by King5.comas published on
“It is pretty clear cut. There shouldn’t be a problem, because any city should be modifying it’s rules if they affect people with a disability,”
Tim Fulton uses what he describes as a miniature horse named Fred to complete the daily walks he says his doctor ordered to strengthen his lungs and prolong his life.
“I fall down from time to time,” Fulton said. “It’s really a pain.”
Fred is slightly taller than a large dog, but Fulton says, he is exponentially stronger, which gives Fulton the added stability he needs.
Fulton said he has had multiple surgeries, a cancer scare, cataracts, two detached retinas, and a PTSD diagnosis, leaving him barely able to see or stand for long periods of time.
“He would feel me start to waiver and he would pull in front of me and stop, and I would lean against him,” Fulton said. “Fred does a lot of stuff for me, helps me out.”
Because Benton City doesn’t allow horses in residential zones, it issued Fulton a $100 violation and demanded he relocate the animal.
“They violated my human rights, they violated my civil rights, and they violated the 13th amendment,” Fulton said.
“That is discrimination, and the city is violating the federal law designed to protect someone with a disability,” said David Carlson, director of legal advocacy at Disability Rights Washington. “There are good reasons why someone might use a small horse as a service animal and if someone does that you can’t say well you can’t live in our town.” – (CONTINUED)