WTF Wednesday is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It documents the things that have made me pause, slap my forehead and say "What the f**k!" Well, that and I just like saying WTF. I'm retired. I don't have to watch what I say anymore. I'm not any one's role model.
|Where exactly is she putting her hand on that kangaroo?|
So there's this woman in Oklahoma with depression and she gets herself a disabled kangaroo as a therapy pet. See the original article here. Apparently city codes do not allow kangaroos to be kept in residential areas and she is now fighting the city to keep her kangaroo.
WTF? Am I the only one who thinks this is weird? Kangaroos can grow to 7 feet tall and 200 pounds.
I am all for therapy, but perhaps this has gone too far. This is a growing area of litigation for schools. Parents of children with disabilities want their children to have therapy animals in school. On the surface it sounds like a good idea. Who doesn't have a warm spot in their heart for the bond between a child and his dog. But then remember that the child is in a classroom with 29 other children and some of them have asthma induced by pet dander. Some children have traumatic histories with animals and intense fear. Do the wants or needs of one child override the rights of other children in the classroom? Does every child with a disability have the right to bring an animal to school? Do the benefits to one child come at the cost of an appropriate educational environment for other students? ...and who is going to pick up the dog poop, teachers?
Everyone understands the role of a guide dog for the blind; both the animal and the disabled person have training specific to the use of the animal. The same is not true of every animal that people claim is needed for real or perceived disabilities. I'm pretty sure that the kangaroo was not trained to provide therapy.
Particularly troublesome to me are the "therapy" animals that people with autism or depression claim are necessary to reduce their anxiety. Can we expect to see these animals everywhere we go? So, in the produce department of the grocery store while I'm sorting through the onions can I expect to be surrounded by an individual with a six foot python draped around her neck, another person with a large rat perched on his shoulder, and a small child with a therapy tarantula mincing his way up his arm. I don't want your therapy animals around me or my food. It's one thing to have a trained dog on a harness, it's another to have random animals invade traditional animal-free zones. I definitely don't want a kangaroo sharing the cereal aisle with me at Safeway.