Miniature horses as service animals in Knox County schools? Board member wants clarification

Jennifer Owen says service animal policy is unclear

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – One of Knox County’s incoming school board members is asking questions about service animals in schools after she found confusion over whether dogs or miniature horses are approved.

Jennifer Owen went looking into school policy after a constituent asked about possibly using a service animal. She noticed that two types of animals are specifically mentioned: dogs and miniature horses. She said it looks like two policies have been pasted together.

Owen posted about the matter Thursday night on Facebook. She says she has taken the question to the Knox County law director for clarification.

More online: Read the Knox County Schools service animal policy

“Those two policies – the way they’ve merged them – end up not making sense. And so where it’s talking about the service animal being a dog, the policy goes right on into talking about a service animal being a miniature horse or if they’re both allowed and it’s not clear about what the parents have to do to ensure they get to use their service animal in the school,” said Owen.

The notion of miniature horses as service animals isn’t unheard of. Horses have been used as therapy animals for hospital patients and as guide animals for the blind.

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