City Fines Man With Therapy Horse

Tim Fulton and Fred
Tim Fulton and Fred

Benton City, Washington – Tim Fulton has a very special friend in his miniature horse, Fred.  During his daily walks, which his doctor ordered to strengthen his lungs, Fulton often has to lean on Fred for support to regain his strength. “I fall down from time to time.  It’s really a pain,” Fulton told reporters.  “[Fred] would feel me start to waiver and he would pull in front of me and stop, and I would lean against him.”  The city sent Fulton a cease and desist letter, and a $100 fine, and told him he could not keep a horse inside city limits.

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Benton City Sign
Benton City Sign

The city argues that since Fred is a Shetland pony, not a miniature horse, they are not violating Fulton’s rights under the American’s With Disabilities Act, the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and the Fair Housing Act.   “From Mr. Fulton’s own letters from medical professionals, it is clear that ‘Fred’ is a Shetland pony and not a miniature horse… It is our opinion, that under the current facts, allowing Mr. Fulton to maintain a large Shetland pony as opposed to a miniature horse in a neighborhood in close proximity to the other homes would fundamentally alter the nature of the City’s zoning scheme with no facts to show that it is ‘necessary’ under the law.  In short, the case law makes it clear that persons with a disability are entitled to ‘equal opportunity’ of the use of their property but are not entitled to a ‘better opportunity’ than other citizens are allowed,” City Attorney Eric Ferguson told reporters.

When reporters with King5 attempted to talk with the City Mayor, she was no where to be found.  They visited her office, but she was not in.  Nor did she come to the door at her last known residence.  She refused to return phone calls, and finally the City Attorney sent K5 an email, demanding they cease attempting to contact the Mayor or City Staff.

Original Story and Video: King5

Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773

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