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Woman With Celiac Wants To Keep Service Pet Indoors

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Woman Wants to Keep Service Pet Indoors

Landlord Denied Patty Cooper's Request to Have Minihorse in Her Apartment

Nov. 14, 2007

Celiac diagnosis from positive blood work & endoscope (2005)

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 Subtype 2,8 (double Celiac genes)

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I caught just the end of this this morning on GMA. I heard the words "Celiac Disease" and that's when I started paying attention. She said she could have chosen a dog, but she liked that the horse could eat a diet of gluten-free oats.

Of course, it's her choice, but there are gluten-free pet foods available for dogs--and cats, too. My cat is gluten-free.


"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Patti, that's exactly what I thought to myself when I read this article! She chose a horse because she could feed it oats? Ridiculous, there's several brands of gluten-free dog food. Not to mention those oats are probably CC'd. I seriously doubt she's feeding him a few pounds of Bob's Red Mill per day.

I'm sorry, I feel for this woman, I really do. She's in a tough spot now. But she REALLY should have thought things through a bit more before she decided to buy a horse to keep in her apartment. How did she ever think that was going to be ok with neighbors or the landlord?

I do feel bad for her, but I feel like she brought this mess on herself. :(

I also have to wonder how she deals with several gallons of horse urine per day from her wheel chair.


--Son, Lucas, age 7. Gluten-free since May 2007

--Son, Ezra, age 5. Gluten-free 10/13/07. Bipolar tendencies, massively improved on gluten-free diet! He's also allergic to a jillion antibiotics.

--My mother has Celiac Disease, dx'ed by Positive Blood Tests and Biopsy. Diagnosed Sarcoidosis 6/08.

--Myself, Gluten-free since 8/07

Time heals all hurt of heart... but time must be won.

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Yeah, and several pounds of poop.

I think it's very unsanitary to keep a horse inside. Not to mention they are grazing animals and need to nibble on grass and hay. I think it's sad for the horse.

I do feel bad for this poor woman, but I think she needs another source of help.


Dx'd with Celiac Disease 8/01/07

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The horse was an extreme choice and unnecessary as a service dog would do just as well.

I am not questionning the horse's intelligence and many people will know more than I do about this, but wouldn' t the cannine have more intelligence for a job such as this? (Over the minihorse?) And wouldn't be it true that a dog is trained to go to bathroom regularly but a horse, even a mini horse just goes when it goes? I've seen horses just poo where they are standing or while they are walking. This could make permanent damage to the apt for the landlord. It doesn't sound like a reasonable ADA accomodation. She would need a housekeeper just to clean up after this horse (apparently she's not capable, by her own admission of disability, of even doing that herself). And then you have to think of the other tenants who could be allergic to the horse or not like the smell coming from her apt.

I'd have to rule on the side of the property owner on this one. Horse makes too much urine and manure - he needs a pen or stable outside.

Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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You would go broke trying to keep up with gluten-free oats for this horse. Way wierd.

On another note, we keep chickens, and I do know of people that keep their chickens in the house. They wear diapers that have to be changed every 6 hours or so. :o I can't imagine trying to keep up with THAT, let alone pounds of horse poop a day...


Dx 8/05 via bloodwork and biopsy (total villous atrophy)

13-year old son Dx 11/05 via bloodwork and biopsy

Daughters (16 and 5) have tested negative via bloodwork

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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I read another article on this when the lawsuit was just beginning. She choose the horse because it would outlive her. A dog wouldn't last her entire life so she'd have to go through the hassle of getting another dog in 10-15 years. What I'm confused about it whether the horse is a trained service animal (the comments about he can be house trained make me think he isn't). There's obviously a service dog association that oversees dog training and what behaviors the dog must exhibit to qualify as a service animal - is there something similar for horses? If there's a horse service animal organization that has addressed all the issues we've brought up, then I guess it's a legitimate service animal. But I can't imagine that horses would get approved to be service animals just because of all these issues. There's nothing you can do about the amount of waste a horse produces - that fact alone would disqualify them from being an approved service animal.

Gluten-Free since September 15, 2005.

Peanut-Free since July 2006.

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For starters it's a mini horse which means it's not even pony size. Mini's are pretty small, but have a sturdier bone structure than a dog their same height and weight would have. They're not producing tons of poop or urine every day. Small horse, small poop, less urine. The poop from a 125 mini is not going to be any larger than that from a 125 dog. Likewise when it comes to feeding them. A mini can actually do just fine on hay alone, but in her case it's probably easier to feed grain than keep a bale of hay around. Grain takes up less space and gives more energy per ounce than hay.

I have a friend who trains service dogs. What dog she chooses for which client has a lot to do with what the client needs the dog to do. A 25 lb poodle isn't able to help someone get back in their wheelchair or steady them if they're unstead on their feet. For really physically tasks like that you need a dog that's pretty large. It's not uncommon for shepherds and labs to reach 125 lbs.

So in terms of size the dog isn't that different from the mini. Yes, horses can be taught when and where to go. I don't know that they're as intelligent as a dog, but the fact that a mini is so sturdy is a big plus.

Did she make a poor choice in choosing a min over a shepherd or great dane? Yeah, probably. Minis aren't recognized as service animals and there's a natural reluctance to have a horse around as opposed to a dog.


"My mother always told me, it's okay to play with a man's mind

as long as you put it back where you got it when you're done with it."

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