ESAs - EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS... I was just reading up. Does this mean that flying commercially,
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/21/2014 by SharlaG in NSBR Board
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SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 11:34:28 AM
I might have someone sit next to me with a cat on her lap?

Because that would REALLY jack me up, allergy-wise.

Here is where I'm reading up.

ETA Reading on the drop down menu to register your pet on this site, there other kinds of species to choose from. Could be a SNAKE, IGUANA, GUINEA PIG... and there's an "other" in the species option. So that opens it up more.







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scrappower
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Posted: 1/21/2014 11:40:29 AM
People already fly with cats and small dogs in the cabin (without it being an ESA). ESAs have to be determined to be medically necessary by medical providers. Not just anyone can get the certification.



SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 11:41:33 AM
I guess I sort of knew that this existed, but I didn't know they had federal regulations and protections.







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Posted: 1/21/2014 11:58:30 AM
Well, you can pay that website $140 to "see" their doctor and they do explain what types of symptoms will confirm you need it. Makes me question the veracity of the certification. So it seems to me that almost anyone who wanted to could do so for $140.

eta: maybe I am just cynical because I know that dr's notes can be bought on the internet with no need to actually see a doctor in person or to have a relationship with them.

SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 11:59:55 AM
That's hilarious! I missed the part about seeing THEIR doctor.







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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:03:42 PM
What's really funny is that an HR colleague of mine was just asking about random animals coming into the retail stores of his employer and what if anything the policy could be. Such a coincidence that this then popped up on 2Ps.

scrappower
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:05:41 PM
Well I personally know of two people that have a legitimate ESA. One for crippling agoraphobia and another for seziures. So it is a real thing. Of course there are quacks out there that will do it untruthfully but it doesn't negate a real need.



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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:07:45 PM
I hadn't heard of this (or even thought about non-helper animals on a plane), but it's interesting, given the other thread about banning allergen foods in schools.

PS--I'm not judging your allergies, OP; just thinking about the whole needs of the 1 vs. needs of the others concept brought up on that other thread.


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SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:09:00 PM
I have a legitimate allergy to cats. I sure hope a cat ESA doesn't ride in a seat near on an airplane.

I wouldn't DIE, like a peanut allergic person. I'd be a wheezing mess though.

ETA:

just thinking about the whole needs of the 1 vs. needs of the others concept
I gotcha! It makes for a good conversation topic.


colleague of mine was just asking about random animals coming into the retail stores
Same here! I'd noticed a Chihuahua on a leash at Walmart a while back, and a couple of other random dogs with sighted people in Target.







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scrappower
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:10:47 PM
Again sharla planes have been letting cats on in the cabin for years and not for medical reasons just for transport. People pay extra to do it. If you have that severe of an allergy you can request an animal free flight but they do ask for paperwork I think.



SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:14:17 PM
How about pets on the LAP, Scrappower? Isn't that what some people with ESAs need in order to get the benefit from the animal? Or are those ESA cats going to be in a carrier?

ETA: Yeah, a photo on that site shows a dog sitting in an airplane seat.







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hop2
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:14:23 PM
NEAT!!! $140 bucks and I am take my dog with me everywhere!!!! So cool. He won't fit under the seat I front of me so I wonder if I have to buy him a seat? They don't specify that in their FAQ's they just say there aren't size restrictions.

Sounds like a holy mess for the airlines to deal with, but since pet travel in baggage has been so unsafe lately I could see people doing this simply to not have to deal with the issues of baggage travel.

scrappower
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:15:54 PM
Obviously you are looking for a fight. Have at it. Medical animals including true ESAs are a part of life. Deal with it or ask for an allergen free flight. It is that simple.



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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:15:54 PM

a couple of other random dogs with sighted people in Target.


The blind are not the only people who need the assistance of a service dog.



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scrappower
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:17:03 PM

a couple of other random dogs with sighted people in Target.


The blind are not the only people who need the assistance of a service dog.


Exactly. People obviously need to educate themselves.



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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:17:20 PM
About 12 years ago, at my previous job, we had a very famous scientist come and he had a dog that was his ESA for anxiety. He carried this dog everywhere, even held it in his arms when lecturing. The funniest part was when he took the dog to the cafeteria at lunch time and walked the buffet line with the dog under his arm. Lots of people complained about that one!


