BEAVER DAM (WKOW) -- A Beaver Dam police officer says he's quite certain he's never responded to a call like the one he handled recently at a McDonald's restaurant.
Officer Rich Dahl responded to an anonymous complaint about a woman who brought a kangaroo into McDonald's. Dahl said Tuesday the woman had the baby kangaroo wrapped in a blanket and tucked in an infant car seat.
Dahl says when he confronted the woman she explained the kangaroo was a service animal to help her cope with emotional distress and she produced a letter from a doctor.
The officer says the woman was upset at first, but then agreed to leave the restaurant.
The three month old kangaroo's owner, Diana Moyer, tells 27 News it was "...no big deal" to be forced to leave McDonald's with the pet named "Jimmy."
But Moyer says she has no intention to leave her kangaroo at home. "I'll continue to take (kangaroo) with me," she tells 27 News.
Police detective Ryan Klaveskoske says authorities have a different view of this exotic animal's acceptable habitat.
"We've had lengthy discussions with these individuals and our city attorney about the ordinance as it relates to a service animal in the city of Beaver Dam," Klaveskoske tells 27 News. "Certainly we're mindful of that fact, but feel that a kangaroo, at least under our city ordinance, is not an animal that would fall as a service animal."
Moyer refers to the kangaroo as a "companion" animal, and says that distinction will help to continue to keep him close to her, even in public. Klaveskoske says officers will be prepared to issue citations, and even make arrests, if this kangaroo appears again in a restaurant, retail store, or similar establishment.
Officials with the state department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection say if the owner of a kangaroo in Wisconsin has the animal's import permit, and a certificate of veterinary inspection, the animal can be in the state. Officials say permits on eight kangaroos and wallabys were filed with the state over the last fourteen months.
Moyer says "Jimmy" was acquired from a zoo north of Green Bay. Moyer and her husband have two, adult kangaroos as well, and other animals on their property in the town of Calamus.