Successes

Success Stories

If you know of any more success stories to list,
please contact us.

MaidaandSpike1

Spike and Priya…where it all started back in 2006

Maida Genser (President and Treasurer of
Citizens for Pets in Condos) won the right to keep her two cats
, Spike and Priya, with a THIRD doctor’s letter attesting to the need for
emotional support animals.  They were rescues from a pound in Michigan.
How can you save animals and then, in the regrettable wording used in the condo
documents, “dispose of” them.  She helped two other unit owners in her condo
complex keep their pets by educating the condo board and their “Fining
Committee” on laws regarding emotional support pets.
(Of course, the board “rewarded” her by unceremoniously removing her from the
Finance Committee.)

read more

Paw-Divider

December 2016:   Just a quick note to let you know that my clients were able to get condo board approval in Century Village, Deerfield Beach, not only for themselves but for their Emotional Support Animal, too!
It was a long and difficult situation going against the desires of the President of the Board, but with my help as their Realtor and the assistance from Marcy LaHart, Esq. (we can both be found on your website) and backup help waiting from “Disability Rights Florida” the condo board President issued the letter of acceptance on Monday 12/5/16  (after a very lengthy interview of the buying couple and the dog!) and we closed the transaction on Tuesday. I will be sending you a donation in honor of my closing and the excellent job you do of helping us all to keep up the fight!

Charlene Reiff and Jennie
CHARLENE REIFF, Realtor
  shown here with her rescue dog Jennie
561-715-0179
“Keeping You & Your Pets Together!”
Regency Realty Services, Boca Raton, FL

 

SundayPrecious October 2013:  Martha reports, “My condo Board  here in Pompano Beach granted me an accommodation for my 2 roomies, Sunday and Precious (picture attached). We owe a big thanks to Marcy LaHart who represented us. I wish I had co6ntacted Marcy a long time ago; I had been sitting on my doctor’s letter for a few years out of fear the condo would not accept it. In fact they did not, but that’s where having a lawyer on your side makes a big difference.”Of course we would not have found Marcy without Citizens for Pets in Condos, so thank you too.”Precious is the darker cat on the left; Sunday is on the right.
August 2013: Robin White reports on our Facbook Page (https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/98982263470/), “I am so happy today. My lawyer Marcy LaHart, esq. has told me that my condo board here in Pompano Beach has finally decided to grant me an accommodation for my therapy dog Tyson. It has been a fight for over a year. Anybody having problems such as these, contact Marcy at (352) 224-5699. She specializes in animal law. You can also write her at 4804 SW 45th St., Gainesville, FL 32608” {Note: the correct term used by lawyers for this kind of dog is an emotional support animal – not therapy dog. Read more at ESA.htm.]Robin White painting with Tyson at her sideRobinPainting-withTyson-small TysonVet-Visit
Tyson at the vet’s office

 Paw-DividerSeptember 2012: “after 5 years our battle with our condo is over. [xxxxx (our service dog] is staying right here where she belongs. The bullies insisted on a non disclosure agreement so I cannot give the details. Sufficed to say I am pleased with the outcome. In the future folks with service dogs will have an easier path to follow should they choose to live here …”

February 2012: Marie in Miami is allowed to keep her second dog, as small Yorkie, as an emotioan support animal, based on documentation from her physician. Her townhouse only allows one dog.

February 2012: Rita is allowed to keep her cat in her Jupiter, FL condo.

February 2012: Cancer-stricken woman wins fight with condo over dog
(Tampa, FL)
A condo association reverses course after a 10 News TV story detailed a woman’s fight to keep her Large Dog there. Pat Picavet has incurable cancer and her doctors say the dog helps her fight depression.

See VIDEO Channel 10 News WTSP – http://www.wtsp.com/video/1428165708001/1/Cancer-stricken-woman-win…

izzy

Izzy in Tennessee

October 2011:

Thank you Citizens for Pets in Condos! Information from your website was used to help convince the board of directors here in Knoxville Tennessee that pets are a very beneficial part of the community.

Owners had been the only people allowed to have pets. This particular community has a lot of green space and tends to have many renters. Now renters can have have pets and enjoy the beautiful grounds with their pooches! Thank you again for all of your efforts; they are very appreciated!!!

July 2011, we were informed that attorney David A. Strauss, Fort Lauderdale/Hallandale recently won a case to allow a dog in a “no-pets” condo.

