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We found a lost german shepherd recently, no collar, no tags. Took it to the vet --no microchip. Posted fliers and contacted animal control. Eventually the owner responded to a flier, it's not actually his dog, he's taking care of it for his sister who moved abroad recently. We talked to the sister who said since's she's abroad, she asked her dog to take care of the dog but that was just temporary until she figured out what to do about her dog. The brother has two other dogs, guard dogs. This dog wasn't getting along well with the brother's 2 dogs. We asked if we could keep the dog and the owners said yes, since she moved abroad and had no plans to move back to the states, and relocating the dog abroad was difficult.

long story short - we have become very attached to this dog and are happy to raise it BUT i just found out that our apartment doesn't allow german shepherds in the complex unless they are service dogs. my husband says we should get a "service dog" certificate but i don't feel comfortable - she is an older german shepherd (about 8 or 9 years old) and obviously not a service dog. i'm wondering what our options are, obviously to return to the dog to the brother of the owner... or get a service dog certificate (?)... or ?
 

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What is a service dog certificate? Do not try to pass this dog off as a service dog. I believe there are severe legal repercussions as well... Besides that if something happens and there is an incident it will make it make it harder for someone like my aunt who has an ACTUAL disability and has a mobility service dog.
 

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No, I would not do that either. (agree with you). It would not be fair to those who really need them even though so many abuse.

Have you recieved some sort of letter from the apartment complex? If not, you may just want to lay low until they do say something.
 

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I agree with jocoyn. We also adopted a GSD (mix - Belgian Malinois is the other breed) in a somewhat similar situation. Our apartment complex does not allow GSDs but in the 2 months we've had her, no one has said a word - our neighbors love her, we clean up her mess, we don't bother anyone, so no one has reported us, and the maintenance workers & even property manager have met her (she is veryyyyy GSD-looking, everyone asks if she's purebred even though she's quite small at only 60lb) and - knock on wood - not a peep. As a backup though, we established a good relationship with our vet (she had a very expensive health issue very early on and we spent many hours in his office) and asked him to change her breed on her records from a GSD mix to a Belgian Malinois mix, so if anyone asks for paperwork, she's a Mal! Which is not excluded from any apt complex I've come across so far.

Another alternative is to get a doctors note stating that due to a condition you have (the note doesn't have to say but usually these are issued for conditions like anxiety disorder, depression, and similar mental health illnesses), you need the companionship of this particular animal. I work as a medical office manager and have helped my docs write several of these notes over the past two years.

I'm just kinda brainstorming here. How long do you have left on your lease?
 

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Another alternative is to get a doctors note stating that due to a condition you have (the note doesn't have to say but usually these are issued for conditions like anxiety disorder, depression, and similar mental health illnesses), you need the companionship of this particular animal. I work as a medical office manager and have helped my docs write several of these notes over the past two years.
That's the first thing I thought ! In this day and age it should not be a problem. If the GSD is older and a little slower these days, I'd try and have a talk with the manager and see if you can work something out.
 

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No, I would not do that either. (agree with you). It would not be fair to those who really need them even though so many abuse.

Have you recieved some sort of letter from the apartment complex? If not, you may just want to lay low until they do say something.
IF you do have a genuine medical or physical disability, apartment management can make an exception to the rule. But you must have a condition in which the dog can help you in some way to improve your quality of life. If you don't have one, its not fair to break the rule and keep a dog others can't - then either give it up or move out.
 

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How long is left on your lease? Can you find a house to rent without breed restrictions if you cxant get a docs note like suggested above? I know most of the apartments here have a restriction on GSDs, but also pits and you know there are pit mixes everywhere here. I'd go with the mal excuse, personally. Since you didn't get her pure bred, you really can't say for sure.....right? ;-)
 

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change her breed on her records from a GSD mix to a Belgian Malinois mix, so if anyone asks for paperwork, she's a Mal! Which is not excluded from any apt complex I've come across so far.
I use to live with a Belgian Malinois when I owned a house in NC. Dog was my roommate's K9 partner. Hate to break it to you but around here Maligators also make the list every time a GSD does. In addition this also applies to Home Owners Insurance and etc. If your dog knows bite work the Insurance also goes up and harder to find.

My apartment complex is large breed friendly. (Except APBTs, Wolf Hybrids and Rotties) similar to some military bases. Keep in mind this was one of the VERY RARE apartments that allow GSDs (and also very pricey). One of my neighbors is law enforcement and has a K9 (GSD). So I am in good company.

Although the aparment situation is only temporary as I re-located it is tougher raising a GSD. But he will always go where-ever I go!
 

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sorry for OT but have to mention that not ONCE have I ever heard about a Belgian malinois being on any breed restriction list. Not a single one. GSDs yes, Mals? Nope. And we've been doing the GSD dance with rentals for years. We currently live in base housing but regularly look out in town in case we find something better. Also never heard of any rule that states you have to tell your insurance company whether the dog does bite work. That's none of their business, especially if the dog has never had a bite incident that is known. Your insurance only goes up if your dog bites someone without cause.
 

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I feel like a lot of apartment complexes could be reasoned with / bargained with about dogs.
if the dog seems properly trained/doesnt bark and doesnt bother anyone you could bring that up. You could sign that old dog up for a short training class and get some sort of certificate that says she's well behaved. You can offer to pay a pet rent. You can just not say anything and someone might not even notice you have a dog. A lot of times the apartment stuff is just to make sure their unit doesn't get destroyed (pee stains anyone?) but you could point out that it's potty trained etc. I'm sure people will be reasonable, explain that you rescued it.
 

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That's none of their business, especially if the dog has never had a bite incident that is known. Your insurance only goes up if your dog bites someone without cause.
Agree with you there!

We do have a rottie that lives in the apartment complex. The owner is a very old woman and the dog just as old. They seem to have the same walking schedule as us. They both move at a snails pace but is so heart warming to see! I believe the owner lives by herself. No one has ever said anything about the dog and can't imagine anyone wil say anything! More importantly I hope not!
 
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