Imagine being forced to choose between your home and your beloved dog. It’s a decision most pet owners wouldn’t be able to handle.
That was the case for one man—a disabled US Marine veteran—who was threatened with eviction from his apartment because of his dog.
But with some help, he was able to fight back against this unjust demand.
Three years ago, Willie Williams, a Vietnam veteran, moved into Freedom’s Path Chillicothe, an apartment complex for veterans at risk of homelessness. He’s disabled and uses a motorized scooter for transportation.
Luckily he has a very special companion who makes his life so much better: his service dog and best friend, Diamond.
Diamond is an emotional support dog, who helps Willie with his PDSD, depression and loneliness.
Willie credits the dog with keeping him going… but suddenly, all that was in jeopardy when he received a shocking anonymous note.
“It says ‘Willie, it’s time for you and your dog to go. You will no longer be tolerated. Move out,’” Willie told ABC 6 On Your Side.
The basis for the complaint was an incident where Willie visited a neighbor without the dog on a leash, and the dog went in the elevator. Willie says the property manager claimed neighbors were complaining.
The news devastated Willie, who maintains he didn’t do anything worthy of eviction. He was terrified of losing his friend.
“She all I have,” Willie said. “If it weren’t for her, I just would probably go into total isolation.”
However, things worked out in the end. After contacting ABC 6 with his story for help, strangers came out and offered assistance.
Two lawyers, Sam Marcellino and Steven Katz, offered to help strike a deal with the building on Willie’s behalf. They came to an agreement that Willie and Diamond could stay, though the dog has to wear a leash inside the building.
And a fellow Vietnam veteran stepped up to help, too: John McCormack, owner of Semper Fi K-9 Training, offered to help train Diamond for free.
UPDATE: A Marine steps up to help a Vietnam veteran who feared eviction because of his dog, Diamond. Tonight at 6, we show you the training Diamond and Willie are receiving free of charge! See for yourself how Diamond does with another dog in the room. pic.twitter.com/2QcfEF4DWh— Tara Morgan (@tarawsyx6) February 26, 2020
We’re so glad things worked out for this veteran, and now he can stay in his home and keep his beloved dog!
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