Man fighting to keep 'emotional support' squirrel at condo

A Clearwater man is fighting to keep a squirrel as a pet inside his condominium

The Clearwater Beach resident is fighting to keep his service animal of two years and no management is going to stop him.

Ryan Boylan and Brutis are inseparable.

Boylan's condo association sent him a notice last month telling him to get rid of the squirrel or find a new place to live.

But he could lose her.

According to WFLA News, property management at the Island Walk Condominiums discovered the squirrel in April and filed a compliant with the condo association.

The complaint says Boylan never submitted paperwork claiming Brutis was an emotional support animal until this past summer, according to the station. But the association contends that this was done after it told Boylan that the pet was prohibited. He was in a auto accident in 2004, which he claims left him with anxiety, herniated discs in his back and PTSD, hence the need for a support pet.

"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 the station.

Condo officials said the squirrel is a liability if something happens involving the animal.

The squirrel-loving man got in touch with the Office of Human Rights and claimed discrimination; the organization then sent a letter on his behalf to the condo board, citing the Fair Housing Act.

"She's just like an inside cat".

Apparently Boylan was able to receive an emotional-support classification for his squirrel simply by visiting after his doctor gave him a note say that he had post-traumatic stress syndrome as the result of a vehicle accident. "To help alleviate these challenges and to enhance his day to day functionality, I have prescribed Ryan to obtain emotional support animal (s)", his letter to the board, posted by News Channel 8, reads. "The presence of the animal (s) is necessary for the emotional/mental health of Ryan Boylan".

"It's just like with any animal, you can have the nicest dog and they could bite somebody, it's no guarantee", Sherry Arfa, a former condo board member, told WFLA. Arfa also said she feels Brutis should be free.

"I am not sure how any animal that weighs less than 2 pounds can harm anyone", said Boylan.

Boylan's case is still pending.



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