Illinois May Approve Mini Seeing-Eye Horses As Service Animals

05/16/2012

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My Little Pony

The state Senate voted Tuesday to add miniature horses to the list of service animals, like seeing-eye dogs, that can accompany people with disabilities. The vote sends the measure to the Illinois House.

[Related: Watch Britches the miniature pony play soccer with a yoga ball- [VIDEO] this site]

Already considered service animals by federal regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Miniature horses generally range from 24 inches to 34 inches tall and weigh 70 to 100 pounds. While the mini steeds woudn't be granted an all-access pass to all public places, as Illinois businesses and schools could take into account the size and weight of the horse and whether the animal is housebroken.

[Related: Cuteness Overload - Meet Einstein, the world's tiniest, itty, bitty pony!! this site]

The Guide Horse Foundation says that guide horses have several characteristics that make them a great alternative when service dogs are not suitable, as guide horses can be useful for people with severe allergies or phobias to dogs, or people who want an animal likely to live longer than a dog.  Miniature horses usually have a docile nature but can be strong enough to provide support while their handler gets up from a chair. As well, the foundation says the mini-steeds have shown excellent judgment and are not easily distracted by crowds.

Learn more at the Guide Horse Foundation.

Photo source: Guide Horse Foundation

 

-Janet McCulley


Follow fascinating, funny, tragic or otherwise compelling and timely stories about animals, as chosen by our editors and writers, including Daily Treat blogger, Janet McCulley.
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