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DOT Proposal Wants To “Ban” Emotional Support Animals

The United States Department of Transportation has put out a new proposal that would make it more difficult for passengers to travel with any emotional support animal that is not a dog. ( More...

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ian mcdonell 14
Agree Mike - about time world wide ban on this stupidity
Mike Mohle 37
It is about time this ongoing scam is finally going to be recognized and corrected. Now we need to do it everywhere else:, Stores, restaurants, hotels, apartments, etc. "Emotional Support" animals are not trained Service Animals, as the article outlines.
jcisuclones 21
Students would bring their barking chihuahuas to class when I was in college (graduated a year ago to put that in perspective), and the professors could not do anything about it even though it distracted other students. It was even used as a loophole for students, primarily freshmen with their first breath of freedom from their parents, as a way to get a pet and allow it to live in the dorms with them. Service animals are one thing and are important to people with disabilities, but this whole "emotional support animal" program is being abused like no other due to loopholes.
Mike Mohle 8
Happens here at my Condo building. No pets, but, "Emotional Support" animals cannot be challenged, total scam.
For bringing them to class, yes, you can challenge that.

"Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA."

For housing, that is a different story, as ESAs are allowed under the provisions of the Fair Housing Act.
As long as the airlines still reserve the right to ask the passenger with the ESA to provide documentation saying that they need to have it, per the Air Carrier Access Act, I'm down with this.

But again, the airlines have *ALWAYS* had that right, and need to exercise it more than they do.
Terri Santo -1
Compassion and empathy are always needed.
JJ Johnson 9
You mean I can't fly with my emotional support Porcupine?
william baker 6
And I was going to travel with my Alligator in a few weeks. Darn now who is going to snip at people lol.
No giraffes either
jcisuclones 4
Or mini horses
Miniature horses that are trained as service animals (NOT emotional support animals) are protected under the United States Americans with Disabilities Act (2010 revision). I don't think the airlines can ban them on domestic flights in the United States.

The proposed rule is to address emotional support animals, NOT trained service animals (which includes dogs and miniature horses under the ADA).
@William - Correct. As it is, mini horses are allowed with the proper documentation, but it seems they always want to crack down on those types re: air travel
PaulN2719 4
Guess that means I have to leave my emotional support tarantula at home...
Torsten Hoff 2
Ken McIntyre 1
Would an earthworm in a jar with holes in the lid make it through security?
ToddBaldwin3 7
This may get me in trouble, but I've said this before. If you can't travel without your emotional support critter, maybe you don't need to be travelling alone?
Ken McIntyre 1
I'll be a butt and go further with this. Maybe they shouldn't travel at all and simply stay home.
patrick baker 3
it is not an understatement that some airline flights are a menagerie of fictious support critters for the selfish and the selfindulgent. I may be belittling some legitmate concerns of some folks who need a bit of help to fly, be it in the form of cats, dogs, birds, snakes. If the feds want to allow only certified and trained creatures for emotional support animals, that would seem to be an honest attempt to weed out the kooks and phonies in favor of folks in need of comforting.
having worked with both service animals and "emotional support" animals with regard to flying,i think this is a good move..service animals are always dogs,ususally labs and golden retrievers or mixed,and they are well trained,do not bother anyone and stay with their owner are not allowed to pet or touch them..people who want to say,bring a cat,or a very small animal onboard,must have a soft carrier that will fit under a seat in front of them and they pay a separate fee..birds,snakes,lizards,turtles and such are not far as "emotional support" animals,thats where a line has needed to be drawn..i still remember the woman who had plastic surgery,seemed perfectly fine, and had of all things,an emotional support "goose" full sized on a leash..thats another story however!!
Brian James 2
My cat and I take offense.
sparkie624 1
Can you expound on how Mr (or Ms) Kitty feels like her rights have been violated with this?
Edward Bardes 1
Airlines should request documentation for service animals when the passengers first buy their tickets; that way, when their boarding pass is scanned, their service pets can be verified as legitimate.
jfsmith65 1
This not a legal option and there are no recognized registries of service animals. Airline can ask what specific service has this animal been trained to provide.
This *IS* a legal option, per the Air Carrier Access Act:

What kind of documentation can be required of persons travelling with emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals?

