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Florida Man to be Arraigned for Discriminating Against a Guide Animal
For the latest in miniature horse headlines visit:
In this press release we see a Florida case where Rodney Lopez will
be arraigned on charges of Denial of the Rights of the Disabled.
The charges stem from an incident on May 27, 2004 in which Lopez
refused to serve a blind woman, Lynn Cooper, at Uncle Rodney's
Bar-B-Q, because she was accompanied by her guide dog.
This is a perfect example of aggressive law enforcement against
those who attempt to deny disabled people from their civil rights.
"According to Florida Statute 413.08, the blind, deaf, or
otherwise disabled are entitled to full and equal access in any
place the general public is invited and have the right to be
accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal specifically
trained to mitigate that person's disability. Violation of
Florida's Equal Access Act is a second degree misdemeanor.
Lopez could also face Federal Civil action under the Americans
with Disabilities Act. Such violations have typically resulted
in punitive and compensatory damages totaling $12,500 or more
being levied against respondents who have violated the ADA."
Guide Horse users are taught how to avoid being challenged by
ignorant people and are taught techniques on how to politely bit
firmly insist on their Civil Rights. Guide Horse users carry a
business card reminding people about the ADA and the serious
penalties for violating Federal Law. This gives the potential
violator an opportunity to save-face and avoid this type of
protracted conflict. Fortunately, Guide Horse users have reported
only a single incident where they were challenged, in an ethnic
restaurant where the waiter did not understand English or US law.
It is the policy of the Guide Horse Foundation to avoid having to
charge anyone with criminal violations, as is the case with Mr.
"Rodney Lopez will be arraigned in front of
Judge Thomas in Courtroom C at 8:00 a.m., according to the State
Attorney's Office. If convicted, Lopez could face up to 60 days
in jail and/or a fine of up to $500."
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Read the compelling
story of the first miniature horse trained to work as a guide horse.
Learn the exciting methods used to prepare the tiny horses to
perform these amazing services.
author royalties are being donated to help support the Guide Horse Foundation.
is one of the world's pioneering horse trainers
– USA Today
Janet and Don
Burleson are . . . Angels
– People Magazine
that Janet and Don Burleson have initiated this valuable
experimental program teaming miniature horses with blind people
are leading the way for the blind
– ABC News
Guide Horses .
. . are as small and disciplined as Guide Dogs
– TIME Magazine
It is often the
little things that win our hearts and minds
– ABC News
are . . . using horse sense to Guide
Twinkie proved that
miniature horses could fill the role, and fill it well
– VetCentric Magazine
- Discovery Channel
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Guide Horse Foundation Inc.
The Guide Horse Foundation has the utmost respect for The
Seeing Eye® and their seventy-two years of outstanding work with
assistance animals for the blind. Please note that The Guide
Horse Foundation is not affiliated with or sanctioned by the Seeing-Eye® or any of the Guide Dog training organizations.
Seeing-Eye® is a registered trademark of the Seeing-Eye, Inc.