Emotional support animals are all the rage these days. And where YES… I am a HUGE supporter of service animals lending their
hands paws to help those in need. However, recently I’ve heard of lots of cases where individuals are just making their pets “emotional support animals” so they can take them to class, or allow them to live in a pet free apartment, or get them inside the cabin of an airplane for free. It’s a bit excessive. Also, I think that it’s making things difficult for those of us who do actually need a service animal. I teach at Penn State and I know dogs in the classroom (when unneeded) can be quite the distraction.
It looks like airlines may be changing their policy on support animals too. From pigs to turkeys, an estimated 100,000 animals ride along in airline cabins each year.
Airlines would like to close the barn door on emotional-support animals that the Transportation Department opened during the 1990s. They want to limit the animals traveling in plane cabins to trained service dogs, such as those for the blind and deaf. The airlines would also accept miniature horses, as recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Plane crews and federal officials suspect some travelers are sneaking pets aboard planes in the guise of comfort animals to avoid paying fees of about $75 per flight for pets kept in containers beneath seats.