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SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:20:05 PM
I'm looking for a fight AND need to be educated. Thanks for the helpful assessment! You know a great deal about me. How wise and perceptive you are, scrappower.










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scrappower
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:23:56 PM
Sharla my educated post was in general not directed at just you. So many ppl think that every service animal is only a seeing eye dog. There are so many other types out there and yes they are all needed.

You are the one getting all defensive about your allergies. I have allergies I get it. But that is on me, not the ones with a aid animal. Their right to have their animal does trump mine in my opinion.



hop2
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:24:20 PM

Obviously you are looking for a fight. Have at it. Medical animals including true ESAs are a part of life. Deal with it or ask for an allergen free flight. It is that simple.

No I am not looking for a fight, just joking.

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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:24:39 PM
I don't disagree that there are some people who legitimately need an ESA. But again, I have to agree it gets back to the rights of TWO people with different but polar opposite issues -- ES and allergies. Or nutrition versus allergies. Who should be required to "suck it up"?

I think by setting precedents of requiring everyone's special need (physical or psychological) to be accommodated by everyone else, we have opened a huge can of worms to the point that everyone can get a certification of whatever their need is. Sometimes without exploring what else could be done.

For example, could the allergic person take medication prior to stop a reaction from happening (I am medically stupid, so hopefully that isn't too stupid of a question)? Could the emotionally needy do something else to calm the anxiety/depression while on a plane/shopping at the mall/etc?

Why does one person's right trump others? Especially in situations where generally animals have not been allowed on flights or milk/eggs have been allowed in schools.

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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:30:13 PM

Why does one person's right trump others? Especially in situations where generally animals have not been allowed on flights or milk/eggs have been allowed in schools.


Forget about service animals or ESAs, animals have already been allowed on flights; it's nothing new. Small dogs and cats are transported under seats on flights every day.



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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:33:20 PM
Slightly off topic.

Do ESAs need a service animal vest? Is there a requirement that there be an obvious visual identifier? Or are we all to assume that any animal that gets drug along with their owner everywhere they go are above reproach?



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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:34:20 PM

Why does one person's right trump others? Especially in situations where generally animals have not been allowed on flights or milk/eggs have been allowed in schools.



Forget about service animals or ESAs, animals have already been allowed on flights; it's nothing new. Small dogs and cats are transported under seats on flights every day.


I've flown with my cat in a carrier under the seat in front of me with no issue, and had to just pay an upgrade on my ticket. The carrier looked like pretty much any other luggage and other than the mesh windows on it, most people could not even tell.

He also was terrified and never made a peep.

Allergy sufferers have had to have this as a consideration forever.


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SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:36:03 PM
Christina, that site I linked says they do NOT need a vest, etc, but recommends it to make things go more smoothly.

I've flown with my cat in a carrier under the seat in front of me with no issue, and had to just pay an upgrade on my ticket. The carrier looked like pretty much any other luggage and other than the mesh windows on it, most people could not even tell.

He also was terrified and never made a peep.

Allergy sufferers have had to have this as a consideration forever.
I would dose up on Benedryl if I knew one was sitting next to me, in the open in a seat though. I think the separation of a crate, under a seat wouldn't be an issue.

I'll just make sure I have Benedryl with me from now on.







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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:36:56 PM
I know it's not new, but it's gotten more popular lately. It used to be rare, but now I am seeing quite a few in airports every time I fly (5-6 times a year). It didn't use to be that frequent so it didn't affect as many other people.

And how would an allergic person know there was going to be an animal on the flight? Does the airline even ask or let other passengers know? I can't remember anywhere in my ticket purchasing/check-in etc where I have been asked. Or anytime it has been communicated.

Does the airline truly have animal free flights?

I am genuinely curious as to how to balance the needs of two differing groups.

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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:45:03 PM
Disclaimer: I don't know the validity if the doctor or the site. But I worry that doctors like this aren't ethical and that people will abuse the system simply to travel with a pet.

In the old days, a service animal need was more obvious. Seeing eye dogs, balance dogs, or dogs who sense a diabetic low. It was easier to quantify those disabilities. But how do you quantify anxiety when the person appears fine? I worry that abuse of the system will lead to the end of service animals for those who truly need them to function. And yes, there are people with crippling anxiety who truly benefit from the calming presence of a pet. And there is a difference between a therapy dog and a service dog.

