City Officials May Evict Miniature Horse
Posted by Cordite Eposognatus on Tue 22 Apr 2003 - 14:38
A Cleveland woman has found herself battling local zoning ordinances after taking in a miniature horse as a service animal. Ann Willis suffers from osteoarthritis, and hopes that the miniature - Charity, by name - will help improve her mobility. The city disputes the horse's status as a "service animal" which would make her exempt from zoning laws. Such laws prohibit the stabling of an animal within 100 feet of a residence, which they claim Willis has violated by keeping the horse in a backyard shed. Willis has since moved Charity into her house and filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
I have heard of using miniature horses as service animals before. They are very intelligent and easily trainable like dogs. I'm not surprised the city is giving this woman a hard time about having the horse though. A friend of mine has a non-standard service dog [American Eskimo] and she gets hassled everywhere she goes, even though the dog is clearly marked as a service dog and she carries all the papers indicating it as such. Just because it isn't a labrador doesn't mean it isn't doing a very important job!
Indeed! And just TRY having a epilepsy dog (trained to detect seizures and protect the owner if one happens).
What communities have to remember is that no person has to PROVE their animal is a service animal. The burden of proof is for the people who doubt it to prove otherwise.
Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake
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