A woman in Wisconsin found out just how little patience McDonald’s customers have for so-called “service animals” other than dogs, when police showed up and asked her to leave — and to take her diaper-wearing “service” kangaroo with her, New York Magazine is reporting.
The kangaroo incident happened last Friday, but is only now gaining attention in the national media.
At about 11:40 a.m. on January 30, a woman entered a McDonald’s in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, a small community about 40 miles northeast of Madison. With her was a kangaroo, dressed in a sweater and wearing a diaper — apparently, kangaroos and housebreaking don’t mix.
Police showed up a short time later, saying that a customer had complained — no word on whether or not any McDonald’s employees complained about the kangaroo, too, as of this post. The woman protested that the kangaroo was a service animal, and she produced a doctor’s note to prove it. However, the police officer insisted that the other customers didn’t feel safe with a kangaroo in the restaurant, and she left without incident, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Although “service animals” have traditionally been dogs helping the blind, they are often used as therapeutic tools by people suffering from certain mental disorders, such as soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
However, service animals aren’t always dogs. And when “non-traditional” service animals are brought out in public, the results can be mixed, to say the least. Late last year, for example, a woman who brought her “emotional support” pig on board an airplane was kicked off the flight after the pig had an “accident,” according to this Inquisitr report.
Wisconsin law on service animals doesn’t specifically mention kangaroos, but it does have a couple of provisions that seem to suggest that kangaroos might not qualify for the job — at least, as far as bringing one to McDonald’s is concerned. First, a service animal is defined as “dog, signal dog (e.g., a ‘hearing dog’),” or other animal individually trained to do work or provide assistance to an individual with a disability. Kangaroos, being wild animals that haven’t been domesticated like dogs or pigs, may not meet that definition. Secondly — and here’s the kicker — the animal’s presence must not “result in a fundamental alteration of the safe operation of a public accommodation.” A wild animal known for jumping long distances, who isn’t housebroken, seems pretty unsafe at first blush.
The woman who brought the diaper-wearing “service” kangaroo to McDonald’s told WBAY (Green Bay) that she owns a licensed, inspected, and legal farm with other kangaroos, as well as a “menagerie” of other animals.
[Image courtesy of U Turn Crossfit]