Condo Association at Florida Nudist Colony Tells Blind Woman That Her Service Dog is Too Large

Sharon Fowler hugs her service dog, Laura, at her home in Paradise Lakes, Florida.
Photo via

Here’s a story I never expected to write. We’ve posted about folks with service dogs being kicked out of restaurants, stores, and other business, but. . .a condo association at a nudist colony?

Sharon Fowler, who is legally blind as the result of an autoimmune disease, lives the clothing-optional Paradise Lakes Resort in Lutz, Florida, where Fowler’s condo association has a rule that dogs over 25 pounds are forbidden. Fowler’s certified service dog, Laura, is well over that weight limit. According to Fowler, when she filled out an application to move into the condo, she disclosed Laura’s weight and was accepted anyway. It was only after she had moved in that the condo association took issue with the dog:

[T]he association sent her landlord a letter saying they needed to address the issue of the dog “immediately.” When Fowler provided documentation of her disability, the association did not withdraw the notice of the violations, according to the lawsuit.

“I felt demeaned, and I felt degraded,” Fowler said. “I’ve never felt so degraded.”

The case is currently in the court system, but Fowler maintains that she has been subjected to harassment because of Laura and that the board of directors is trying to intimidate her.

Sounds to me like someone should be stripped of their authority (rimshot!). But, seriously, this is ridiculous. If you’re legally blind, you get any certified service dog you want, wherever you want—as long is at doesn’t create a disturbance.

Click here for the full story.

NOTE: A previous version of this story misidentified the governing body involved as the Paradise Lakes Resort Association. In fact, it was Ms. Fowler’s condominium association—not the resort itself—that had a problem with her dog. We regret the error.

One thought on “Condo Association at Florida Nudist Colony Tells Blind Woman That Her Service Dog is Too Large”

  1. 2-26-14

    In news articles today Paradise Lakes Resort in Land O Lakes, Florida has been falsely accused of preventing a woman from using a guide dog for her disability at our facility.

    These accusations are completely without merit and are completely false!

    Paradise Lakes Resort does not discriminate against any person with physical disabilities and does not prevent any person with service animals from visiting the resort.

    Proper fact checking, if performed, would reveal that the accusations were directed at a Homeowners Condominium Association not connected with the resort.

    We feel this article is very misleading and expect a full retraction of these charges.

    Jerry Buchanan
    Owner – Paradise Lakes Resort – Land O Lakes, FL

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