Is that one of those emotional support service horses?
None of these allowed, what say my service camel?
While keeping livestock in backyards is generally not allowed in the city of Pacific Grove, Lucy, owned by Rona Halpern and Harvey Brodsky of 900 Weldon Grove Place, is classified as a “service animal” assisting a disabled person.
City Attorney David Laredo told the City Council on Wednesday that Lucy is protected as a city resident by state and federal law.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said, the law does not limit “service animals” to dogs only, such as guide dogs. Any animal that helps a disabled person with something is a service animal.
None of these, what say my service camel?
Last week the New York Times reported a national trend of disabled people replacing service dogs with more exotic animals — such as monkeys, parrots and small horses.
And you don’t have to go far to find an example. One resident of Pacific Grove uses a miniature horse for stability as she moves around her home. The horse is often seen being walked around a neighborhood not far from the beach.
According to the Guide Horse Foundation, miniature horses make good service animals because “they demonstrate excellent judgment and are not easily distracted by crowds and people.”
But there is a growing debate over whether unconventional service animals such as monkeys and pigs should be allowed to cozy up to people in restaurants, stores, churches and other public places.
“Where will it end?” asked Pacific Grove Mayor Dan Cort. “Because camels could be good service animals, too.”
As the city of Pacific Grove figures out how to end its PERS contract, recruit a new city manager and squeeze water from concrete, freshly minted Councilwoman Carmelita Garcia is starting her term with a whinny. On the heels of her Dec. 3 swearing-in, she asked City Attorney David Laredo to expand residents’ rights to keep chickens, ponies and monkeys.