Florida man fights to keep emotional support squirrel

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Nov. 13, 2017 at 10:17 AM
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Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A Florida man is fighting his condo association for the right to keep his pet, a squirrel he registered as an emotional support animal.

Ryan Boylan, who lives at Island Walk Condominiums in Clearwater Beach, said he rescued Brutis the squirrel last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Boylan said he found the squirrel trapped under someone's car.

"Ever since then I mean, oh my god, I can't imagine not being around her," Boylan told WFLA-TV.

Brutis came to property management's attention in April when she was chased up a tree on the property by a dog.

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.

"She's just like an inside cat. She just walks around and hides pecans and hazelnuts which are her two favorites," Boylan told WFTS-TV.

Boylan registered Brutis as an emotional support animal at website RegisterMyServiceAnimal.com after obtaining a note from his doctor in July.

The doctor's note says Boylan suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from a car accident.

The condo association says Boylan failed to submit paperwork stating Brutis is an emotional support animal until the summer. The association also says Boylan never sought or received approval from the group before moving into the building.

The Office of Human Rights, which was contacted by Boylan, sent a letter to the association stating that emotional support animals are protected under the Fair Housing Act.

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