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Baltimore School Board Approves Dogs, Miniature Horses As Service Animals

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Baltimore City Public Schools’ board of commissioners approved new guidelines Tuesday on the use of service animals in district schools and facilities by students, employees and visitors who have disabilities.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the guidelines state that people with disabilities, accompanied by their service animals, must be permitted access to district property.

Aside from services dogs, the guideline states miniature horses are also permitted as an alternative service animal “under certain conditions.”

The horses, which are typically 24 to 34 inches measured to the shoulders, must be housebroken and under their handler’s control, according to the city guidelines.

Under the city guidelines, employees should not ask details about someone’s disability when the person brings their service animal to a city schools property, but they can ask whether the animal is required because of a disability and what task the animal is trained to perform.

According to the new policy, the special education office, along with the district’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Title IX Compliance, must ensure animals have a suitable rest place, can relieve themselves, and do not trigger allergic reactions.

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