Florida man fighting to keep emotional support squirrel

Leslie Hanson
November 15, 2017

A Clearwater Beach, Fla., condo association has given a resident with an unusual emotional-support pet an ultimatum: Get rid of the squirrel or get the boot. After Hurricane Matthew a year ago, Boylan rescued the female squirrel and while he has cared for her since then, it wasn't until July that he obtained a doctor's note prescribing him to obtain an emotional support animal.

"She just walks around and hides pecans and hazelnuts which are her two favorites", said Ryan Boylan, squirrel owner.

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

But he could lose her.

According to WFLA, the property's management discovered Brutis in April after she was chased up a tree by a dog.

The complaint says Boylan never submitted paperwork claiming Brutis was an emotional support animal until this past summer, according to the station.

Last month, the condominium association told Boylan the squirrel has to go and they're threatening eviction.


The PTSD sufferer claims he needs the squirrel for emotional and mental health support following his diagnosis after a vehicle accident which left him with several herniated disks in his lower back.

Boylan has registered Brutis under RegisterMyServiceAnimal.com, WFLA reported.

However, condo officials said the squirrel is a liability if something happens.

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

In July, Boylan reportedly obtained a doctor's note prescribing him an "emotional support" animal, the Orlando Weekly reported, to help PTSD he has from a auto accident. "I'm sure it's like any emotional support dog, people ask questions". "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 now experiencing".

When questioned by WFLA, former condo board member Sherry Arfa said she was on the fence. "If it was a gerbil or something that your grandkid had hiding under the bed, Im sure that would be fine".

Boylan's case is still pending.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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