US Army Vet Fights for Service Dog & Loses Home

An Army veteran has been evicted from his home over his service dog. Just writing that disgusts me! It all started when David Palasek, who toured in Iraq and Afghanistan, and served in the Army and National Guard for seven years, refused to pay a "pet fee" at his Bandera, Texas, mobile home. After all, his dog, Checkers, wasn't just a dog. He was a service dog.

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Palasek says of Checkers:

He supports me mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Palasek suffers from a traumatic brain injury and injuries to his neck, spine, knee, and shoulder from a Humvee accident and IED attack. He is also a cancer survivor and says that doctors told him his testicular cancer was at least partially caused by his gunner's harness.

Sounds like a man who deserves a dog!

Okay, so maybe that is why most people have pets: They support us mentally and emotionally (if not financially, ha). Palasek doesn't say why he needs the dog for physical support, but perhaps he leans on him when he needs to bend over or get up, or maybe the dog is trained to fetch things for him.

Whatever it is the dog does, Palasek is considered 90 percent disabled, so it's not like the dog is JUST a pet.

But Palasek says that his landlord didn't care and was angry that he refused to pay his "pet fee," which ballooned up to $2,500. He eventually evicted him. Palasek has moved out but is fighting the matter in court.

Personally, I don't think anyone should be charged a "pet fee." Pets are part of the family. That would be like charging someone a "child fee." If a landlord is worried about damage to property, then keep a pet deposit until the person moves out.

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But a vet should be able to have his service dog free of charge. A service dog shouldn't be considered a pet anymore than a wheelchair should be considered a toy.

What do you think?

 

Image via Chuck Hagel/Flickr

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