Illinois May Approve Mini Seeing-Eye Horses As Service Animals
By Animal Planet
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.
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.
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.
Photo source: Guide Horse Foundation