presence is needed. Is a service animal for these reasons protected by the ADA?

— Larry W. – San Diego, CA ANSWER: The ADA Title III Regulations do not define emotional support animals as service animals and emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition. There does appear to be an exception for service animals in relation to PTSD, in guidance issued by the Department of Justice … READ MORE

I moved into a new condo in Oct. I bought the condo and noticed they didn’t have many handicap parking places. I did ask and they did put a few more up. They have a dog park here. When I go to take my dog there I have to hold on to someone’s car to get up and down off the curb. I have noticed there are no handrails to go down the steps to get to the pool area. I had a friend ask If they could put something up to help me with these things. I was told the HOA board got very angry about these requests, and said I would have to pay to have things put in if I wanted them. I would have to buy the materials and pay for someone to install them. I don’t think this is right! Do you have any suggestions? Thank you.

— Tracy S. – Asheville, NC ANSWER: This is not an uncommon situation you face based upon the questions we receive. There are several parts of this that must be considered. First, as a condominium unit it would fall under the Fair Housing Act Guidelines which apply to new construction after March 13, 1991. If this property were constructed prior to this date … READ MORE