If you know anything about me, you know I like dogs; but I often don’t like their owners. Yes, owners. Not parents of fur babies, owners.

If you consider yourself an owner, I probably like you. If you consider yourself a fur baby’s parent, stop being creepy. Stop anthropomorphizing animals. Stop the Disneyfication of dogs.

There’s a case that’s gone all the way to the New Jersey State Supreme Court involving a couple and the condo complex where they live. They knew, or should have known, going in that the complex’s rule was no pet was allowed over 30 pounds. What did they do? They went out and got themselves a 70-pound black lab from a kennel, adopting it as “an emotional support animal.”

The condo didn’t want them violating the rules, and of course the couple argues that, because they label the large animal an "emotional support dog", the condo must allow them to keep it.

Hey, just curious, if my town doesn’t allow pickup trucks on my front yard, but I label it an "emotional support vehicle,” can I get away with it? If I’m not allowed a fire pit, but I call it an "emotional support incendiary area," are we good?

(Photo: Associated Press)
(Photo: Associated Press)

Just like too many jerks are bringing their mere pets into public stores and claiming they’re “service dogs” when they’re not, plenty of other dopes are pretending a dog is an "emotional support animal" just because they enjoy its company and it makes them happy.

The lines and definitions have been so blurred and twisted, and it’s done the greatest disservice to disabled people and vets who have a genuine service animal; no one believes them because of all the cheaters.

The case centers around the drama at a condo complex in Camden County. The case first went to court when the couple refused to get rid of their dog and the condo complex refused to not be allowed to set their own rules and standards.

A lower court judge sided with the couple, then an appeals court in a split decision decided the same.

(Photo: Steve DiMatteo, Unsplash)
(Photo: Steve DiMatteo, Unsplash)

The dissenting judge, Appellate Court Judge Katie A. Gummer, wrote: “Luna may be a good dog that doesn’t bark, but those characteristics do not give defendants the right to carve out an exception to the association’s lawful and enforceable rules and regulations regarding pet ownership.”

Gummer is 100% right.

Now, the case goes before the New Jersey State Supreme Court. Dates for oral arguments have not yet been set.

The couple needs to grow up and play by the rules. They knew, or should have known when signing the papers to live in the complex, what the rules were. They selfishly violated them. Now, their hiding behind the New Age concept of emotional support animals is no less obnoxious and exploitative than when performance artist Ventiko once tried to bring an “emotional support” peacock onto a United Airlines flight.

I like dogs, but some of their owners belong in a doghouse. Let's hope the New Jersey State Supreme Court puts them there.

LOOK: Longest-living dog breeds

To find out the longest-living dog breeds, Stacker examined data from the journal Genetics and American Kennel Club's 2023 breed popularity rankings. 

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM