Pit bull service dog allowed to attend school with 7-year-old boy
7-year-old Anthony has cerebral palsy. His service dog, a gorgeous pit bull named Stevie, is an invaluable member of his family. He alerts Anthony's caregivers when something goes wrong and provides the boy comfort and stability. Even though he is fully trained, Stevie wasn't allowed to stay with Anthony unless the family paid for a full-time handler at his school — something that most families can't afford. For two years, his mother has been fighting to allow the dog in the classroom.
And now he can. U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom decided that Anthony has a right to have his service dog by his side while he's in the classroom. Stevie will be allowed to stay with Anthony to provide essential comfort and help through his typical school day. Stevie is trained to alert caregivers when Anthony experiences a seizure and keep him safe by laying across his lap to help his head remain upright.
As Stevie would always be tethered to Anthony, Judge Bloom ruled that this satisfied the school district's requirement that the dog have a handler — in other words, Anthony is Stevie's handler.
Watching the video, it's touching to see how the pair interact. I'm thrilled that they finally found a solution that allows Anthony's service animal to be with him at all times and will continue to have a positive impact on his life.