AngelServiceDog

Angel, a service dog

Paw-Divider
June 2011,
I was a victim of no pet in my condo for 13 yrs. My health condition got worse & needed a companion pet. My new management finally told me about National Service Dog Registry online papers to get my dr to sign. Angel is a service dog paper & documents signed by my dr.

OneIndoorCat

Carol’s catPaw-Divider

May 2011, rules were changed in a condo complex in Stuart, FL so that at least cats are now allowed. This is definitely a step in the right directions. Carol wrote, “I was able to use the materials and links on your website to put together a handout supporting the amendment of our bylaws to allow one cat per household and to write a memo to the board suggesting implementation of the amendment once it was voted in. The result is that our condo complex now allows one indoor cat per unit. Thank you so much for your site.”

April 14, 2011, posted on our petition

I am Living in a condo,after Husband died Had to resort to emotional support enimal,he is my live!!!! and thru Lawers and Hud finaly could have my little well behaved Maltese. Thanks for all the support.

April, 2011, found under windshield of our car (someone saw our bumper sticker):

WeLoveYou

 

March, 2011, Linda in Boca Raton wrote:

My dog case was dismissed

I won

Judge was angry at condo Lawer

And I had the worst arbitrator!! [NOTE; In our experience, there has been a lot of bad decisions made by ill-informed DBPR arbitrators.]

March, 2011, The Addison, on the ocean in Boca Raton, changed their documents to allow pets. Currently only pets up to 20 pounds allowed, but they are working on imporving that restriciton. The do have a Pet Committee in place. Way to go!

March, 2011, from Lou S. to Barbara Feeney on our advisory board:

…we FINALLY have everything resolved…a representative from PBC Equal Opportunity Office met with me last Friday.  She is drawing up an agreement to include that there will be no further retaliation against us when we return next year.  As soon as the board’s attorney reviews it and we sign it, it will be over.

Thanks again for all your help and support on this matter and also to Citizens for Pets in Condos for assisting seniors who would truly benefit from a pet.

March, 2011, from Carol S.:

hi and thanks for your help…My Dr. used your info for my second letter to the board.  Their response was that for now, since no one is complaining and the dog isn’t disturbing anyone and I take her off campus to walk her, I can keep her…for now! just found out they just lost a lawsuit for a dog and it cost them $50,000.
thanks again

[NOTE: We pointed her to a sample doctor’s letter from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.]

 

March, 2011, from Lisa P.:

LisaP

March, 2011, “my condo board filed a suite against me because my enmotional support service dog was walking in a ommon area, the case was dismissed by judge Beller, now they must pay my legal cost which is over $ 20,000 thousand dollars plus. I have lived at the xxxxx xxxxx since 1982,I am a combat wounded veteran from world war 2,my service dog is ROSIE  a japanese chin.” – Harold C.

February, 2011, Boynton Beach, FL, “I just wanted to thank you for your support and assistance….after much fighting among the board members – their association’s attorney told them I was within my legal rights to have my ESA here and they had to approve my request.

“I made a presentation to a small group of owners who participated in a meeting last Tuesday (see attached) and was shocked that I received a resounding round of applause.  I guess I had more supporters here than I realized.”

(Note: This woman is a “snowbird” who only spends a few months a year in her Florida condo. Her association board origianlly refused her doctor’s letter from up north, but she used resources from our web site and consulted with Barbara Feeney on our advisory board, and prevailed in her case.)

January, 2011, Leisureville, a “retirement” 55+ community in Pompano Beach, Florida changed their documents to allow pets.

December, 2010, a nice Xmas present for Ozzie’s owner/guardian in Boca Raton: Ozzie has been approved!

Ozzie
Ozzie, all dressed up for the holidays

December, 2010, I’m writing to tell you that I finally got permission  to have my dog. There was a great deal of to ing and fro ing in which time the board pulled some really nasty tricks to stall the process. I sent them a DVD of how Jagger helps me and apparently……”THEY LOST IT” so they didn’t realize how disabled I was (despite the fact that I also put a link to the video on “Youtube” in all correspondance with their lawyers and the numerous letters from my doctors).

Anyway, I won and would never have heard about my rights had it not been for you. So thanks from me and a big WOOF from Jagger

Best wishes

Mick Walsh

September, 2010, “…a friend’s daughter is moving into xxxxx in Pembroke Pines, FL (no pets allowed) and was approved for a service dog.   What is so interesting is that the dog is tiny, and the disability of the owner is mental stress without her pet – I feel this is a landmark decision, and many more will follow!  It had to be approved by the building’s director, and some hassle, it was approved.”

