Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 5, 2011
A bit offbeat, but uplifting…
While most of us would prefer a dog or cat as the perfect pet companion, a woman in Oklahoma has been trying to get approval to keep a disabled red kangaroo as a therapy pet. The ‘roo, named Irwin after the late Australian animal expert Steve Irwin, was accidentally paralyzed while a baby at an animal shelter. Irwin reportedly helped Christie Carr cope with her own depression while she was nursing him back to health at her home.
She had originally been denied permission to keep him because of exotic pet laws. But Carr feared that if Irwin was taken away, he would die as a result of his paralysis.
The city ordinance in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, following a unanimous vote by council members, has been revised this week to permit Carr to keep the injured kangaroo.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma — A depressed woman can keep a partially paralyzed kangaroo at her home in a northeast Oklahoma city, officials have agreed, just weeks after she was warned that the therapy pet might be run out of town.
The Broken Arrow City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to create an exotic animal ordinance exemption that would allow Christie Carr to keep Irwin the red kangaroo within city limits under certain conditions.
Carr is unable to work because of her health and has found comfort in the companionship of Irwin, whom she met while volunteering at a local animal sanctuary on the advice of her therapist.
News report from last month about Carr’s fight to keep Irwin.
Okla. Woman Fights to Keep Injured Kangaroo
Reported last month — CNS News, Oklahoma Woman Asking to Keep Disabled Kangaroo:
Broken Arrow, Okla. (AP) – An Oklahoma woman suffering from depression has found solace in the company of an unusual companion, but local city officials worry that the therapy pet – a partially paralyzed kangaroo – could become a public safety risk.
Christie Carr is seeking an exemption from the Broken Arrow City Council to keep Irwin, a 25-pound great red kangaroo that she cares for much like a child. Irwin rides in a car seat, is dressed in a shirt and pants each day and is rarely away from his doting caretaker.
At the advice of her therapist, Carr began volunteering at a local animal sanctuary, where she met Irwin, then just a baby. Less than a week later, the kangaroo named for famed Australian animal expert Steve Irwin ran into a fence, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage.
Carr volunteered to take the animal home and, while nursing him back to health, developed a bond. Irwin cannot stand or walk on his own, although he is slowly gaining back mobility and can hop three or four times in a row with assistance, she said.
“Irwin will not live if I have to give him up,” Carr said, adding that she would rather leave town. “I can’t imagine a day living without him.”
Native to Australia, healthy male great red kangaroos can grow up to 7 feet tall, weigh more than 200 pounds and bound 25 feet in a single leap. But because of his accident, Irwin isn’t expected to get larger than 50 pounds, his veterinarian, Dr. Lesleigh Cash Warren, wrote in a letter to the council supporting Carr’s request to keep him.
From Insurance Journal, Anonymous Donor Buys Insurance for Oklahoma Kangaroo:
An anonymous donor has purchased a $50,000 insurance policy to help an Oklahoma woman keep her pet kangaroo as a therapy pet.
The Broken Arrow City Council is considering an exotic animal ordinance exemption that would allow Christie Carr to keep the partially paralyzed red kangaroo named Irwin within city limits.