The Illinois Attorney General filed a lawsuit against a Lakeview condo association Tuesday after the condominium board denied a 67-year-old man’s request to keep his poodles for therapeutic purposes.
Tenant Nio Tavalos, a painter, lives at the Lake Shore Drive high-rise half of the year, along with his two miniature poodles, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The suit says Tavalos was diagnosed with chronic depression in 2001.
He moved into the condo in 2006, but the association said its laws do not allow him to keep pets on their premises.
After about a year of residency, Tavalos noticed that other tenants had animals for service reasons, the Sun-Times reports. Tavalos approached the condo association board twice about his situation, even providing the board with multiple doctors’ notes advising he have the dogs around, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims the refusal of allowing a tenant to keep an animal for medical or service reasons violates anti-discrimination laws in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It states that an individual with a mental impairment or history with a mental impairment may be protected by the ADA.
One of the poodles died in 2009. Tavalos claims he suffered without the dogs, saying he used to make around 50 paintings a year, but in 2008, had only made 10, according to the Chicago Tribune.