August 2010, Elaine wrote us to say “I received a letter from the EEOC and my condominium association has finally conceded and are going to accommodate me.  I filed a discrimination charge against them in February and did not back off and see what the universe has done.  So anyone out there who is having problems contact me and I will tell you what to do.  Now to find a dog.”

June 2010, Deena wrote on our Facebook Group page, “Hello to all pet loversa, just letting you all know I won my case to keep my ESD in a no-pet condo, with the help of the information provided on you site, I was able to show the association that It’s the law…thank you”

June 2010, Diane in Sunrise wrote:

YOU DID IT AGAIN!!!!!

I COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU!!!!

ON FRIDAY MAY 28, 2010 I GOT A CALL FROM THE BROWARD COUNTY CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION ADVISING ME THAT MY CONDO ASSOCIATION AND ITS LAWYERS HAD APPROVED MY EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL.

AGAIN I COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT THE ORGANIZATION.  I FOLLOWED ALL THE STEPS ON YOUR WEB SITE.  I REALLY FELT DEFEATED AND VERY DEPRESSED. MY SON GOT IN TOUCH WITH SOMEONE AT CITIZENS FOR PETS IN CONDOS THEY IMMEDIATELY CALLED ME. I TOLD THEM WHAT INFORMATION THAT I HAD SENT TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION AND THEY ASSURED ME THAT EVERYTHING WAS OKAY AND THAT I WOULD WIN,  AND I WOULD BE ABLE TO KEEP MY WONDERFUL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL.  I REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW I CAN EXPLAIN HOW WONDERFUL YOUR ASSOCIATION IS. MOST PEOPLE LIKE ME DON’T HAVE THE MONEY FOR ATTORNEYS AND CITIZENS FOR PETS IN CONDOS HELP YOU SO MUCH. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE ALL THAT  YOU HAVE HELPED ME WITH. THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

I AM ANOTHER SUCCESS STORY FOR CITIZENS FOR PETS IN CONDOS.  DON’T LET THE CONDO COMMANDOS INTIMIDATE AND HARASS YOU.  FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS!!!  STAND BY PETS.  YOU HAVE RIGHTS TOO. 

THANK YOU AGAIN, …

May, 2010, Fort Lauderdale – Rosebud is allowed as an emotional support animal.

April, 2010, Audra Varkalhoff wrote, “I just wanted to share my success story, that was achieved only with the help of Dear Attorney Marcy I. LaHart and the hard work of my wonderful husband. But we won, my service animal
is finally acknowledged by the Condo Board and he will stay there as long as we stay :). The Board dropped the case completely!

Advice for the other owners that battle the same battle; Get an attorney, be aggressive and do not give up. Just remember, that most Boards that even raise the service animal issues, are the ones that are being led by the people who are not well educated, but they feel that they do have a lot of power and they really do not care about your problems or hurt feelings.

One more time, I’d like to thank my Attorney Marcy I. LaHart for an awesome job she did and 100% support of me.”

March, 2010, Gus was able to keep his emotional support animal, a 9-pound toy poodle with a doctors letter.

March, 2010 – My husband and I lived in a condo along the NYC riverfront. He was on the Board and was instrumental in passing a Pets’ Clause to make our two beloved cats legal! Tuesday, March 9, posted on our petition

February 2010, Marilyn was able to keep her cat, an emotional support animal in her condo, with a properly written doctors letter. “I would have fought tooth and nail to keep my cat, but luckily I only had to fight tooth.”

December, 2009, If it were not for Citizens for Pets in Condos my kids (birds), 86 yr old invalid mother, 19 (elderly and handicapped) neighbors and their kids (birds and cats) would be homeless today or would have had to give up the pets we have loved for so many years. They were and continue to be a wealth of information and support. We all received 10 day notices at the time when the housing market was at it’s lowest. Many of them are on fixed incomes with no where else to go and giving up our pets was not an option. Nor was leaving our homes of 15-31 years. All because of one Nazi board of directors. Everyone here lived openly with birds on their patios for the 31 years I have lived here and now it is 32 thanks to this organnizations! They are truly a Godsend! (reported on http://www.causes.com/causes/279038-citizens-for-pets-in-condos-inc).

