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City Allows Parents of Sick Child to Keep Horse

City Allows Parents of Sick Child to Keep Horse

Posted - Oct. 15, 2003 at 7:36 a.m.



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(Lehi-AP) -- The Lehi City Council has agreed to allow a family to keep a specially trained horse used to provide therapy for their six-year-old boy, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Every day Dallin Hunsaker takes a 30-minute ride on the horse, Chick. Advocates of hippotherapy say the rhythm of the horse's walk is transferred to the patient's pelvis and helps normalize muscle tone, improves balance and may help the patient to walk.

The Hunsakers bought the horse, moved to their Lehi home about a year and a half ago and built a fence to keep the horse on their two-acre property.

But then they were told they are violating zoning regulations.

In the process of trading land with the city so they could put in a straight fence line, the Hunsakers found out the land did not have animal rights. They said they were told it did when they bought the property.

The City Council originally voted three-to-two to deny the family's request for a zone change that would allow them to keep the horse.

But the parents were able to provide the council with a petition signed by all of their neighbors -- including one who originally had opposed allowing the horse -- to grant them an exception.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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