Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WTF Wednesday: Kangaroo Therapy Animals

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. 


  1. Kangaroo??? I'm with you that they are going too far with therapy animals. What about a stuffed animal instead? A dog or cat makes sense to me, but the exotic animal? No...

  2. My solution would be let the 'rue' grow to its full 7 feet. It will then kick the f**k out of those idiots!!! Enjoy your day, and thanks for the laugh. Its so much fun walking among idiots!!

  3. Oh my! Well put, Nana. I had no idea, but I have noticed many more service dogs in town. They are the only ones allowed to go everywhere, at least right now. Your picture of the future wasn't a pretty one!

  4. Um, I think one of the most disturbing things of all in that photo is the fact that the woman has dressed her "therapy" kangaroo in children's clothing. Those animals are wild and born/bred in large, expansive open spaces for a reason (even writing out the words therapy kangaroo makes me shake my head, just when I think nothing will surprise me anymore...). OMG I can't even get started on the idiocracy of the human race or I'll take over your entire comments section with my ranting. Life is a social experiment. I'll just leave it at that.

  5. Yeah, you're right... and let's not even begin to talk about therapy monkeys.

  6. There's been a big disturbance here over an autistic child 'needing' his big dog at school. In the end the school lost so the kid now has big dog at school.

  7. I got to let this sink in; if I were that old woman, I'd fight too to keep my pet, kangaroo or not. This is a perfect example of individual rights versus community rights. The law has to protect the community, the rest of the classroom, the entire group that might come in contact with the animal. Yet,how sad and heart wrenching this can be to the woman or the child involved.

  8. My pet peeve is pet dogs in airports. And I see way too many service animals elsewhere; I'm suspicious of their owners. I've heard, "My dog helps relieve my anxiety in public." What about my husband's anxiety when he's exposed in public to a dog, when he's allergic to dogs?

    Bah, humburg.

  9. I wonder how we've gotten to the point where animals have become our primary support beings. Where are the people in these people's lives?

    I think the weirder the animal, the more special the person gets to feel, which is a really sad way to get attention.

    Not only is that woman's hand placement gross, but so are the clothes on the poor roo.

    Great writing, as always.

  10. Yes, #1 Nana, I think she is weird. I agree with Deb, not only is she weird, but who puts clothes on a kangaroo? As far as the hand goes, well, no comment.

  11. "I'm retired. I don't have to watch what I say anymore. I'm not any one's role model."

    Isn't that part just the BEST!? I've been working for years to get my kids to fire me as a role model, too. So far, so good. All I have to do to top that baby off is diss their pets. Thanks, girl!

  12. Isn't retirement great?
    I saw a lady on the news who sued somebody because they wouldn't allow her "service" animal in someplace. IT WAS A RAT!!!


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