Disability comes with many challenges, and society must try to make the lives of people with a disability as "normal" as possible. It is every government’s responsibility to take the necessary measures to facilitate disabled people. This includes, but is not limited to, the provision of special parking spaces, ramps for wheelchairs, and giving equal opportunity for jobs to people with physical disabilities.
Sadly, the story of Tim Fulton’s is one that shows us how ignorant some can be towards the needs of people with disabilities. Tim is fighting the government for his service horse, Fred, who helps him on a daily basis to get through life.
Service Animals are more than Mere Companions
Service animals are those that help individuals with disabilities in carrying out everyday tasks. The most common assist animal is the dog, which has been used widely in the past century to help people with physical or mental disabilities. Other animals that are also used as service animals include cats, monkeys, birds, and horses. The kind of service animal used varies according to the individual needs of the disabled person. However, the laws regarding what kind of service animals are allowed to be kept by disabled people vary widely from place to place.
The Story of Tim Fulton
Tim Fulton has suffered from several illnesses including cancer, cataracts, and two detached retinas. This has left him with a certain movement disability where he unexpectedly falls down from time to time. For this purpose, Tim gets assistance from a miniature horse named Fred, who helps him when he goes for walks that the doctor has recommended him to take regularly.
According to Tim, Fred is very intuitive and immediately comes forward to help him when he senses that Tim is struggling to stay upright. Although Fred is not much bigger than a dog, he is very sturdy as all miniature horses are. Miniature horses are often used as companion animals and pets because of their gentle nature. They differ from regular horses in many ways other than the obvious height difference. They live longer than regular horses and also suffer from fewer physical illnesses.
Fined for Owning a Service Horse
Tim has been fined $100 by Benton City for using Fred as a support animal and has been told to relocate his horse. Tim, however, has decided to fight for his service horse. He maintains that the City fined him against the federal law which allows him the freedom to choose his own support animal whether it’s a dog, bird or miniature horse. While regional laws for such matters do vary, Tim still has the right to take his case to court.
Tim obviously has a special connection with Fred and feels that the miniature horse helps him improve his lifestyle and be healthier. He is going to fight for the right to keep his service horse, but ultimately the decision will fall to the government. People like Tim rely a lot on their service animals to get through life easily, and we sure hope that Benton City realizes that Tim’s bond with his horse should not be broken.
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