A man in Florida is fighting for his home and his squirrel - just don't call it his pet.
Clearwater Beach resident Ryan Boylan has been served a notice of eviction for keeping a squirrel inside his condo. But according to Boylan, this is no pet: it's a service animal. According to a complaint filed by the condo association to Boylan and the condo owner, exotic animals are not allowed.
Boylan rescued the squirrel during 2016's Hurricane Matthew, and helped nurse the critter back to health.
Once healed, the pair became inseparable.
Meet Brutis the squirrel:
Unfortunately, the housing board at Island Walk Condominiums found out about Brutis after a dog chased him up a tree in April.
Boylan, who was diagnosed with Anxiety following a car accident, claims that Brutis medically helps reduce his anxiety levels. A prescription for an emotional support animal was written by Scott E. Murphy, PhD., who provided a doctor's note confirming Boylan's claims:
“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). The presence of the animal(s) is necessary for the emotional/mental health of Ryan Boylan because its presence will mitigate the symptoms he is currently experiencing.”
Boylan filed a discrimination complaint with the Florida Office of Human Rights over the matter. The organization sided entirely with Boylan, due to the medical nature of his condition, and the Fair Housing Act which protects emotional support animals.
Read more over at Fox News.