Friday, October 14, 2005

Oh, please

From an AP article carried by the Washington Post:

Sarah Sevick says her ferret is more than just a pet _ the animal is a medical necessity. Sevick, 19, has filed an Americans With Disabilities Act complaint against her school because it won't let her keep the animal in her dormitory.

She said she needs the ferret, named Lilly, at Our Lady of the Lake University to calm her during panic attacks.

What if she suffers a panic attack in class; what good will the animal do her way back in her dormitory? What if she's out in a restaurant when struck? Or is she planning to take her medically necessary service animal everywhere? I would think she would need to, if this is the medically necessary treatment for her unforseeable panic attacks.

But let's back up. Has this ferret received special training? From whom? Was the ferret matched to the client based on its qualifications and the client's needs like other service animals? And is a ferret better suited for the job than, say, a naked mole rat?

Moving on to logistics, will the ferret wear a diaper to prevent soiling? Will it be on a proper leash when out and about? If it's a nipper, will it get a small muzzle? A little fabric saddle that declares it a Working Ferret - Please Do Not Pet?

And most importantly, is Sevick, with the assistance of a qualified medical practitioner, working on developing alternative coping strategies so when Lilly goes on to The Great Ferret Beyond, Sevick isn't utterly incapacitated as she would be should she have to go ferret-free in the dorm? Or is there a ferret training organization ready with another qualified ferret in the wings?

1. An ostensible or professed purpose; an excuse.
2. An effort or strategy intended to conceal something.
"pretext." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. GuruNet Corp. 15 Oct. 2005.