Disabled Bite Back Over Animal Guides

Some suspect animal owners of abusing of special privileges
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2009 2:09 PM CST

(Newser) – Miniature horses trek through supermarkets and monkeys queue up at restaurant buffets these days—all to guide the blind, the disabled, and the anxiety-ridden, Rebecca Skloot writes in the New York Times Magazine. But the increasing prevalence of wild and farm service animals among the civilized is reigniting the debate over accommodations for those with special needs.

Some, including business owners and city officials, suspect people are abusing federal laws to get privileges for their pets, and animal owners have responded with lawsuits and complaints over discrimination. “Many people try to make this issue black and white—this service animal is good, that one is bad,” said one expert. “But that’s not possible.”