Service animals get helping hand from new state law - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Service animals get helping hand from new state law

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new Oklahoma law allows people with disabilities to keep service animals without interference from cities and towns.

The legislation was sought by Dale Atkinson, who has multiple disabilities and walks with the aid of a crutch. Atkinson gave up a Capuchin service monkey named Merlin in December because he could not afford an Oklahoma City animal license.

Atkinson believed animal control officials were going to confiscate Merlin because he had not purchased the required license.

Atkinson, who lives on about $650 a month in disability benefits, said he couldn't afford the $25 fee or the veterinary examination required to accompany the application.

City officials say the painful separation was unnecessary.
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