Complex Threatens To Evict Veteran Over Service Dog

(Memphis) A disabled vet is told to make a choice: his service dog or his home.

The injured soldier is doing what he knows how to do best – fight back.

The apartment complex, Houston Levee in Cordova, said the tenant’s service dog bit a child, and if he is not willing to get rid of the dog, they both have to go.

Robert Hamilton and his service dog Roam are inseparable.

He is an Army Iraq war veteran, a decorated and disabled combat service member.

However, that did not stop the complex from trying to break the two apart.

“The cowards left a note in my door, without even knocking, telling me I have 14 days to get rid of my dog, or this serves as my 30 day eviction notice,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton suffered multiple concussions while serving and uses his dog Roam to help control his anxiety.

After receiving a complaint that Roam bit and tore the jeans of a child in the complex, Hamilton was told he must get rid of the dog or leave.

Hamilton said the child continued to harass Roam, even after being warned not to.

“The kid didn’t say he had a rip in his pants. He didn’t say, ‘My pants are torn.’ He didn’t say, ‘I got bit. I’m bleeding.’ So, we went on about our business.”

Attorney Webb Brewer said he believes this could be a violation of the Fair Housing Act and the American Disabilities Act.

Hamilton said dogs are allowed at the complex, so he never told them Roam is a service dog.

No one ever asked either, and after learning about the so-called attack, the apartment complex acted Tuesday night.

However, after calls from WREG and people across the country, late today, attorneys for the complex said it plans on fixing the situation, so Hamilton and Roam can stay.

“I’m from the United States infantry… A grunt. I don’t scare,” Hamilton said. “I fear no man and no attorney.”

Hamilton said a lawyer with Glankler and Brown, the firm that represents Houston Levee, told him as long as he provides documentation proving Roam is a service dog, the matter will be resolved.

That response came after receiving phone calls from angry veterans across the country and after WREG posted the issue on Facebook.

21 comments

  • Skeptic

    I have met many service dogs and trainers of service dogs. I would think these dogs are trained in many situations to de-sensitize them from different things. A certified service dog would not bite.

  • David Carter

    People like him are always blaming others for their failures. Resident managers always leave notices under doors. He should be evicted. Next time keep better control of your worthless dog.

    • upaces88

      I am really hoping that you didn’t read the “meat of the article.”
      surely, you formed your opinion of not comprehending what was said.
      If NOT? Please…you are embarrassing yourself…sit back and think what you just said s. the reality of what happened..

    • Mike

      People like HIM?!? Enlighten me on “People like him”. I went to college with that guy. We are both war veterans. You must be assuming because he has tattoos all over him, that he is a failure to society. Your comment is foolish, and very noneducational. It is okay, though. While you slept at night, he and I protected you. But, I’m sure you won’t acknowledge that, because “People like us” are failures. Get a life. And, stop trying to “troll” on people who actually do things for our country.

    • Jim

      Can you explain what you mean by failures? Maybe David you should go tell Mr. Hamilton personally, face to face about his failures. Men like him are trained again and again not to fail. So get out from behind your computer little boy and go tell that Veteran how he failed and let us all know how it turns out for you. We would love to hear all about it.

  • Craig Wilson

    @david Next time keep control of your worthless mouth. The man choose to support out country now we need to support him. That’s gonna start with you shutting the hell up.

  • Debbie

    I have dealt with this man for three years. His dogs chase my kids back to our apartment whenever they are out. The black dog is always on a leash so I bet that it is the little dog that bit someone cause he is the one that chases my boys. I just complained to management two weeks ago.

    • Mike

      Tell your boys to quit teasing the dog. You don’t think that may be a reason for a dog to bark back? It is protecting his master. Dogs like that are trained. I should know. I am a veteran, myself.

