Wisconsin city bans kangaroos as service animals

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A Wisconsin city has banned kangaroos as service animals following an incident involving a marsupial at a McDonald's earlier this year.

The Beaver Dam Common Council unanimously approved an amendment to its city code to further clarify that exceptions for service animals pertain only to dogs or miniature horses that have doctor's approval, the Beaver Dam Citizen reports. The city's municipal code already bans wild animals – including kangaroos.

This new ordinance also gives police the ability to issue a citation for an animal that isn't a licensed dog or miniature horse but is brought into a public place, the newspaper notes.

This move came after Diana Moyer brought her baby kangaroo named Jimmy into a McDonald's in Beaver Dam back in February. Police asked her to leave, but did not issue a citation.

Moyer said at the time the kangaroo was her therapy animal – an animal that provides comfort, but doesn't have a specific task – who helps keep her mind off her battle with cancer. Her family also said she has documentation to bring Jimmy into public establishments.

“He really helped me get through my cancer. I don't know what I would have done without him. He's still helping me through it,” Moyer told WISN.

'They've picked on the disabled'

Moyer expressed her outrage following the city's decision to ban kangaroos as service animals, telling WDJT-TV, "I don't know what their problem is. I think they've learned to pick on us and pick on the disabled and that's exactly what they're doing to me. Taking my rights away from me to be happy and to have Jimmy."

The city's amended ordinance complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which says animals whose only function is to comfort or provide emotional support do not qualify as service animals, the Beaver Dam Citizen notes. 

Moyer told WDJT-TV she disagrees with this stance, adding: "We depend on these animals for our sanity; our emotions. Our place to go when angry, sad or crying they're there for you no matter what."

The family owns several kangaroos that are kept on a farm in a neighboring city, and now Jimmy will go and live there too, reports note.

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