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County Backs Lonely Widow’s Right to ‘Prescription Pet,’ a Chihuahua, in Her Fla. Condo

Posted Mar 31, 2011 7:45 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Lonely, fragile and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after an auto accident, Phyllis Schleifer could benefit from a prescription pet, her doctor felt. So she wound up living with Sweetie, a three-pound Chihuahua, in her Deerfield Beach, Fla., condominium.

The problem is, it prohibits dogs. And although Sweetie is described as an "emotional service animal" in her doctor's note, the condo directors didn't agree that the Chihuahua, who is shown in a photo accompanying the article perched on Schleifer's shoulder wearing a pink dress and a jeweled collar, was a legal exception to the rule, recounts the Sun-Sentinel.

Broward County officials, however, saw the situation differently and say they are bound by fair housing law to back the 68-year-old Schleifer in a legal battle against the condo association.

The litigation is expected to cost each side some $25,000 to $50,000 in attorney's fees.

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