Do You Have A Legal Right To Keep A Kangaroo In Your Apartment?

Maybe. I’m not sure. In 2011, I covered a story about a woman in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma who was fighting her landlord’s efforts to evict her – and her kangaroo. The woman had an Australian red kangaroo in her apartment. She said she had a legal right to have a kangaroo in her apartment under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act.) She has a letter from a therapist who says that due to her depression, she needs a ‘therapy kangaroo.

After fighting her landlord and the city of Broken Arrow for several years, the kangaroo’s owner has finally thrown in the towel. In August, 2013; she turned over the kangaroo to an exotic animal park, The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park, located about 60 miles south of Oklahoma City. To see photos of the ‘therapy kangaroo’, go to: Therapy Kangaroo.

Kangaroos and Twizzlers. This ‘therapy’ kangaroo’s name is Irwin. According to his owner, Irwin’s favorite food is strawberry flavored Twizzlers, which I think is appropriate considering that he is a red kangaroo. I doubt that kangaroos in the wild eat Twizzlers, but if they do, that might explain why red kangaroos are red. I don’t know enough about Australia or kangaroos to be sure about this. Apparently, Irwin isn’t the only kangaroo who eats Twizzlers. There are several videos on You Tube of kangaroos eating Twizzlers. Here is one of them. Kangaroo Eating A Twizzler. I know an executive at Hershey, the company that makes Twizzlers. I will ask him about this when I see him next week.

Can you imagine what it would be like to live directly underneath an apartment with a kangaroo in it? Boing! Boing! Boing! I wonder if this woman’s landlord was able to rent that apartment. I have never personally received a rental application from someone with a ‘therapy kangaroo‘, but I did once get an application from somebody with a ‘comfort pig.’ I have often wondered if there is a therapy animal that a landlord can refuse to allow in his building on the grounds that the animal is inherently too dangerous. Is there a point at which the safety of the other tenants in the building and the neighbors trumps the ADA? I have asked this question to a number of lawyers who specialize in disability law, including government lawyers, and none of them had an answer. Frankly, I am not sure what I would do if I got an application for an apartment from somebody with an obviously dangerous animal, like a ‘comfort rattlesnake’ or a ‘therapy grizzly bear.’ What would you do in that situation if you were the landlord?