Cerabino: Welcome to Florida, home of the 'emotional support squirrel' – MyPalmBeachPost
We may be breaking new ground here in Florida when it comes to emotional support animals.
Yes, a renter is fighting an eviction from a Clearwater condo over his pet squirrel, Brutus.
Ryan Boylan has claimed that under the Fair Housing Act he should be allowed to live with his squirrel because it’s not just any squirrel, it’s a therapeutically necessary squirrel that brings him emotional support.
The Act says that even in no-pet buildings, landlords are required to make “reasonable accommodation” to allow pets who serve as assistance animals, including assistance in the form of emotional support.
Boylan’s pet squirrel was discovered by property managers when a neighbor’s dog drove it up a tree earlier this year, a local TV news station reported. Boylan has a letter from a physician’s assistant that serves as a prescription for his squirrel.
The letter says that Boylan suffers from post traumatic stress from an automobile crash that resulted in some herniated disks in his back.
“To help alleviate these challenges and to enhance his day to day functionality, I have prescribed Ryan to obtain emotional support animal(s),” Scott E. Murphy wrote. “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.”
So Boylan got a squirrel, a baby one he rescued after Hurricane Matthew last year.
The Fair Housing Act doesn’t specify what sort of animals might be considered suitable for emotional support. Most people get dogs.
Three years ago, an emotional support pig was removed from a US Airways jetliner after it dropped a load in the cabin. And from time to time there have been news stories of people bringing their emotional support birds on airlines and to concert halls with them.
But this may