Dog Hating Bullies Gang Up on Boo the Toy Spaniel


king charles spanielI love dogs. And I don't mean I love dogs, I mean I love dogs. Big, small, fluffy, short-haired, the four-legged cuties always have a place in my heart. (Especially the smaller, fluffier ones.) But my love of dogs is only one of the many reasons I am irate at some of the residents of Hollywood Towers Condominium.

Okay, so get this: Mary Jo Stevens has suffered from a severe anxiety disorder ever since she fractured her jaw and injured her spine in a 1999 car crash. Scary, right? She tried medication, therapy, blah-blah-blah, nothing worked. Poor gal. What did work, though, is an adorable toy spaniel named -- prepare to melt -- Boo. Awwww!

Yes, little Boo is the one responsible for keeping Mary Jo calm instead of racked with anxiety 24/7. So, why are the residents of her condominium trying to get her to keep sweet Boo in a carrying case instead of in her arms, where she can reap the benefits of doggie love?

Does Boo bark? No. Does Boo bite? No. Does Boo poop? No. (Well, I'm sure he does, but not inside.) What is these people's problem?

Well, apparently, the condo is a no-dogs-allowed kind of place (which, to dog-lover me, is a crazy concept in and of itself, but anyway), so the residents already feel that they are "accommodating" Mary Jo by letting her have a dog in the first place. Here's how they're accommodating her: (As I mentioned) she is supposed to hold him in a carrier in the lobby and laundry room; she must use a service elevator; she can only enter and exit through side doors. That's not accommodating someone with a disability and a service dog! That's treating them like a second-class citizen.

Okay, fine, maybe I'm biased with my dog lovin' ways, but using side doors? Boo's a spaniel, not a pit bull! And, yes, I think Boo is a service animal -- he calms Mary Jo down. Who knows what kind of meltdown she could have without him close by? You wouldn't make a blind man use side doors if he lived there with his labrador, would you? (You wouldn't, right, people?) Love Boo. Accept Boo. No, I won't stop saying "Boo." It's the cutest name ever!

This seems to be a classic case of people just wanting something to complain about. I know your type. My grandma (God love her!) is that type. You tend to reside in condos or communities, and there's always something to address -- be it the mail, the garbage, or noise after 9!

With this one, though -- just this one time -- please, let it go. It's so not worth it. Isn't there, like, a light out in the garage or something? Mary Jo needs her doggie. He makes her feel safe. And I know that Boo doesn't like being locked up in that case.

What do you think of the way Mary Jo is being treated?


Image via Kjunstorm/Flickr

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Katie... Katie1025

I would say the way they're being treated is against the law.

By law according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (severe anxiety is starting to be recognized as a major disability) , a service animal is allowed everywhere people are, which, in this case, would be the laundry, regular elevators, and through the front door. I would be telling Mary Jo to get a lawyer and sue the pants off someone. 

These people need to get over it or move somewhere else!!

butte... butterflymkm

Hey don't hate on the pitbulls! They can be service dogs too:)

JDSmi... JDSmith625

No dogs allowed seems like a simple enough rule to follow. I would say that they are being very accomodating since they allowed her to stay as long as she followed the rules. I beleive they are being too lenient. What happens when the dog is a pitbull (which are perfectly good dogs)? Nothing because as soon as  you would have reported the dog, you would be told to get rid of it or leave. If you dont like the rules, then move to a place that allows dogs.


PonyC... PonyChaser

There are very strict rules governing the term "Service Dog". As far as I know, only dogs that are Certified Service Dogs are allowed to be exempt from the "no dogs" rule - and then, only when the dog does not present a danger to others.  I doubt Boo presents a danger, but I also doubt that Boo is a Certified Service Dog.

Further, quoting directly from the cited article, "Just this month the U.S. Department of Justice issued new rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act that excluded animals used "purely for emotional support" and recognized only dogs, and in some cases miniature horses, as service animals."

Boo simply isn't a Service Dog, he's just a nice, really cute dog. Maybe he'd be a good Therapy Dog (which has its own set of rules and certifications, but none that would apply here), but he isn't. He's a comfort to his owner.  And his owners have overstayed their welcome. They knew there was a "No Dogs Allowed" policy in their apartment building when they moved in, and their neighbors have been more than accomodating.  I feel for Mrs. Stevens, but she's in the wrong here.

Shanin22 Shanin22

The ADA was updated this month. Emotional support animals are no longer recognized by the ADA as service animals. In other words, her dog is not given the same legal protection as a guide dog for a blind individual. Now if her dog provides her other services it could possibly qualify as a service animal and would then be protected from this kind of treatment. However based on this article it sounds like her dog is just an emotional support animal. Obviously this dog does provide her a great service, but as far as the law is concerned it is only protected in certain situations (which is probably why she's been allowed to continue keeping it in her place). Unfortunately the abuse of the use of emotional support animals and the lack of training they've been given has forced ADA to make these changes.

Shanin22 Shanin22

@PonyChaser-You are absolutely correct on this issue. However the changes to ADA does not change the Fair Housing Acts right to "reasonable accommodations" which can include an emotional support animal. This is probably why the animal has been allowed to remain at the residence. However the Fair Housing Act does not protect her right to let the dog walk around on the premises. For that protection it would need to be a service animal... which as you've said, Boo is not.

Momma... MommaSiete

idk i am neither for or against anything relating to animals. not my thing.

hfaddis hfaddis

wow i think she should be allowed to keep things how they are..

hfaddis hfaddis

but i can understand that rules have to be followed

hfaddis hfaddis

its a hard one,  i have seen the difference these animals can make even if they are only for "emotional" reasons.

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