Dog dilemma: Elderly woman ordered to leave her apartment

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NORWALK - An 88-year-old cancer patient has been ordered to leave her Norwalk apartment because management objects to her companion animal.

Mary's companion animal named Spanky

Mary's companion animal named Spanky

Mary Burkett has been given 45 days to pack up and get out. A representative from Colinwood LLC can be heard on a recorded phone conversation saying the elderly woman’s young dog must be “trained” to qualify as a companion animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

While that may be true, Cleveland Attorney Jeff Friedman, who participated in the drafting of the federal act, told Call For Action Reporter Lorrie Taylor more than one law applies to service animals in Ohio. He said Burkett is being discriminated against based on Ohio’s Fair Housing Act.

He said Ohio law does not require a service/companion animal to be trained or of a certain age or to come with documentation.