As promised, the dog & mini horse bill

A dog, a horse, and a parrot walk into a bar. Which one gets thrown out?

Only the parrot, under HB 1728, which the legislature approved and the governor signed.

Apparently this little-known public policy issue arose after customers in various food establishments insisted their ferrets, parrots, monkeys, full-size horses, snakes and lizards (lizards? seriously?) were service animals.

The bill requires food  establishments to

“…make reasonable modifications to permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability, as long as the horse has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.”

Perhaps you were surprised, as I was, to learn that miniature horses can be service animals.  Apparently, trained equines, such as “Earl” pictured here, are very useful for their abilities to pull and to guide. Now you know.


About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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