Iraq veteran claims eviction is due to service dog in Illinois

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A suburban Iraq War veteran says he is being evicted from his Oak Forest home because of a dispute over his service dog. (WLS)

A suburban Iraq War veteran says he is being evicted from his Oak Forest home because of a dispute over his service dog.

Jon Jans says his landlord is unfairly kicking both him and his service dog out when his lease is up. But the conflict may be about more than just man's best friend.

Jans never owned a dog until Alli. Now he relies on the pug-beagle mix to keep him calm while dealing with the lasting effects of injuries sustained when an explosive device detonated near his Humvee during his tour of duty in Iraq.

"I look and talk fine but it's my brain, that you can't see, that was injured," Jans says.

Jans was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has seizures and blackouts.

"For a couple years, I never left the house," he says.

Then his wife Jillian found Alli, who at the time was a 1-year old rescue dog, And brought her home. Jans got her trained and certified as a service dog.

"She also helps him in crowds with PTSD," Jillian says. "If it wasn't for her, he wouldn't go outside nearly as much as he does."

The couple already owned Alli when they moved into Manchester Court Apartments in Oak Forest four years ago. They say everything was fine until management changed in January, bringing in what they say is disapproval of their dog.

Then on July 6 they were notified that their lease would not be renewed at the end of August.

"They didn't give us a reason and the only thing we could think of was the dog," Jans says. "And when we brought that to their attention, they didn't say otherwise."

Apartment management released a statement, saying, "The reason the Jans family is not being offered another lease term is for housekeeping and sanitary conditions that impact their apartment, building and community ... The Jans nonrenewal is not related to veteran status or owning a service dog. There is another veteran with a service dog at the property. This veteran keeps a clean apartment and removes dog refuse."

Jon and Jillian say they were already in the process of searching for a home to buy when this happened. Now, they have to speed up the process. They're also looking into taking legal action against the apartment complex.
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veterandogsevictionu.s. & worldOak Forest
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