Fla. Disabled Navy Vet Says POA Won't Let Him Keep Service Dogthe daily dish
A property owners association in Hobe Sound, Fla., has told one of its residents that he cannot keep his dog, but the man says POA rules do not apply because his dog is a service animal, not a pet.
Nick Spagnolo is a Navy veteran who served in Kuwait City and Somalia in the early 1990s, and is now disabled. Spagnolo brought home a Pit Bull named Scarlett last November to help him handle some of his ailments.
"I've got some medical issues and Scarlett kind of alleviates a lot of those," Spagnolo told WPBF-TV. "She's very good as far as emotional support. She'll help me to wake up in the morning."
Not long after Spagnolo got Scarlett, the the Jamestown Property Owners Association notified him that the dog violated POA regulations limiting pets to 20 pounds. Scarlett weighs 40 pounds.
Spagnolo says the regulation does not apply to Scarlett because she is a service dog, not a pet. Spagnolo's doctors and the Veterans Administration have sent documents to the POA confirming that Spagnolo is disabled and his service dog is medically necessary.
The POA responded with requests for specific information about the nature of Spagnolo's disabilities, and the ways in which Scarlett helps the Navy vet deal with those disabilities. Spagnolo has refused to divulge that information for privacy reasons.
"It's a violation of my privacy, and I really don't want strangers as well as other residents here knowing the full extent of my disabilities," Spagnolo said.
The two parties remain in a stalemate, and Spagnolo says he doesn't know what will happen next.
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