Airbnb Host has a Problem with Service Animals


Here’s what happened to myself and my group in Charleston, SC with an Airbnb host. When we first booked the place, we disclosed that we had a service animal with us. He was not an “emotional support dog” or “therapy dog” or “doggie” as the host called him. This is a dog trained specifically to help someone with a disability. She first asked us if the guest was blind; this was a little rude, but okay…

Our guest does not look disabled, but you do not have to look disabled to have a service animal. It’s like asking someone in a wheelchair why they can’t just walk. I have manners, so I would never ask something like that. She then told us to keep the dog off of every surface in the house and to keep him in the garden. The garden was a junkyard shared with two other random dogs. Mind you, the dog isn’t “well behaved” but literally trained to provide a medical service.

We had the dog with us at every point during the trip and he was in the house only when we slept. He has to sleep with his person so this was non-negotiable due to the nature of the disability. He didn’t get on the couch or on the other beds. While I understand ignorance, this is what followed.

The owner had us followed by her brother who lives on the property. We saw strange people staring at us out of windows and hiding behind cars. We are normal professionals and never once got rowdy at the house. I personally got rowdy and didn’t come back to the house one night, but that’s besides the point. We left the house in pretty normal condition, the only exception being the towels. I put them in the washer and next to it because I didn’t want to ruin the floors or leave them on the beds.

Apparently the single bite of dog food left on the floor and the fact that there was a dog present was enough evidence to charge us $300. We also lost a fork? She then went through the house and itemized everything we did wrong. This included ruining her towels, moving a plant, sleeping in the fourth bed (perfect for midday naps), ruining her sheets, ruining her blinds, and letting the dog poop in the garden. None of these things happened, including us letting the dog poop on the property because we were too scared of the garden. We are also respectful people with access to bags.

After having us followed, being incredibly invasive and rude, and discriminating against a legitimately disabled person, the host had the gall to write this review. This is what I have to say to her. We spent $1000 to stay in a subpar illegal rental in downtown Charleston. Her sheets were uncomfortable, her house was dingy, the floors gave me a splinter, and the only redeemable aspect of this stay was the location. Additionally, I spent two years learning a thing or two about special education and every aspect of her questioning guests violates the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as a basic right to privacy. Sorry about the dog kibble that was “disgusting” but it was clearly an accident. Also, our four legged working professional is a hard working man on the clock and a good boy off the clock.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Anyone can claim their dog is a “service dog” since the host is prohibited by Airbnb to ask for documentation. How is anyone supposed to know whether it’s an actual service animal? And “emotional support animals” which Airbnb lumps in with actual trained service dogs can get sham documentation for a few dollars online, heck everyone can use some emotional support. If guests can do that, then hosts can claim allergies. Which is more likely anyway.

  2. I have a service dog and trust me she is extremely well-trained better behaved than most humans. She is not a pet she is a tool that I use for my medical condition. The reason why I don’t tell host beforehand it because they all seem to have a problem with medical alert dogs. They seem to come up with the same excuse they’re allergic when I rent out the whole house. I’m sick and tired of being discriminated against because I have a medical alert dog who’s with me at all times saving my life many times over. You host need to educate yourselves on the laws in your state and the federal laws about service animals. You’re discriminating against somebody who has a disability bottom line . Which is illegal.

    • You have to understand that the world we live in today is RUINING it for truly needed service dogs. With that being said, regardless of anything else,
      the owner of the dog needs to assume full responsibility for the dog. The dog hair and dander, poop, or any other mess or destruction that may occur. It would be unfair to bring a child and not take responsibility for them in the same manner. Home owners put thousands of dollars into providing nice places for people to rent, they just want the respect of their home in mind as much as anyone else.

  3. I would recommend not staying in places where your dog is not welcome. Listings state whether the place is “pet-friendly” or not. I am guessing you booked a place that was not, but decided to stay there because you knew that the host, by law, had to accept that the dog would stay there. As you saw, you were able to force the host to allow your dog to stay there, but you can’t force her to like it.

    • If you as a host dont agree or like Airbnb policy about service animal, Then DONT BE A AIRBNB host.Its as simple as that.. we are guests who have service animals are not forcing the hosts to do anyting! You sign up to be an Airbnb host you need to file the rules and regulations that comes along with it. You cannot make up your own rules or choose not to follow rules because you don’t like. So my recommendation is to educate yourself on the policy and the FDA laws I meant to sign if you want to be a host or not. Again we do not force host to accept or service animal. You choose to do this when you become so tired of hosts picking and choosing what rules they want to follow.

  4. You FIRST booked the place and then disclosed you were bringing a service dog?! It should have been the other way round….. So leave out that bit about being ‘responsible and well-educated people’.

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