The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : A Woman in Minnesota Is Fighting to Keep Her Emotional Support Pony: Authorities Says Farm Animals Are Prohibited From City Limits

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Woman in Minnesota Is Fighting to Keep Her Emotional Support Pony: Authorities Says Farm Animals Are Prohibited From City Limits

Minneapolis, Minnesota — An unassuming pony is at the center of controversy in central Minnesota.

Pam Davidson calls him Tony the Wonder Pony, but city leaders in Clarissa and Eagle Bend say he can’t stay in city limits any longer.

WCCO-TV dug into the debate that one woman’s been trying to rein in for months.

Some might find it strange to share 800 square feet with a 300-pound Shetland pony. Bizzare or not, Davidson wouldn’t want it any other way.

“We’re all different people in this world. We’re all different people. And Tony is different, and I’m different,” Davidson said.

Diagnosed with depression and anxiety, Davidson calls Tony “the Wonder Pony” for what he’s done to turn her life around.

“He helps me like you would not believe,” she said. “This animal has kept me from dying. This animal has help me become active. This animal has got me out of my bed room where I locked myself away for a year-and-a-half after my sister died.”

Davidson says her pony is housebroken since he came from another family who raised him indoors.

She’s had Tony since May as an emotional support animal.

“I have letters from my doctors,” she explained.

Despite mental health professionals weighing in, it took just a few days to hear from the cities of Clarissa and Eagle Bend where she lives and spends her time.

“All farm animals including all types of horses are prohibited from the city limits,” reads one letter.

Clarissa’s city administrator didn’t want to be on camera but told WCCO-TV the emotional support title differs from a full-fledged service animal. They’re not entitled to the same protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Also, citing safety as a concern, he said a truck driver was forced to brake when he found Tony wandering near the highway this summer.

Davidson has offered to build a fence and not take her pet into businesses where he’s not wanted anymore.

“They won’t listen to me. They won’t listen to me,” she said.

Davidson doesn’t want to move but vows to do whatever it takes to protect the pony that she says has done the same for her.

“I’m not going to give up fighting,” she said. “I’d rather be homeless. I’m not going to let him go.”

Davidson has ignored the city of Clarissa’s request to get rid of Tony. She has until Thursday to appeal a decision in Eagle Bend that denied her a variance for her pony. Either city would need a court order to physically remove Tony from town.


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