Landlord Boots Fosters Training Service Dog for Veteran

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An Iowa couple was reportedly evicted from their apartment due to the complex’s no-pets policy. The pair, who had been training a service dog for a combat veteran, had initially thought they would be protected by laws that permit service animals where other pets are not.  The law, however, does not extend that far.

Christina Dimit, 18, and Bryan Stamper, 19, began training Lake, a 6-month-old golden retriever, in April for Urbandale-based nonprofit Puppy Jake, which provides trained service dogs to wounded veterans to assit with mobility issues and post-traumatic stress disorder. Volunteer fosters, like Dimit and Stamper, train the dogs for 18 to 24 months before they are transferred to their new owners.

“Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to train a service dog to give back to my community,” Dimit told The DesMoines Register. She is studying psychology and human services at Grand View University.

The pair, along with a representative from the nonprofit, says they informed their apartment’s management company months ago and thought they were in the clear, until last month when they were notified their lease would not be renewed at the end of July.



The Puppy Jake Foundation is dedicated to helping veterans through the assistance of well bred, socialized and professionally trained service dogs. Photo: Puppy Jake Facebook Page





“After receiving multiple complaints from other tenants, it came to Northwest Property Management’s attention that Mr. Stamper and Ms. Dimit had a dog living with them in violation of their lease,” read a letter from Jonathan Schroeder of the Davis Brown Law Firm.

Des Moines attorney Roxanne Conlin filed an injunction to stop the rental company from forcing the couple to move, but it was denied by a district court judge last week.

“This is a really nasty thing to do to this young couple who’s trying to do something really kind for an injured war veteran for crying out loud,” Conlin said.

In dispute is a section of the Iowa Code that defines rights afforded to service dogs and their trainers. The law protects the rights of people with disabilities and those training service animals to be accompanied by the animals in a long list of public places.

Trainers, however, are not mentioned in the section requiring landlords to waive pet restrictions for service animals.



14 thoughts on “Landlord Boots Fosters Training Service Dog for Veteran”

  1. What is this ” politicly correct” country coming to!? For God’s sake, the trainers were doing everything right and to have a nasty jerk of a landlord kick them out for having a dog that will assist a former veteran is BS! Come on people, Have a heart and do what is RIGHT! The landlord sounds like buzzard bait to me.

  2. 100% the fault of Puppy Jake for not making sure this pair of nitwits were allowed to have a dog in the first place.

  3. I’m all in for service dogs for veterans. This was not a service dog. It was in training. In other words, not a service dog.
    Does anyone realize how much the service dog laws are abused? Anyone can get a vest off the internet for the animal that they just can’t live without, they must go in restaurants, department stores, grocers, etc ad naseum. I would love to live in a “no pets” apartment complex. It seems all my neighbors have dogs. You can’t step in the grass because they’ve left behind a souvenir to get on the bottom of your shoes. I’m a night time worker and I sleep in the day. I get woke up almost every day due to my next door neighbor’s little ankle biting barking machine. To be honest, I hate dogs because of the dog industry telling the public how their life is not complete without a dog. This complex had a no pets policy. These kids probably weren’t being responsible in the care of the dog for the reasons I mentioned above. They did not get a renewed lease because they broke the rules.

    • I have a diabetic detection dog, that has saved me on several occasions. Not only am I diabetic,I have hypoglycemia that drops my surgers quickly, and can Kill me. I have to say I’m very happy in not your neighbor. Your generalizing due to a few who may use the system, or be bad dog owners. Animals help people everyday, and it saddens me you will never feel the unselfish love of an Animal

  4. There are huge problems in America. Lack of housing – lack of jobs – abused children- and everyone is up in arms about a dog? People – get a life. Do something useful to make this a better world..

  5. Apartment complexes do not consider service dogs to be pets, because they are not. They work. What’s wrong with the state of Iowa ???

  6. I understand and see the need for the reinforcement of training. I also understand that as someone that allergic to animal hair, dander, ect. that I can expect animal free when that is what I’m paying for. I have a small farm and lots,of animals, and I’m a veteran. You can’t take away from one group because you think another is more deserving. Serving in the military is a choice, and doesn’t necessarily make you better than anyone else. Injury is a risk that is well understood going in. I’m also willing to pay extra for a movie that doesn’t allow kids in after a given time. Are we going to make them give “special kids” an exception? At what point does the average person stop losing their rights?

    • I agree. All these people compare dogs & humans as if they are equals. I’ve had to move twice in my younger days due to my apartment neighbors dogs. I’m highly allergic to sander. I had one neighbor who tied his lab to the porch post, which I had to pass through to get to the parking lot. The odor coming out the open door of that apartment was enough to make anyone sick. Thank goodness I live on my own dog-free property now!


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