Recently on BoingBoing (an excellent blog I read on a regular basis) there was a story featured which really reached out to me – in Caledon, Ontario lives a little boy named Sam Spiteri. Sam’s 3 years old, and has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy – meaning that among other things, he’s unable to crawl or walk. After his paediatrician recommended horseriding as therapy for Sam, his grandfather bought him a miniature pony, named Emily. “When we take him off the pony he cries. Even if he’s tired he doesn’t want to leave her,” said Sam’s mother, Antonia.
So the reason for the story being on BoingBoing was because the neighbours had complained to the council about the smell coming from the pony, and the council then came around and advised the Spiteris to remove the animal. One of the factors which doesn’t help the case of the neighbour seem rational and fair is that the properties also border onto a cattle farm, so one would assume that there would be an odourous component of that, as well.
Well the good news today is that after massive shows of support from people all around the world, Antonia was able to file an appeal with the council, and they’ve made an exception in the zoning laws to allow Emily to stay (provided they keep the pony & its area clean).
I know it’s easy to get dragged into the story without knowing the full details, etc. etc., but I sent the Spiteris an email of support and donated a few quid towards the appeal application cost, because hey, come on – the little kid’s already been given the shit end of the stick to chew on, so it seems a shame to take away something that makes him so happy. So I’m glad it’s gone well for young Sam.