Miniature horse, an 11-year old boy's therapy animal, allowed to stay in residential neighborhood

Boy suffers from rare genetic disorder

UPDATE  July 1, 2013:   After reviewing the case, officials say Daisy the miniature horse will be allowed to stay at a home in Spring Hill.
The family calls Daisy the "ideal" therapy for their son, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes balance and sensory issues.

In many ways, it looks like the ideal home. There's a pool, a white picket fence, a play set and, a pony.  Actually, it's a miniature horse, and her name is Daisy.

Elijah Samaroo, 11 years old, stands at the fence waiting with a carrot in hand.  He and Daisy have become quite a pair.

"I love her," Elijah said.

Elijah suffers from a rare genetic chromosome disorder that causes him balance and sensory issues; as well as suffering from ADHD.

About 18 months ago, his parents brought home Daisy to see if the animal would help therapeutically.   

"Daisy's opened him up a lot.  She's helped him a lot.  She's helped him come out of his little shell that he was living in," said Kelly Samaroo, Elijah's mom.

Most days,  Elijah likes to be involved in everything Daisy does.

"I pet her, feed her, bathe her, ride her and sometimes I help my dad clean her poop," Elijah said.

Daisy has her own living space, complete with a small barn in the family's backyard.  And after an anonymous complaint from someone in the neighborhood, the Samaroo's received a notice of code violation from Hernando County for keeping a farm animal in a residential neighborhood.

"None of my neighbors seem to mind.  Before we even made the choice to bring Daisy home, we did talk to our neighbors.  We explained why we wanted to bring her home and they were all on board," recalled Kelly Samaroo.

After receiving a letter from Elijah's doctor, and a written request from the family to allow Daisy to stay as an Emotional Support Animal, Hernando County is now weighing its options. Neighbors say there's only one choice to make when it comes to Daisy.

William North lives down the street and was upset to hear that someone complained.

"I was outraged.  Because if that little horse is giving that child the needs what he needs, then they should have forty of them there," explained North

"Ninety percent of the people in the neighborhood, unless we tell them, they have no idea it's over there," said Susan McCabe who lives across the street from the Samaroos.

Although Daisy doesn't have a say in the issue, someone close to her hopes he does.

"I say we don't want her to leave because we love her," smiled Elijah.

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