Service Animals
2:54 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Illinois may allow mini horses as service animals

Miniature horses trained as service animals may soon accompany Illinoisans with disabilities to school or the grocery store.

A new measure approved by the Illinois Senate Tuesday adds miniature horses as approved service animals.

Current law requires businesses and other public places to allow reasonable access and service to disabled people with trained guide dogs. Now small equestrian guides also would publicly assist their owners with vision, hearing, seizure alert, psychiatric, autism or other disabilities.

But businesses may take into account the size and weight of the horse, whether the animal is controlled, housebroken or compromises safety requirements.

The state Senate approved the measure by 40-11. The measure moves to the House.

Miniature horses already are allowed as service animals by federal rules.