Miniature Horses Designated as Service Animals in Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Tuesday designating Miniature Horses as recognized service animals.
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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Tuesday (Aug. 14) designating Miniature Horses as recognized service animals. The bill allows these equids to accompany disabled students to school and other public venues currently open to service dogs.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the new law takes effect immediately.

As originally introduced, HB3826 amends the Illinois Guide Dog Act to include unspecified animals other than dogs. An amendment added by Illinois State Sen. David Koehler specifically designates Miniature Horses as recognized service animals in Illinois. On May 15 the Illinois Senate passed HB3826 in its amended version.

According to information contained on the Guide Horse Foundation’s website, miniature equines are suited to roles as service animals due to their longer lifespan, good manners, stamina, and excellent vision. Advocates claim the so-called guide horses also benefit some visually impaired or blind owners who are allergic to dogs

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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