Florida Man Fighting to Keep Emotional Support Squirrel

A Tampa man is fighting to keep what he calls his "support squirrel" in his condo. Jamel Lanee spoke to the man who just got an eviction notice.

(Published Monday, Nov. 13, 2017)

A Florida man says he can't live without his emotional support squirrel, but his condo association says the animal has to go.

Ryan Boylan received a notice last month that he needs to give up the squirrel, Brutis, or face eviction from his Clearwater Beach condo, WFLA reported.

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Boylan says he and Brutis became inseparable after he rescued her last year during Hurricane Matthew.

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

Boylan has a doctor's note that says he's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a car accident. He registered Brutis on RegisterMyServiceAnimal.com as an emotional support animal.

But according to a complaint filed by the condo association against Boylan and the condo owner, exotic animals are not allowed. The complaint also alleges that Boylan didn't submit paperwork that Brutis was an emotional support animal until this past summer.

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Property management discovered Brutis after she was chased up a tree by a dog last April. Condo officials say it's a liability if something happens with the squirrel.

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

The case is pending.