Emotional support squirrel in conflict with condo association

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A Clearwater, Florida man is currently in conflict with his condo association and could face eviction over a less than two pound squirrel. Ryan Boylan and his emotional support squirrel Brutis are inseparable.

According to WflaNews, Mr. Boylan rescued the tiny creature after Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and can not imagine not being around her. Boylan has been suffering from post-traumatic stress after a car accident and quickly became very attached to the animal stating Brutis provides him comfort.

Property management however, contend Brutis is an exotic animal therefore not allowed as per rules of the condo association. It wasn’t until April 2017 that the managers of Island Walk Condominium found out about Brutis when a dog chased the little guy with the fluffy tail up a tree. And in October, Boylan said he received notice to get rid of Brutis or face eviction.

“I was very sad that he had to basically push every single limitation that he could to try and get me out because of Brutis,” Boylan stated.

Even though Boylan never contacted the association that his squirrel was an emotional support animal, he has since been written a prescription for the emotional support animal. by one of his treating physicians. According to the letter, Boylan has certain limitations when coping with everyday activities considered normal, and finds the animal helpful when mitigating the symptoms he is currently experiencing.

There are arguments on both sides as to Brutis possibly biting someone, but doesn’t that happen even with other emotional support animals? Boylan has since contacted the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights.

Can anyone figure out why this little animal shouldn’t be allowed to live with Mr. Boylan?

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9 replies
  1. vicki hood says:

    Eviction usually means you are renting. I w,ould move. I was a landlady for many many years. Now i just help my family by managing. I prefer to rent to animal lovers. Animal lovers that stay within reason are so appreciated. You may be required to post a security animal deposit but that is little to consider as rules set up by others are often outrageous. Rent a place where you and yours are welcomed. Treat the new rental with respect and the right landlord/lady will love that you are a decent citizen who has a kindness. Those that love animals are a much more gentle /kind people . Your condo owners are missing out.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Idiots! A squirrel is not their object of getting rid of because it is an “exotic animal”? Baloney and they can say whatever they want to get rid of something that helps this person. Not enough garbage going on in this country to pick on this man and his squirrel. Find something important and meaningful to deal with instead of this garbage!

  3. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    This is Ridiculous!!!!! Just leave them alone!!!! He is only two pounds and he isn’t bothering anyone. JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!!

  4. Stephen Phillips says:

    WHAT….A…. CROCK!

    Per U.S. Lega.com:
    Exotic Animal Law and Legal Definition
    Exotic animal is defined by 9 CFR 1.1 as “any animal not identified in the definition of “animal” provided in this part that is native to a foreign country or of foreign origin or character, is not native to the United States, or was introduced from abroad. This term specifically includes animals such as, but not limited to, lions, tigers, leopards, elephants, camels, antelope, anteaters, kangaroos, and water buffalo, and species of foreign domestic cattle, such as Ankole, Gayal, and Yak.”

    Per Study.com:
    Exotic Animals: Definition & Names
    What Are Exotic Animals?
    What is exotic to you may not be to someone else. You may think that a palm tree is exotic if you live in Alaska, but someone in Florida would never think of that. The same concept applies to the definition of an exotic animal. From a U.S. legal perspective, an exotic animal is any animal that is not part of the definition of an ‘animal’ under the Code of Federal Regulations and one that is not native to the U.S. Let’s explore this definition a bit more to understand it better.

    Animal vs. Exotic Animal
    Under Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which focuses on animals and animal products, an animal is defined explicitly as ‘any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or any other warm blooded animal, which is being used, or is intended for use for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet.’

    Interestingly enough, the definition has some exclusions as to the legal definition of an animal:

    Rats of the genus Rattus bred for research
    Mice of the genus Mus bred for research
    Horses that are not used for research purposes
    Farm animals, including poultry, which are used for food, fiber (clothing), or in various aspects of agricultural research, such as animal nutrition and breeding.

    Now that you know what an ‘animal’ is defined as in a legal manner, you can better understand what an exotic animal is by this same legal code.

    An exotic animal by this legal standard is explicitly stated as being ‘any animal not identified in the definition of ‘animal’ provided in this part that is native to a foreign country or of foreign origin or character, is not native to the United States, or was introduced from abroad.

    Squirrels – by definition – are NOT “exotic”!


    But the designation of emotional support by prescription makes their argument moot, in any case….

    • tina says:

      True squirrels are not exotic animals and he/she would do much better if left on it’s own in the wild. Perhaps a dog would be a much better emotional support companion.

    • Ilona Brost says:

      Sure you are right : squirrel is NOT an exotic animal. By legal definition. But if you want to take your pet squirrel to the vet the appointment will have to be made with exotic animals vet because the only animals they consider non exotic are cats and dogs.
      Yet, since the guy is facing LEGAL eviction in this case he has to appeal to legal definition of exotic animal, which does not include his squirrel. Except the landlord makes his own rules, sadly.

  5. Darla says:

    A squirrel is an unconventional type of support animal but if it works and the doctor has seen a difference in Mr. Boylan’s symptoms and approves the animal, then I don’t see why Brutis can’t stay. Besides, he was with Mr. Boylan for at least 6 months (October 2016 to April 2017) before anyone even knew about it – soooooooo, what’s the problem???? Then it took the condo association 6 MONTHS to issue a letter. Wow, big hurry there, wasn’t it [said with sarcasm]?

  6. Nancy Raymond says:

    If a squirrel is an exotic animal I am Gabriel the Archangel – Sweet Jesus leave this man alone – this association is making up rules as they go along – Brutis and Mr. Boylan need each other and deserve to be together – this is the stupidest decision – Brutis may be an unusual support service animal but it works and that is ALL that counts. Give it up and leave them alone.


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