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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
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    Florida Man Fighting to Keep His Emotional Support Squirrel and Condo

    so we've discussed and debated emotional support animals (ESA) on the forum before. but here is an interesting case from real life: A Florida man has a rescued squirrel that he has kept in his condo since 2016. his condo association found out about it, told him to get rid or it or leave altogether. he then went and got it registered as an ESA. now it's a bitter fight and all in the news.

    who's in the right?

    read more here (w/ video): http://wfla.com/2017/11/10/clearwate...pport-squirrel

    and here: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2017/11.../3871510585179

    or here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/bizarre...-her_162572481

    gotta admit tho, it's a cute squirrel.


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  2. #2
    Registered User hilabeans's Avatar
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    That squirrel sure is cute! I know the whole ESA debate is heated, I'm curious to see where everyone falls on it.

    Story:
    A couple of weeks ago I was flying home from a business trip, the guy 2 rows in front of me falls asleep and his emotional support Pomeranian makes it's way back to my row and onto my feet. The pup was obviously very distressed, licking his lips and trembling. I wasn't sure where he came from but I let him stay on my feet the entire trip, and tried not to disturb him. His dude finally wakes up as we land and I tell the guy his dog has been upset. He says "yeah, he really hates flying." I was all, "maybe you should get him an emotional support animal." He didn't laugh, but I thought it was funny.
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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    Well, first thing is nobody can "get an ESA registered", because there is no actual registry. All the claimed "registries" are just scams that send you fake certificates and letters lol. So this dude is just keeping a pet squirrel and taking advantage of the fact that 99% of the world doesn't realize all the registered ESA are scams.

    An ESA can only be prescribed by a mental health professional, not even a normal family doctor. It's just a note, sort of like a prescription. And it is at the mental health professional's discretion, if they believe an ESA would be truly beneficial to the patient, after months of seeing them.

    ETA: LOL I just found the link with the doctor's note in the article. Just grand :\
    Last edited by redshepherd; 11-13-2017 at 06:43 PM.

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  6. #4
    bcr229's Avatar
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    If that were WV I think DNR would come in, seize the squirrel, and fine the guy.

  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran Ba11er's Avatar
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    As long as you properly take care of the animal , have control over it's behavior, and keep it from destroying property or hurting people I have no problem with ESAs. It Buggs me when people flaunt it ... taking a yapping out of control dog/ pet into a restaurant or public area where it's obviously a disturbance.

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  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
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    Re: Florida Man Fighting to Keep His Emotional Support Squirrel and Condo

    Quote Originally Posted by hilabeans View Post
    That squirrel sure is cute! I know the whole ESA debate is heated, I'm curious to see where everyone falls on it.
    there are people who truly need ESA's but the line has gotten so blurred between actual therapy animals and pets. abuse has been rampant, usually when some landlord/association finds out the person has an "exotic pet" and they get a doctor's note after the fact to keep their animal where they are living. i support ESA's for the right reasons and those who truly need the animal. i do not support ESA's for someone who got caught by their landlord.

    Quote Originally Posted by hilabeans View Post
    Story:
    A couple of weeks ago I was flying home from a business trip, the guy 2 rows in front of me falls asleep and his emotional support Pomeranian makes it's way back to my row and onto my feet. The pup was obviously very distressed, licking his lips and trembling. I wasn't sure where he came from but I let him stay on my feet the entire trip, and tried not to disturb him. His dude finally wakes up as we land and I tell the guy his dog has been upset. He says "yeah, he really hates flying." I was all, "maybe you should get him an emotional support animal." He didn't laugh, but I thought it was funny.
    good one!

    Quote Originally Posted by redshepherd View Post
    Well, first thing is nobody can "get an ESA registered", because there is no actual registry. All the claimed "registries" are just scams that send you fake certificates and letters lol. So this dude is just keeping a pet squirrel and taking advantage of the fact that 99% of the world doesn't realize all the registered ESA are scams.

    An ESA can only be prescribed by a mental health professional, not even a normal family doctor. It's just a note, sort of like a prescription. And it is at the mental health professional's discretion, if they believe an ESA would be truly beneficial to the patient, after months of seeing them.

    ETA: LOL I just found the link with the doctor's note in the article. Just grand :\
    condo management found out in April that he has a squirrel (it was chased by a dog), he got a Dr's note in July and the registered the squirrel @ https://www.registermyserviceanimal.com, the association/property management gave him an eviction notice last month. it's not clear when he was in a car accident for which eh has PTSD and needs an ESA. anyway i think they're going to court now. would be interesting what precedent this will set.
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  10. #7
    Registered User salt's Avatar
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    Re: Florida Man Fighting to Keep His Emotional Support Squirrel and Condo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ba11er View Post
    As long as you properly take care of the animal , have control over it's behavior, and keep it from destroying property or hurting people I have no problem with ESAs. It Buggs me when people flaunt it ... taking a yapping out of control dog/ pet into a restaurant or public area where it's obviously a disturbance.
    ESAs aren't allowed in restaurants or any other area normal pets aren't allowed. They don't have the same rights as service animals. They just have certain permissions regarding housing.

  11. #8
    BPnet Veteran KevinK's Avatar
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    Re: Florida Man Fighting to Keep His Emotional Support Squirrel and Condo

    I tend to lean on the side of the condo association and I'll tell you why.

    Squirrels have a tendency to hide food, and they'll go to any length to do it.....including severely damaging property. I say that as someone who has lived in the woods my entire life and dealt with them every year.....ever been hit with a $5000 bill because a tree rat ate through the wires above your breaker box and INSIDE the walls?..... I have and it was the result of ONE animal stashing his winter supply of hickory nuts. We found literally thousands of them.

    If I happened to live in a condo next to this guy I wouldn't want him having it without him signing documents that hold him directly liable for any damages the little furry bugger causes to the building as a whole and my property in the building as well.


    He needs to move into a residential home in my opinion though, that would solve most of this. Condo associations/HOA's do not mess around with this kind of stuff and you will often find yourself losing any battle against them.....which is why I turned down several GREAT condos and residential homes in HOA's before I chose my new residence. A guy moving in with numerous snakes? They'll shut you down in a heartbeat if they find out.
    Last edited by KevinK; 11-14-2017 at 11:13 AM.

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  13. #9
    BPnet Senior Member artgecko's Avatar
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    What's the law in FL about owning exotics / native species as "pets"? In GA, where I live, it is not legal to take a wild native species as a "pet".

    IMO, if you do actually need an ESA, it needs to be something that can be cared for and controlled properly within normal means. Squirrels are very destructive and I've heard that they can be aggressive and dangerous once they hit sexual maturity, even if "tamed". IMO, the guy could only safely keep this thing in a large cage or other rodent-proofed room and it would still need to be considered a wild animal.

    This appears to be a case of a person wanting to keep an animal they shouldn't legally have and using ESA as an excuse to get away with it.
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  14. #10
    BPnet Veteran enginee837's Avatar
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    According to the ADA, service animals can only be dogs and have to be trained to perform specific tasks in relation to the special needs of their owner. Ex. A dog trained to sense a coming seizure of its owner or a dog trained to sense and alert it's diabetic owner of low blood sugar. Anything else is a pet. Like it or not, it is what it is.
    Here is a good article regarding esa animals. The guy has no right to claim that squirrel is a service animal. He is part of the problem.
    http://www.jems.com/articles/print/v...t-animals.html
    Last edited by enginee837; 11-14-2017 at 01:51 PM.
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