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Florida man fighting to keep emotional support squirrel

"[O]h my God, I can’t imagine not being around her,” the Florida resident said.
Florida man
Brutis must go or a Florida man will be evicted from his condo. Except, Brutis is his emotional support animal. Photo: Video screenshot

A Florida man must choose between his emotional support squirrel or his home. Ryan Boylan of Clearwater Beach received a notice from his condo association saying the squirrel has to go.

Boylan said he saved the squirrel, Brutis, during Hurricane Matthew and the two have become inseparable.

"Ever since then I mean, oh my God, I can’t imagine not being around her,” Boylan told WFLA.

Property management found out about the little tenant after Brutis was chased up a tree by a dog in April. Boylan has a doctor’s note saying that he is suffering from PTSD after a car accident, but the condo board pointed out that Boylan only registered Brutis on RegisterMyServiceAnimal.com as an emotional support animal this summer.

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According to a complaint filed by the condo association to Boylan and the condo owner, exotic animals are not allowed.

Boylan received a notice last month saying he needs to give up Brutis or face eviction.

“I was very sad that he had to basically push every single limitation that he could to try and get me out because of Brutis,” Boylan told WFLA.

Attorneys also said that Boylan never sought board approval to reside in the condo.

Boylan said he contacted Florida's Commission on Human Rights and is claiming discrimination. The commission sent a letter to the condo association on his behalf citing the Fair Housing Act, which protects emotional support animals.

“I don’t know if he’s discriminated against,” former board member told WFLA. “I’m sure it’s like any emotional support dog, people ask questions.”

There is also a question of liability.

“It’s just like with any animal, you can have the nicest dog and they could bite somebody, it’s no guarantee,” Arfa said.

“As I said if it was a gerbil or something that your grandkid had hiding under the bed, I’m sure that would be fine, but a squirrel is a wild animal,” she added.

The case is pending.

 
 
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