Florida man fights for 'emotional support squirrel'

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

Clearwater, Fla. - A Clearwater man is fighting to keep a squirrel as a pet inside his condominium.

Ryan Boylan was issued a notice from his condo to get rid of Brutis the squirrel or face eviction.

Boylan rescued the squirrel during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when she was stuck under a auto, and since then, he has grown attached to her.

"There's absolutely no way I would give her up", said Boylan.

But he could lose her.

The condo board found out about Brutis in April when a dog chased the squirrel up a tree, WFLA-TV reported Friday.

In a complaint filed by the condo association's attorneys state Boylan, didn't file paperwork notifying Brutis was an emotional support animal until this past summer. But the association contends that this was done after it told Boylan that the pet was prohibited.

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

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

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They say the squirrel is a liability if something happens involving the animal.

She said: "It's just like with any animal, you can have the nicest dog and they could bite somebody, it's no guarantee".

"I'm sure it's like any emotional support dog, people ask questions", Sherry Arfa told the station.

"Due to his emotional disability, Ryan Boylan has certain limitations coping with what would otherwise be considered normal but significant day to day situations". "To help alleviate these challenges and to enhance his day to day functionality, I have prescribed Ryan to obtain emotional support animal (s)".

Boylan, who rescued Brutis after the storm rocked Florida in October 2016, said he quickly became attached to the animal.

Boylan is adamant that giving up the animal is not an option. When sent the notice, Boylan contacted the Office of Human Rights with a discrimination claim.

"I don't know if he's discriminated against", former board member told WFLA.

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

Boylan's case is pending.

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