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Therapy Dog Controversy

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Thousands of people in America use therapy dogs to help them with their day-to-day lives, but one man in Grand Junction, gave his therapy dog up after a dispute with his housing complex.  Now he says his life has become harder, as he battles with depression on top of his disabilities.

Edward Siania says the incident started after a payment dispute related to a separate issue with his housing complex.  However, Great Homes Property Management says those issues are not related, and MS Homeowners Association says the dog was listed as a dangerous breed and their rules were not being followed.

Siania says his dog Zander, a 3 year old American pit bull who was not registered as a service dog, but used as an emotional support and or therapy animal.

"He would actually know when my PTSD and my anxiety would kick in because he would hold me down so I don't walk around and panic," said Siania.

Siania is also legally blind, no longer has Zander because of a dispute with Great Homes Property Management and MS Home Owners Association.

"When I first moved into this place nobody said nothing about a dangerous breed," said Siania.

Siania claims only after a disagreement with Great Homes and the H.O.A. about some damage and cleaning charges in his previous place, he was hit with a $150.00 fine because the pit bull was considered a dangerous breed.

"That dog doesn't have a mean bone in his body, he plays with kids, he played with my friends cats," said Siania.

So with fears of being fined again or even possibly evicted over the situation, Siania had to find Zander a new home.

"I was hurt by it, and now I'm suffering because I can hardly sleep, I can hardly eat, this dog is like everything," said Siania.

According to Siania, that $150.00 fine came after providing a doctors note to Great Homes when moving into his new place just a few months ago.  The note shows he would benefit with the help of a therapy dog due to his disabilities.

In a statement sent to News Channel 5/Fox 4, Great Homes disagrees with this claim saying that Siania "has not once came to Great Homes about the dog in question."

"Great Homes knew I needed a therapy dog, I gave them paperwork and all of a sudden they don't have that," said Siania.

In a statement from M-S Homeowners Association they claim Siania came to the president of the H.O.A.'s home "wanting to know what conditions needed to be met because he knew dangerous breed animals were restricted."

Siania was also given documentation that required conditions to be met, which included documentation supporting his claim that the dog wasn't vicious.  The building of a fence was also required "in order to prevent the dog from getting loose and possibly being hit by a car."

"I am legally blind and can only use one arm, how am I going to put up a fence?," asked Siania.

As of now the H.O.A. claims they have not received any of that required documentation and in their statement, Great Homes says that the H.O.A. "told Eddie he would have to follow certain rules in order to keep a pit bull which Eddie failed to do."

"I don't think its fair, that I have to go through all this, dishing out more money to make sure I have my dog," said Siania.

So now, empty dog dishes and a box of untouched toys serve as a reminder, that this man will have to try to adjust without man's best friend.

"I really need this dog, I can't fit into society without my dog," said Siania.

News Channel 5 did request an on camera interview with Great Homes and the H.O.A. but they decided to issue a written statement instead.

Siania says he is currently looking for a new place to live and again, the dog was relocated to a friends house, however, that friend ended up giving the dog away after having to move and couldn't take the dog with them.


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