Is 'Therapy Kangaroo' Legal? Okla. Woman Fights to Keep Marsupial

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 28, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Typically, patients that are prescribed emotional support animals purchase domesticated pets. A dog, maybe a rabbit.

Christie Carr of Oklahoma has decided to break that mold and has acquired herself a 'therapy kangaroo.'

Unfortunately, the city isn't exactly fond of the kangaroo, who may no longer be a Broken Arrow, Okla. resident after May 3.

Irwin is a 25-pound disabled red kangaroo. He and Christie Carr met at a local animal sanctuary after her therapist suggested she volunteer as a means to treat her depression, reports the Associated Press.

While there, Irwin had an accident that resulted in paralysis. Carr decided to take him home while he recuperated.

He and Carr are inseparable, according to the Associated Press. While she teaches him to hop again, Irwin rides around town in a car seat, wears clothing and a diaper, and is fed by hand.

(Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press )

The city has been considering whether it should enforce a local exotic animal ordinance. A May 3 meeting is also set to determine whether the city should permit exotic animals if the owner has liability insurance.

Moved by the therapy kangaroo, an anonymous donor purchased Carr a $50,000 insurance policy, reports Insurance Journal.

If you're a bit baffled by the concept of a therapy kangaroo, it's about to get worse.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, municipalities are required to make reasonable exceptions and changes to ordinances in order to accommodate disabled persons.

This applies not only to service animals, but to emotional support animals. Irwin, though a marsupial, is technically a therapeutic tool to treat Christie Carr's depression.

Courts don't normally limit the species of emotional support animals, but instead consider whether keeping an animal is reasonable under the circumstances.

Is a therapy kangaroo reasonable? Who knows.

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