Ever since he was involved in a car accident in 2004, Ryan Boylan of Clearwater Beach, Florida has suffered from PTSD and anxiety.
While the physical pain of the crash has faded over time, the emotional damage has never improved. That is, until Boylan met a tiny gray squirrel named Brutis. Boylan rescued Brutis during Hurricane Matthew last year, and he's quickly become attached to the critter.
Boylan says he already "can't imagine not being around her," but he may be forced to say goodbye to his fuzzy friend very soon. Boylan's condo board has given him an eviction notice with a clear ultimatum: get rid of the squirrel, or pack up and leave this month.
The trouble started last April, when a neighborhood dog chased Brutis into a tree. The condo association for Island Walk Condominium filed a complaint to Boylan and the property owner, claiming Brutis is an "exotic animal," and therefore against the rules.
Boylan compares Brutis to an "indoor cat," and says she doesn't cause any trouble. Mostly, she just climbs around Boylan's condo eating her favorite treats: pecans and hazelnuts. He says that the condo board is "pushing every single limitation" to unfairly force Brutis out of the building.
But the state government has weighed in on Boylan's case, and he may have the trump card he needs to keep Brutis in his condo.