Girl with Down’s Syndrome Has Unusual Pet; Stirs HOA Controversy
Yes, the pet hiding behind that jean pocket (or more aptly…pouch) is a baby kangaroo.
Nick and Jeni Dreis bought a 6-month-old kangaroo, dubbed Mike to serve as a vocational training animal for their 16-year-old daughter Kala who suffers from Down syndrome.
Unfortunately, a kangaroo was not among the list of “allowable pets” within their HOA. On February 20, the family received a pet eviction notice, specifically, they were told by the HOA to “immediately remove the kangaroo from the property as it is not a household pet nor can it be maintained for any business purposes.”
When the incident was leaked to the press, there was a public uproar that subsequently pushed the HOA board to reverse their decision. Jeff Crilley of the Homeowners Association told reporters, “They [HOA officials] were unaware that the kangaroo was being used for therapy purposes.”
The family is planning to keep Mike for a year before moving him to a nearby wildlife park.
While the story ended positively, it’s also remiscent of the Voloudis family who built a playhouse to support the physical therapy of their 3-year-old son Cooper who was suffering from cerebral palsy. In that case, the HOA demanded that the playhouse be removed immediately. Nothing was done (or could be done) to reverse that decision and the family was forced to take down the playhouse.
What are your thoughts on this? Was the HOA board correct in enforcing standardization or do they need to loosen up a bit?