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According to the California State Mental Health Services Authority, a “service” dog is trained to perform specific tasks to help a person with a physical or mental health disability; and an “emotional support (companion) animal” is an animal that provides comfort to a person with the mental health disability, without being trained to perform a specific task. The park owner may allow a “reasonable accommodation” for a service or companion animal if the animal does not pose a direct threat to other tenants, or physical harm to property. The owner of the service dog or companion animal is responsible for that animal, ensuring that it complies with local animal control laws and is not a danger or nuisance to the other residents in the park. The park manager may ask for a letter from the pet owner’s medical professional confirming the resident’s disability and stating why the support animal is needed. For more information: California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (800) 884-1684; Disability Rights California (800) 776-5746

Recap:
● A park manager may ask for medical proof of need for the support animal.
● A “service dog” is trained to perform specific tasks.
● An emotional support (“companion”) animal is not a “service” animal.
● The owner of the support animal is liable for the animal’s behavior

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