Man Fights to Keep Emotional Support Squirrel

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

A Clearwater, Florida, man says he's not about to give up his squirrel, Brutis, even though management at the condominiums where he resides says he must. 

Ryan Boylan told ABC Action News that he rescued the squirrel shortly after Hurricane Matthew more than a year ago. The baby rodent was found stuck underneath someone's car. He nurtured it back to health, hand-feeding it for several weeks until it opened its eyes.

Even though Boylan has had the squirrel for a year, management at Island Walk Condominiums just found out about the rodent one day last month, when Boylan took the squirrel outside.

The condo association has told Boylan the squirrel has to go and is threatening eviction. The case is also going to civil court. In court records, management said the squirrel is putting other tenants at risk.

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

The rodent's owner argues Brutis the squirrel is an emotional support animal. Boylan suffers from anxiety after a car accident years ago. He's even showed condo management a doctor's note, and he says giving her up isn't an option.

Court records say pets are allowed, but "pets" are defined as only cats and dogs at Island Walk.

Boylan says there's not much difference between Brutis and an inside cat.

"She's just like an inside cat. She just walks around and hides pecans and hazelnuts, which are her two favorites,

Records also state Boylan is violating the association's governing documents and he must vacate the premises.

Do you think Boylan should be able to keep the squirrel?

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