    • Jim

      Why have you never approached Mr. Hamilton yourself Debbie? Are Disabled Veterans lepers to you? Are you anti-social or does the mere presence of a man with no fear scare you? Has he ever been mean to your kids? Have you ever asked him to leash the small dog? That little dog that weighs all of 10lbs. Sounds more like you’re nothing more than a coward and a snitch. If you can’t grow a pair and go to the man himself and educate yourself as to maybe why that precious looking weeny dog is not on a leash? And please explain in further detail how “I have dealt with this man for three years.”

      Because I know this man personally. I have known him since 2010 when we met in our first college course together. I live down the road from him. We talk daily, I am over there at least twice a week. So tell us exactly how you have had to deal with him. I guarantee he has dealt with more in 10 minutes of his life than you have dealt with in ‘3 years’.
      The little dog you speak of, Mr. Magoo was rescued by Mr. Hamilton in Colorado a few years back. He was neglected, abused, and left for dead. He barks and runs around but the first person or animal to walk towards Magoo or if he runs up to a dog or a kid it’s because he wants to play and more often than not when he gets too close to others he tucks his tail between his legs because he is actually scared.

      So why don’t you go deal with Mr. Hamilton tomorrow and I will call him and tell him you are coming by.

  • Don

    I hope the they kick Robert Hamilton and his service dog Roam out.
    I would think Mr. Hamilton would enjoy owning a apartment complex.
    This needs to be on Facebook so Mr. Hamilton and Roam will be the only residents.

  • Alison

    If the dog bit the kid, the apartment complex is well within their rights to have him remove the dog from the property – service dog or not.

    A properly trained service dog should not bite, growl, bark at, or otherwise be a nussaince to any member of the complex.

    A service dog who is exhibiting these behaviors can be asked to leave.

    He isn’t going to get very far in an attempt to sue if the dog is acting aggressively. The complex would legally be in the right on this one.

    • Tyler

      Clearly you didn’t read the article. The boy was warned to stop taunting the animal but he continued. Warning issued, and ignored, responsibility is on the one who ignored the warning. It’s just like getting hot coffee from mcdonalds and spilling it on your lap on purpose with all their warnings on the cup. It’s not mcdonalds fault now because you were warned. The dog is doing what comes natural. If the owner had time to warn him then clearly the dog didn’t just lash out and attack the boy for no reason. Use your brain and read the information…

  • Joan

    Doesn’t sound like he has a legal leg to stand on. BUT he served his country; I assume that came with considerable sacrifice. So I’ll be damned if anyone who hasn’t served is fit to judge him or his admittedly disruptive behavior. We don’t get to use them for canon fodder & then throw them to the wolves when they return home in worse shape than before they VOLUNTARILY FOUGHT FOR US. Instead of simply tossing him out like trash, a state or local agency should step in, put him in housing, & then see to it that his beloved companion Roam is trained and certified as a service dog. So glad I never served. Americans give lip service to patriotism UNTIL it’s time to lay these kids the proper respect while they’re still alive to revel in it. Damned disgrace any vet has to go thru BS about stuff like this.

  • sue

    I had a guy work for me that had a service dog. Saying that a true service dog does not bark is wrong. Stryker would bark at any stranger that came too close to his master’s wheelchair. I would see him bare his teeth at people. But you know what? I was not once ever concerned, because if someone was dumb enough to continue to advance towards the dog or his owner, that was on them-they were warned by the dogs barking.

  • Alison

    Sue, and the company would have had the legal right to remove the dog for barking anytime someone approached. Go read the laws.

    • AreYouSerious?

      I am sorry to inform you Alison, but you are actually so wrong it is stupid. In a pet friendly community barking dogs or any animals that naturally do whatever they do is not grounds for eviction unless it is after a certain time at night. You’re just embarrassing yourself. Dogs bark, service dogs bark and can bark in different manners that mean different things to the person who owns a service dog. All I hear is people stating opinions instead of educated research on what the Federal ADA says or the Urban Housing and Decelopment Service Animal and Fair Housing Act. Educate yourself so you do not come across as lazy an not well educated on the subject you are referring to:

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