Man who fought to keep emotional support dog kills himself
CBS 12
Story by Chuck Weber

BOCA RATON (CBS12) - A man's battle to keep his emotional support dog ended in tragedy on Thursday.  Tired of fighting, his family said, the man took his own life, hours before he was supposed to be in court.

Sergey Peklun had a hearing at the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach.  The judge ended up granting a delay in the proceedings, upon hearing of Peklun's death.

"Rather than be here again today, to be put under further questioning, he committed suicide this morning," Peklun's attorney Peter Wallis explained following the hearing.

"Where's the justice?" asked Peklun's son, Alex, as he battled tears.
The case revolves around Peklun's dog Julia.  Peklun lived with his wife Viktoria at Tierra del Mar in Boca Raton, a no pets condo.

But Peklun had a host of medical conditions, his family believes, due to his response to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, back in Peklun's native Russia.

Attorney Wallis said at one point, the condo board approved the emotional support dog.  But a later board required reapplication for the dog, and in the meantime, another condo owner, Frank Speciale, sued, maintaining the dog was not properly approved.

County Court Judge Edward Garrison agreed nearly a year ago, granting a temporary injunction requiring the dog's removal from the condo.

However, when Peklun got sick this past fall, he brought Julia back to his home, prompting the most recent round of litigation and hearings.

Speciale and his attorneys declined comment after Thursday's hearing, as did a former condo board member and her lawyer.

"He was the best," said Peklun's wife Viktoria, sobbing.  The couple had been married 37 years.

Mrs. Peklun said she has no money to bury her husband.
"He was the most kind and fair," said Peklun's daughter Lena, also through tears.  "And they drove him to this point."

Disabled person lost his life he couldn't handle the discrimination and harassment no more
YouTube   (The CBS TV video)
Published on 13 Feb 2015

My late father Sergey Peklun immigrated from the Ukraine to America in 1996 to provide my family and I a better life, in a country that stands for liberty and justice for all.

At the age of 30, Sergei was dispatched to helped clean up the Chernobyl disaster that was a catastrophic nuclear accident in the Ukraine. Having been exposed to high levels of radiation it was detrimental to his health. Being in and out of the hospital was a constant thing for Sergei. That never stopped him as he was a hard working family man.

After working for over 16 years as a security guard he had a near life and death experience rushing him to a hospital for intensive care. Quitting or retiring work was not an option for him as he needed to help support his family, but his health got in the way putting him on disability in 2011.

He had multiple health condition's that limited his ability to have a normal life. He was on over 16 multiple mediations that helped his heart, kidney's, blood pressure, had an on going battle with sleep apnea, among other serious conditions. With my dear mother Victoria and I working at the Festival Flea market in Delray Beach, Florida, selling watches and changing watch batteries to help support the family, Sergei was getting depressed being alone in the house without the ability to leave.

There were good days and there were bad days. Being bed ridden most of the time and his health declining, he was suggested by a doctor to have an emotional support animal to help with depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and that's when he met Julia the 9 pound hypoallergenic Morkie (Maltese and half Yorkshire terrier) in 2011. Ever since they were inseparable.

He would take that dog everywhere with him. Living in a no-pet policy condominium he was originally granted board approval with his ESA dog, but after 16 months the new board president filed a lawsuit, stating that the dog was never approved, so he had filed HUD, a housing discrimination complaint and he had won.

But a later board required reapplication for the dog year after year making it difficult, and in the meantime, another condo owner, Frank Speciale, sued, maintaining the dog was not properly approved. With four former board members affidavits saying that it was approved.

Having to go thru this was tough on him physically and emotionally. He was constantly belittled and harassed by the neighbor when walking to get his mail or even from coming back into the building from a walk with his dog.

May we remember what Sergei Peklun stood for and the love he had for Julia his emotional support dog.

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