November, 2009, Stephanie posted on our Facebook Group

I won! I am allowed to have my emotional service animal. I won against the condo commandos. How? I put the cart before the horse and didn’t do it the right way with initiating a request for accomodations, but I filed discrimination with HUD, ADA, and lastly the Palm Beach County EEOC. The later won this for me. My c…ase manager was partial because she had no choice but she got me a fantastic legal aid attorney who was there for me every step of the way and fought this battle to keep my dog when they were telling me that I wouldn’t have a roof over my head or have to get rid of my dog. Today I won, I can keep my dog, I can move into my new unit. There are stipulations I can live with but I can tell you that there is a way to win this and there are those who are willing to fight the HOA for you.

October 2009, HUD helped a man in Palm Beach county keep his standard poodle, his emotional support animal.” The homeowners association only permits 1 dog under 20 lbs. I had a letter from my doctor establishing that my dog was an emotional companion animal. The lawyers for homeowners association put up roadblocks for the better part of 7 months.”

October 2009, a man in Plantation (name withheld to protect confidentiality) won a 6-year case brought against him by his condo association. Carol Franco, his mental health therapist, did a four hour deposition for his defense. She says’ “I’m so glad his rights were upheld. It should never have been a case to begin with.”

Paw-Divider

September 2009, Elizabeth got permission to keep 2 indoor cats in her condo in Boca Raton after writing a nice  letter requesting permission. She reports, “I offered to provide references from my former landlord & veterinarian as well as a deposit for both cats.  As it turned out, they didn’t need the references nor did they require a deposit!  Wow![Too bad it is not always this easy!]

May 2009, Phyllis in Deerfield Beach, FL reports the she and Sweetie are fine. The condo association backed down. “It took so long, but it was worth it!”

 

On Feb. 20, 2009 after 6 months a wonderful attorney (Marcy I. LaHart) information from David and Maida, I have a success story to be told. In short I relocated here in July from Atlanta with my Service Dog Luke to take care of my 97 year old Aunt, our condo is in a ‘No Dog’ condo in Royal Palm Beach. During these 6 months my Aunt had a stroke, I just stayed low key, my attorney finally got the approval today, under 2 conditions that I pick-up Luke’s pooh and Luke has his shots. Without Marcy LaHart we wouldn’t have gotten this approval.

We wish everyone a ‘Happy Day of Approval,’ Marilyn & Luke

January 2009, My condo, Rapallo, is now a Pet Friendly building. It took us 5 years, but we are there now. It was a matter of rescinding the no-pet rule in the by-laws and a lot of phone calls, letters and speakers. I used many of your quotes, so I am still at it. I now have 2 cats. One is a rescue and sooo dear. Bobby

October, 2008, from Harold: “the broward county human rights board ruled that I am disabled person, my dog is a service animal and I have a right to full enjoyment of the condominiumm property-my prescription states that my dog is for emotional support and seizures”

June 2008 from Loretta: “Our family doctor gave us a note for my husband’s disability, and it is in compliance with the rules of the ADA ,which therefore no one can say anything, unless they want to go up against the ADA ,the condo lawyers say that they can’t fight it since it is a disability note from our Dr. We just have to get a note once a year saying his disability has not changed/or mine.

June, 2008, from Marianne: We have great news.  One year after trying to get Eddie our long haired mini dachshund in to our condo “legally” he is in.  We had been sneaking him in the building past the front door security in a bag and walking him a few streets away for over a year.

The board decided to write a letter to “grandfather” in any pets smaller than 20lbs.  We had to do the normal office registration.  It was a great feeling to finally present him at the front door on my shoulder.  Turns out that all of the security guards are dog lovers and everyone says hello to Eddie now as we go for our walks.

[Our comment back: Congratulations, but this is mixed news.  From all the letters we get, I anticipate how upset you will be years later when Eddie passes on and you won’t be able to replace him.  The Friars in Ft. Lauderdale do grief counseling and count the grief over losing a pet as one of their major issues.]

 

May, 2008, from Joy in Tamarac:

After 3 of us showed up with our letters from a physician stating our pets were medically necessary The board has decided to not enforce  the “no pet rule”. At least for now. I feel it is only a temporary reprieve.The worst of the board members resigned and the other two are snow birds.”

