'Library Cat' violated his civil rights, plaintiff says as trial begins

signonsandiego.com is following the suit of Richard "Rik" Espinosa, a former radio and newspaper journalist, who seeks $1.5 million in damages because of L.C., the library cat.
L.C. attacked Espinosa's assistance dog Kimba when they entered the building Nov. 16, 2000, scratching the canine. Espinosa claims he hurt his back trying to pull the dog away from the cat.

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Cats, dogs and nuts

The guy's a complete nutcase. I feel sorry for his dog, having to belong to him. Cats usually know which end is up (and the wrong one's up here). L.C. died last fall having reached her ninth and final life.

Wait a second..

So, because he believes the dog can predict impending panic attacks that makes the dog an assistance dog?
I'm confused. Are there rules that differentiate the line between pet dog and assistance dog? I thought that assistance dogs had to have special training (as do the owners)?

Re:Wait a second..

There are rules that differentiate assistance animals from pets, and it's certainly not clear from the article that Kimba officially qualifies.However, there are two other points that I think should be taken note of, here. One is that, whether or not Kimba is officially an "assistance animal", she may in fact be capable of recognizing when her human is edging into panic mode and signaling him. The other is that, according to the article, this was L.C.'s _third_ attack on a dog, not his first.There's no obvious reason to assume that it's the human who's the problem here. It's at least equally reasnoable to suspect that L.C. was unqualified for the job of library cat, or had become so with advancing age and possibly deteriorating tolerance for lesser beings.

Re:Wait a second..

Back when this all originally came out (perhaps there is something in the archive) there was an article that featured this man in great detail and it was plain to see that he is seriously mentally ill (and it wasn't just the panic thing). The fact that he is representing himself is another really good clue that he is out of it. I feel sorry for him, but that doesn't make him any less of a difficult and irritating person,which from everything I've seen, he is.

L.C. probably should have been moved along to retirement after the first dog incident, but this guy is unreasonable and just gets off on stirring things up as far as I can tell. It would be a crime if he somehow manages to control his personality enough to win the case and costs the library a ton of money better spent on library materials for the good of all of the community.

OK, I did some more digging

From the tone of this newspaper's article ), not very many people are taking him seriously. It's obvious they tried to write an article that was as fair to him as possible, but he still comes off badly and this is the paper he apparently used to write for. And they didn't even mention that he's trying to supoena the mayor, which seems rather flaky to me.

Assistance animals for problem patrons?

This could be a whole category of need that's not being met.

Re:Assistance animals for problem patrons?

Gee, maybe a nice friendly library cat to calm anxious people down...oh, wait...nevermind

Re:Wait a second..

I haven't read enough to know if this dog qualifies as an assistance dog. However, there are assistance dogs used by people who have panic attacks. Among the list of tasks that psychiatric service dogs can perform: "Alert to incipient anxiety or panic attack." There's another list here.

Re:OK, I did some more digging

The guy wants to introduce a picture of himself with Mohammed Ali as evidence to demonstrate his credability. Seriously. I cannot make this kind of stuff up.

Of course the other (only) attorney objects because it is not relevent.

Man, in my opinion this guy is about seventeen bricks short of a load.

I think he convinced whatever doctor that certified his dog as an assistance animal that he needed some of the California medical marijuana.

I hate my job it depresses me, I want to take my pets. I can have some quack certify it calms me down, they really do but then I am not so far in the deep end that I consider going to the library as a patron stressful. The only thing I think could be less stressful would be a coma.

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