(photo Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)
So let me establish, right off the bat, that I am an animal lover! Had dogs and cats growing up. Raised hamsters as a kid and I use to bring stray kittens home…drove my Mom nuts. Have had several family dogs over the years including two amazing Goldens. So I get the comfort an animal can bring to a person or even a family, but at some point ya gotta draw the line. Article in today’s Tribune by Jessica Villagomez states the following:
“A Chicago man fighting for his “emotional support” guinea hog to be allowed in the city’s parks can continue with part of his lawsuit against the Park District, a federal judge ruled last week. In a lawsuit filed against the city and the Park District last year, Kenneth Mayle, 37, alleged that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, his pig Chief Wiggum should be allowed to accompany him in public spaces because he’s an “emotional support” animal. Over the last two years, Mayle alleged in his lawsuit that he and Chief Wiggum have been kicked out of several Chicago parks and beaches, including dog-friendly areas. Mayle has also encountered problems entering restaurants, local businesses and ride-shares, he alleged. Mayle requested in his lawsuit the pig get equal rights given to service animal dogs and miniature horses. The city and Park District requested the case be dismissed. However, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber, in a response filed July 2, wrote Mayle could continue with the part of his claim against the city and Park District in which he says that the city violated its responsibility to “provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities.” The city and the Park District declined to respond to inquiries about the lawsuit, saying they could not comment on pending litigation. “It shouldn’t take a war in heaven to allow an emotional support pig into a public space,” Mayle said in an interview with the Tribune. “I think it’s positive. I wish the judge would have struck the Department of Justice’s regulation on only allowing dogs and miniature horses.” According to the Department of Justice, only a dog or miniature horse can be a service animal, but an emotional support animal can be anything, Mayle said. According to the American with Disabilities Act, a service animal is an animal trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Mayle, who said in the lawsuit that he is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, said Chief Wiggum serves as an emotional support animal because he responds to attacks. Mayle also said the hog gives him massage therapy to help him with his anxiety and depression, according to his lawsuit. In addition to responding to attacks, Chief Wiggum also provides companionship and encourages Mayle to do physical exercise, according to the lawsuit. Mayle, who said he is a Satanist, also said he uses the pig during his religious practices. Mayle previously filed and lost a lawsuit to remove the term “In God We Trust” from U.S. money.”
So we’ve got a “comfort alligator” in Humboldt lagoon that somebody just couldn’t get comfortable with any longer, this guy wants his “emotional support pig” at the table next to me in a restaurant and next some guy will want his “brotha boa constrictor” to be able to stretch out in the seat next to me on our way to San Francisco. Did ya see the size of that pig! Chief Wiggum huh. I’m wiggum out period! Next!