May, 2008: Board Allows Animal for Medical Condition (Lakeland, FL)

April, 2008:

Dear Citizens for Pets in Condos:
 
It is with great pleasure that I would like to formerly announce our most recent success! I spent so many long months researching through Internet articles, other people’s stories, by laws, etc…but it wasn’t until I came across one very special web site that gave me the inspiration to move forward. That web site would be Citizens for Pets in Condos! You guys are absolutely amazing in what you do!
Not only are we allowed to have pets, but we are all working together to maintain peace and tranquility among our neighbors. Its an honor and a privilege to be able to have dogs! I am just so very thankful the way it all turned out. I never gave up for one moment! You have to think positive and always look to the bright side!
I just want others out there to never be discouraged. Everyone has those one or two neighbors that will try your patience to the very end, or fight you tooth and nail every step of the way. Well in today’s society things are changing and for the better.  We will no longer sit back and accept what we are told but challenge what isn’t right and fight for what we respect and believe in.
I am sending in this letter to thank you Maida and David! Without your help I would still be fighting a tough battle! If I can ever help you out in anyway please let me know.
 
DOG LOVER ALWAYS,
Michele
City of Plantation, FL (where dogs can live, too)!

February, 2008: Judith did not just accept the board’s pronouncement that Chloe (seen above) was not allowed. She went to the court and looked up the documents that were filed. The official legal documents said that a dog is allowed if medically necessary, which it was. They had to accept her doctor’s note.

August , 2007


Because of the assistance
of the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights, cat Max can stay in the condo
.  Here is the earlier story when
we first learned about Ethyl and her service cat: 

Woman Calls Cat
Lifeline
Click here to read the
letter from the AG’s office.

July, 2007:  With the assistance of a TV news team
advocate, a 69-year-old woman in Port Charlotte, FL won the right to keep her
17-year-old cat Samba in her condo.  Her cat is an emotional support animal for
a condition covered by disability laws.  Click

here
to read more.

 

February, 2007: ” It has been passed by our Board of Directors to officially allow support/therapy animals in our condo.
We have passed and implemented a strict animal policy. We have set up a therapy/support animal committee to monitor the animals and to make sure owners abide by our rules. It has taken over a year to get this passed and up and running but after all the hard work, it is worth and my mother now has a wonderful chihuahua that has changed her life! Oh by the way I had to get on the board to get this done!

Kindest regards and keep up the good fight.”
Marilyn, Aventura, FL

February, 2007:  Remember this story?:

 


Condo Threatens To
Split WWII Vet And His Dog
(story and newsclip video
).
Thanks to HUD, this story had a happy ending.
Click here to read the letter we received from
Carole Tronolone.

December, 2006Condo board backs down and
allows two cats

November, 2006:
State backs therapy dog’s
owner
.

June, 2006: Cat Owner Victory Puts
Condo Board in Doghouse

February, 2005Disabled Woman’s Dog Has Its Day

April, 2005: Deerfield dog owner trumps ‘no-pet’ rule with medical necessity — Meadows of Crystal Lake HOA (original article http://www.ccfj.net/HOAFLpet.html)

around 2004: “When i was having trouble keeping my dogs i contacted hud and they helped me. Thank God i was able to keep my pets. The condo isn’t allowed to harrass me….Also my Dr helped me a lot the office manager that works for loves animals and she has one.We could never live without our dog we are petparents no kids. And no car to go to the vet.” – Iris & William Grape, Sunrise, FL.

February, 2003:  Florida State Statute
760.23 was applied in
this case to prevent eviction of a disabled person with a “support animal.”

2002, Ft Lauderdale: My Moms condo tried to evict her because she needed ever so deparately to have an adorable puppy for emotional support after my Dad passed away. Well I hired an amazing lawyer and we not only won – but the condo had to pay the legal fees.

Bubbele was Allowed to Stay

About 10 years ago, Barry Silver, an attorney in Boca Raton
represented an elderly gentleman who lives in Boca Chase who owned a dog named Bubbele.  The Association told him and his wife their dog had to leave,
but after a doctor’s note indicating the dog was therapeutic for the husband’s
cancer condition, some negotiations, some adverse publicity for the Association,
and the threat of a lawsuit the Association relented and Bubbele was allowed to
stay.

Wanton Weighed In

In another case, Attorney Silver represented
the owner of a dog named Wanton.  The board said the dog weighed too much
and thus was “caninus non grata.”  He showed that the rules which
prohibited dogs were passed improperly and thus, invalid, and Wanton was allowed
to stay.

Barry Silver had some recent success fighting
other condo abuses, read
here
.


 

Comments are closed