Ohio State soror­ity sis­ters’ fight over ther­apy dog goes to court

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE - By Earl Rine­hart

Ohio State Univer­sity COLUM­BUS — stu­dent Madeleine En­tine should find out this week whether she and her val­ued room­mate, Cory, can stay to­gether at her soror­ity house.

En­tine, a sec­ond-year un­der­grad, ob­tained a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der Oct. 26 against the univer­sity, which de­cided that Cory, En­tine’s as­sis­tance an­i­mal, needed to move out of the Chi Omega soror­ity house be­cause an­other stu­dent is se­verely al­ler­gic to dogs.

A fed­eral judge heard ar­gu­ments in the case last week and said he would de­cide this week whether to is­sue a per­ma­nent in­junc­tion against Ohio State that would al­low En­tine and Cory, an 8-yearold Cav­a­lier King Charles spaniel, to stay at the soror­ity house.

En­tine sued un­der the fed­eral Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act. She said she suf­fers from panic at­tacks se­vere enough to re­strict her breath­ing, cause her to hy­per­ven­ti­late and, at times, ren­der her im­mo­bile. In some cases, she can­not walk on her own.

Cory is trained to re­act to her con­di­tion by climb­ing onto her torso. “Cory’s pres­ence on Ms. En­tine’s torso helps re­lieve her panic at­tacks and re­store her abil­ity to breathe and move,” ac­cord­ing to her com­plaint.

Chi Omega sis­ter Carly Gold­man said that be­cause of Cory’s pres­ence in the house and Gold­man’s re­fusal to re­strain his move­ments, Gold­man’s al­ler­gies are ag­gra­vated, which in turn ag­gra­vates her Crohn’s dis­ease, an in­flam­ma­tory bowel ail­ment.

Gold­man said that when she re­turned to the soror­ity house in Au­gust, her al­ler­gies flared. She could hardly breathe and couldn’t sleep, and rashes formed on her body. She couldn’t take an­tibi­otics be­cause of her Crohn’s, an au­toim­mune dis­or­der. The al­ler­gies ag­gra­vated the dis­ease, leav­ing her con­sti­pated for weeks, Gold­man said.

She then found out that there was a dog in the house. She said she had to avoid Cory in some ar­eas where he was not sup­posed to be. Al­though he wasn’t al­lowed on the sec­ond floor, where Gold­man stays, Gold­man’s room­mate would re­turn from a room where she had un­wit­tingly picked up the dog’s hair or dan­der on her clothes.

“It’s not a liv­able sit­u­a­tion when you can’t go to the bath­room for three to four weeks,” Gold­man tes­ti­fied in a hear­ing on En­tine’s re­quest for a per­ma­nent in­junc­tion. “You about feel dead be­cause you’re so help­less.”

Cory rested in En­tine’s lap while she watched Gold­man’s tes­ti­mony last week.

The is­sue drew in L. Scott Liss­ner, the univer­sity’s ADA co­or­di­na­tor. Liss­ner of­fered to move En­tine and Cory to other univer­sity hous­ing. En­tine de­clined, say­ing the soror­ity house pro­vides so­cial re­la­tion­ships and liv­ing and din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences not avail­able in cam­pus house. Also, En­tine said she has be­come a Chi Omega chap­ter vice pres­i­dent, which re­quires her to live in the house.

On Oct. 24, Ohio State in­formed En­tine that its de­ci­sion that she could not re­side in the house was fi­nal.

Liss­ner said that be­cause both women qual­i­fied for ADA pro­tec­tion, the only eq­ui­table res­o­lu­tion is to al­low the stu­dent who signed up for her room first to stay. That was Gold­man. En­tine had to ei­ther leave the house with Cody, or the dog had to go.


Ohio State stu­dent Madeleine En­tine holds her 8-year-old King Charles Cav­a­lier Spaniel, Cory, at Goodale Park on Mon­day. En­tine is su­ing Ohio State to al­low her and her as­sis­tance dog to live in the Chi Omega soror­ity house.

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