Man who fought to keep emotional support dog kills himself [2-13-15]

Man who fought to keep emotional support dog kills himself
Story by Chuck Weber/CBS12

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.”