Phyllis Schleifer claims she can't live without her Chihuahua, Sweetie, and now Broward taxpayers will soon learn just how far she is willing to go to keep the dog.
Sweetie and Schleifer are at the center of a legal battle that now pits the county against the Century Village condos in Deerfield Beach, which prohibits residents from having dogs.
But Sweetie is different, 68-year-old Schleifer told the Sun-Sentinel.
The dog is a pet actually prescribed by a doctor.
The condo association at the Century Village doesn't care if Scheifler has a doctor's note or not. The dog has to go and the association has filed legal papers to get Sweetie removed.
"We had our bylaws and it didn't allow dogs,'' former condo association president William Lourenso said. "She took it upon herself to bring the dog in. Then she came up with the doctor's note."
"Anybody can get a doctor's note these days.''
Schleifer has gone to the county for help and now taxpayers will pay the legal tab for the fight over a three-pound animal. That bill could run as much as $50,000.
It's the first prescription pet lawsuit the county has intervened in and some commissioners were concerned more will follow looking for a free legal ride.
Schleifer suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and her doctor ordered Sweetie citing the pup was as important to the patient's treatment as prescription pills.