A condominium association in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood is being sued by the state after it told a 67-year-old tenant that he could not keep his pet poodles, which doctors say are part of the man's depression therapy.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois attorney general has filed suit, on behalf of Nio Tavlos, against the condo association for a building located in the 3100 block of North Lake Shore Drive.
Tavlos reportedly asked to move the dogs into his condo in 2007 after he found out that other tenants lived with pets as service animals, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The condo association denied his request twice and Tavlos reached out to the state.
The lawsuit contends that 3150 Condominium Association discriminated against Tavlos, who is a painter, by not lifting its pet ban considering that his two poodles helped him battle chronic depression, the Tribune reports. The lawsuit is seeking both actual and punitive damages from the association.
The lawsuit does not mark the first time that a condominium association's restrictions on therapy pets have been challenged in Chicago. Last year, a resident of an Edgewater high-rise building filed a federal lawsuit against her condo association after she was forced to carry her dog, which helped her cope with severe anxiety, in a carrier in common areas of the building, the Tribune previously reported.
Earlier this year, a condo association in Park City, Utah, settled a lawsuit and was ordered to pay $20,000 to Thomas Burton, a disabled veteran who kept a service dog to help deal with depression and anxiety, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. U.S. Justice Department, which filed the suit on Burton's behalf, contended that the man was forced to move out of his condo because the association refused to waive pet fees and required insurance for him.