It’s not uncommon for soldiers returning from duty to suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Eugene Ovsishcher had nightmares, anxiety and flashbacks after he came home from a nine-month tour in Afghanistan.
As part of a combined therapy for vets with PTSD, doctors often recommend dogs. Ovsishcher got himself a puppy.
Ovsischer and Mickey, his brown Shih Tzu, were doing well together. The dog helped the vet with anxiety issues.
“He helps me to calm down my anxiety. And sometimes when I’m stressed out, he helps me to overcome without using the strong medicine,” says Ovsishcher to Abclocal.com.
Recently, Ovsishcher was served with an eviction notice from the Trump Village board because of their no-pets policy.
He lives in a three-bedroom co-op with his wife and two children. His loyalty to Mickey, the new member of his family is so strong that he says he would rather leave than give him up.
“I can’t get rid of a family member,” he said. “If they asked me which I want to keep, the kids or the apartment, I would keep the kids. Same thing with the dog,” he said to the New York Times.
Ovsishcher applied to register Mickey as a comfort dog or service dog, but his application was rejected.
Maddy Tarnofsky, Ovsischer’s lawyer, filed a federal housing discrimination complaint.
The lawyer representing Trump Village said that the issue was with the medical letter that Ovsischer filed when he listed his dog as a comfort dog. It was from a general doctor and not a psychiatrist.
“Unless he can show otherwise, the building’s position is that it is not a comfort animal,” Mr. Rosenthal said.
Ovsishcher says he has a document from his psychiatrist and simply did not include it in his initial filing because he was under the impression that any doctor’s note would do.
The vet says he refuses to give up Mickey without a fight.