Airlines may require documentation that is not older than one year from the date of your scheduled initial flight that states:

1. You have a mental or emotional disability that is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM);

2. You need your emotional support or psychiatric support animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at your destination;

3. The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his/her professional care; and

4. The licensed health care professional’s;
a) Date and type of professional license; and
b) Jurisdiction or state in which their license was issued.

So yes, the airlines can ask what the ESA is trained for, why they need the ESA, and ask the passenger to provide documentation for that ESA, by the prescribing physician, on official letterhead.

Again, all of this has been legal since 1986, and the airlines need to enforce it.
James Simms 1
TV news should a stuffed Boxer that was registered as an Emotional Support complete w/an Emotional Support bib around it.
indy2001 1
Why would anyone need two service animals? I've never seen any more than a single animal per person whenever I've traveled.
Larry Toler 2
You have to cover all bases while dealing with legal actions
jfsmith65 1
ACRP (Airport Cooperative Research Program) Synthesis 64 "Issues with Animals Traveling through Airports" dealt with the problems associated with emotional support animals and how airports (and airlines) can deal with them without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADXbear 1
Lets not forget the federal law called THE ADA.. people with disabilites regularly have golden retrievers or labs for the blind.. how hell is that dog going to fit under a seat???

The ADA state what may be asked of a person claiming their DOG is a service animal.. there are many disabilites seen and unseen.. the air carrier act can not override the ADA.. this subjrct will see court time.. hopefully a new law will iron this our and name only dogs to service in this capacity..
The dog doesn't fit under the seat. More chances than not, it's a large breed of dog, like a golden retriever, yello/black/chocolate labrador, or german shepherd. My wife has a yellow lab, as she's blind. Because of that, we are normally accommodated in the forward section of the aircraft, primarily row 1. Out lab sits in front of her there.

Actually, it is the Air Carrier Access Act that states whether the airline can ask if the animal is a service animal, not primarily a dog. If it is an ESA, then the airline has the right to ask for documentation on if the animal is truly a service animal, why the passenger needs the service animal, and orders from a physician stating that the passenger needs the ESA, and must be on that physician's letterhead.

The ACAA handles use of service animals and ESAs in the aircraft, whereas the ADA handles the airports, buildings, and businesses themselves.

And there are miniature horses that are bonafide service animals, so they have to be accommodated just as easily as dogs. ESAs are the problem here, not them.
sparkie624 1
Agree 100%... Idiots are carrying this thing just way to far... Seems to me it is most of the Millennial's are the ones pulling the stupid stuff... calling someone out because their feelings got hurt... what is going to happen when that group is totally in charge of this country... LOL... Just look at Congress now, and in 20 years that is all it will be...
Ken McIntyre 2
I think I might need a "support suitcase". Put legs on it; hey, good to go. That would save $30-60.
Ken McIntyre 1
I'm all for this
sparkie624 1
To have a good discussion, we need some idiot who has an emotional pet that travels with them to offer an opinion... Seems like we are all on the same side.... :)

Anyone know anyone to fill the role?
Paul Miller 0
Thank God for that, IF you have to lean on an ANIMAL just to make some sort of trip on an Plane ? then you need to get a life. Goodness me we pander to the stupid, the weak, and the idiots out there that feel that ONLY they have to need and right to bring something like that with them, and annoy and cause a possible problem to other passengers who might just have an allergy to Animals.
Those who are truly disabled have a right to travel anywhere they please, just as you. Just because they may have a disability, such as being blind, or lost an extremity from, oh, I don't know, DEFENDING OUR COUNTRY, doesn't mean they don't have the right to bring their fully trained service animal on board with them. In fact, by law, they are allowed to, whether you like it or not. Have a problem with it? Book another flight instead.

But I digress; because someone is leaning on a dog to be their eyes must be stupid and weak. Perhaps you can help us out by donating your eyes to someone who can't legally see so they don't have to lean on an ANIMAL?


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