Ohio family with mini horse as service animal sues

BLUE ASH, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio city is violating federal
housing law and protections for people with disabilities by refusing to
let a girl keep a miniature horse as a service animal, her mother said
in a lawsuit.
Ingrid Anderson and the advocacy group Housing
Opportunities Made Equal, or HOME, filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the
city of Blue Ash.
A medical center recommended the horse for
Anderson’s daughter, who has physical ailments, The Cincinnati Enquirer
(http://cin.ci/1c1G1oi) reported. HOME executive director Elizabeth
Brown said the girl uses the horse — which is named Ellie and is the
size of a large dog — for support to walk in her yard and to pull
herself up after falls.
Brown said Blue Ash officials
characterized the horse as livestock and said it had to be removed. She
said the group tried to work with the city and that the lawsuit filed in
U.S. District Court in Cincinnati was a last resort.
"People have the right to have any service animal in their home if it is recommended by a medical
professional," Brown said.
The city’s legal representative defended its stance on the ordinance that prohibits farm animals.
"Blue Ash is enforcing its ordinance and looks forward to being vindicated in court," City
Solicitor Bryan Pacheco said.
lawsuit wants the city prevented from enforcing the ordinance against
Anderson’s family and all disabled people in similar situations. It also
seeks punitive and compensatory damages to be determined at a jury
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