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IL senate approves seeing eye horses

Wed, 16 May 2012 05:49:04 CDT

Miniature horses trained as service animals may soon accompany Illinoisans with disabilities to school or the grocery store. A measure approved by the Illinois Senate Tuesday adds miniature horses to the list of approved service animals. Businesses would be able to take a horse's size and weight into account, as well as if it's controlled and housebroken. The measure's sponsor says it's important to the disabled community. But Republican Senator Kyle McCarter of Lebanon voted against the measure. He says there are plenty of far-less distracting alternatives that can assist with vision and hearing:


"It would be hard for me to learn in a classroom with a miniature horse. I've thought back of all the things I might just do in the classroom with a miniature horse there and I probably wouldn't be learning that much."

Miniature horses are already allowed as service animals by federal rules. The measure ... which now moves to the House .. would bring Illinois into compliance.   Current state law requires businesses and other public places to allow reasonable access and service to disabled people with trained guide dogs.

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