Woman files human rights complaint over guide horse

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A disabled woman who wants to use a 100-pound miniature horse as a service animal, by pulling her wheelchair, has filed a human rights complaint against her landlord for not permitting it in her apartment.

Patty Cooper, of Waitsfield, who has brittle bones and suffers from celiac disease, says the 32-inch tall tobiano pinto would be an ideal helper.

She says the animal, a 1-year-old gelding named Earl who cost her $1,000, can be house-trained.

But the Central Vermont Community Land Trust, which owns the 24-unit Mad River Meadows Apartments complex where she lives, isn’t so sure. The group is concerned about horse droppings, hay storage and lack of grazing space and has denied her request.

Cooper says she’s taken her case to the Vermont Human Rights Commission, filing a complaint that charges that the land trust has denied her the "reasonable accommodation” she’s due by law as a disabled person.


AP Photo/Toby Talbot 

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