Nova Scotia

Veteran, with service dog for PTSD, faces possible eviction

A military veteran, who has a service dog to help deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder, is facing a possible eviction because of his dog.

'They're discriminating against me,' says veteran David Peavey

David Peavey, an 18-year military veteran with PTSD, faces eviction for having a service dog in his apartment building. (CBC)

A military veteran, who has a service dog to help deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder, is facing a possible eviction because of his dog.

David Peavey was medically released from the military nine years ago after being diagnosed with PTSD. He served for 18 years.

His service dog Norm, which he just got this week, helps him to complete daily tasks and live a more normal life after Peavey's time spent serving in Somalia among other places.

“It broke me big time. I tried committing suicide three times, that's why I reached out to get help,” said Peavey.

He said he often has nightmares, waking up in a pool of sweat. The first day he got Norm, the dog grabbed a toy, and jumped up on to the bed with him, waking him up from a nightmare.

But the building Peavey lives in has a strict no-dog policy. His landlord recently gave him a 15-day eviction notice, but that's been put on hold while the Human Rights Commission makes recommendations. 

In a letter to Peavey, the landlord stated they are granting temporary accommodations for Norm if Peavey follows strict rules that include Norm not being allowed in common areas, hallways, outdoor premises, or in the elevator in the presence of other tenants. The dog is also restricted from defecating on the premises. 

The letter states that failure to comply with the rules may result in termination of the lease.

Mark Bailey, Peavey’s lawyer, said his landlord needs to accommodate Peavey’s treatment needs under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, calling the eviction a form of discrimination on the basis of disability.

He said the no-dogs policy only applies to people who have dogs as pets, and Norm is more than a pet.

“He's disabled. His landlord needs to accommodate whatever means he’s required to address those underlying disabilities,” said Bailey.

As well as facing eviction, Peavey is facing criminal charges connected to a past run-in at the building.

The case is currently before the mental health court.

Bailey said the criminal charge is related to Peavey’s post-traumatic stress disorder and an alleged incident that occurred last summer.

“You can't turn around, almost a year later, and attempt to evict him for something that happened almost a year ago. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Bailey.

Peavey said the rules placed on Norm are making it difficult for him to live a normal life.

“I think they're discriminating against me, treating me like a second-class citizen,” said Peavey.

“It makes me feel awful, because anytime I do anything, I feel like I’m being watched.”

Peavey says he's trying to make it work. He said he always asks neighbours before bringing Norm into the elevator and never takes Norm to the apartment's pool. 


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