Woman Calls Cat Lifeline


Article and Video Courtesy of 

NBC Channel 6 -- South Florida

No pets are allowed at the Oriole Golf and Tennis Club in Margate.

However, one tenant said she has a service animal -- Max the cat

Ethel Turk said she suffers from diabetes, depression and blindness. She said she takes enough medicines to give you a headache.


The one bright spot in her life, she said, is Max. They

 Watch VIDEO

have been together 15 years and lived at the condo for four years with no problems. "But the thought of losing Max, I mean, has left me very depressed," Turk said. "And the thing is, if I lose him, I'll lose my life."


Turk said Max is a trained service animal who can sense her seizures or other emergencies and push a red button that calls 911 emergency.

She said Max has pushed the button many times before, saving her life. However, she could not have Max demonstrate the button push on camera.

The cat wears an official service animal tag. However, in reality, Turk had it made.


Turk has a letter from a lawyer that says the condo company must comply with her keeping the cat by penalty of lawsuit. She has notes from three doctors saying she also needs the cat for emotional support.

Fair-housing laws under the Disability Act say that with a doctor's note and a letter to management, someone with an emotional disability like depression can keep a pet.

"And he loves me," Turk said. "That's one thing about a cat: It's unconditional love."

The condo association declined to comment on camera.

Off-camera, it expressed a serious degree of doubt about whether Max is really a service animal. They agreed to talk about the case and make a decision later on.