I say this as someone who used therapy dogs for PT and OT while recovering from a traumatic brain injury. The therapist would induce vertigo, my brain would work to calm the vertigo, and we would do it again and again. Petting a therapy dog helped calm me faster and reduce my fright or flight response. But is that enough to say I need a dog next to me grocery shopping or on a plane? I never asked and the doctors never offered. And I was a patient at the Wounded Warrior Center at Walter Reed where service dogs are trained.

I am currently in the process of training our 18 month old labrador as a therapy dog. I truly believe in the healing powers of pets. But I do think that there is abuse of the system as well.


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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:46:21 PM
Ive been on flights with parrots and cats, although both were in cages. And possibly more animals than I realized. Plus I've taken dog's twice and ferrets twice. The number of animals per flight is restricted, usually to 2 or 3. I had to change my flight one time when the limit had already been reached.

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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:50:59 PM
I don't know for a fact that you can guarantee an animal free flight, but I do know that you can get a peanut free flight. My guess would be that you'd either have to request it ahead of time, or that they would rebook you for next available in the interest of customer service. But I don't know that for a fact.


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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:54:13 PM
Animals have been flying for a long, long time in cabin.

I once flew with a penguin

So cool!



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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:55:26 PM
On my last trip to AZ, I flew next to a woman who had a service monkey. I didn't ask exactly what his "service" was because I didn't want to be rude, but he wore a vest and was extremely well behaved.

I also remember reading a story a number of years back about a woman who took her service pig on a flight with her. They sat in first class. Mid flight the pig flipped out, pooped all over the place, and the flight had to be diverted.

I used to take my dog on flights with me a couple times a year. She's small, so she fit right under the seat. I would usually put her (in her bag) on my lap for a good portion of the flight. But she was a pretty good little traveler.

hop2
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Posted: 1/21/2014 12:58:26 PM

Disclaimer: I don't know the validity if the doctor or the site. But I worry that doctors like this aren't ethical and that people will abuse the system simply to travel with a pet.
Maybe not this site, who knows, I haven't checked it out, but of course some people will abuse this.

And really, since I know people who have had their pet 'misplaced' for 2 days by an airline while traveling in baggage, I can understand some of them.

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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:00:35 PM
I've been on flights where people ask to be moved due to allergies and small animals transported in the cabin. The flight attendants did their best to accommodate them. I assume they didn't have such severe allergies where the recirculated air would be a problem - we certainly didn't have any med team waiting at the other end.

Basket1lady
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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:03:28 PM
Then it could always be worse...

(Just to lighten the mood; I'm not trying to be flip. )

http://biggeekdad.com/2014/01/it-could-always-be-worse/


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SharlaG
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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:07:00 PM
Cute commercial!







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hop2
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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:07:23 PM

Then it could always be worse...

(Just to lighten the mood; I'm not trying to be flip. )

http://biggeekdad.com/2014/01/it-could-always-be-worse/

Brilliant!!!
Wonder why red all of a sudden when the rest were all white LOL

BuckeyeSandy
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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:19:51 PM
As someone that has therapy dogs, and knows people with a real legit need for a service animal I find this very upsetting and disgusting.

A REAL service animal has had almost two years of training BEFORE being partnered with their person. There are thousands of hours and thousands of dollars that goes to having a trained and matched service animal.

That dog KNOWS it has a real job, and will do it to the best of its ability, They ARE NOT PETS, they may eventually retire and be a pet, but they are as much of a working dog as any K-9 officer.

It really is not a matter of going to the animal shelter and picking a cute puppy. Buying a "vest and harness" and printing off some papers. People who do that are selfish, self-centered, the world revolves around me and the rules (or laws) do not apply, I am a special snowflake!

As a minimum as the puppies accepted into training have passed their AKC Canine Good Citizen Tests and are socialized to a variety of places, people and animals, there is further testing and training for the dogs to ignore distractions, both of other animals and of people.

A friend of ours garnered a lot of bad publicity by banding all animals from a military hospital program because of a few people DID NOT WANT TO FOLLOW THE RULES. He worked with the Delta Society/Pet Partners, Canines for Independence among some of the certifying groups to not only restore the ability to bring service animals, but to have therapy and visitation animals once again, by those that would follow the rules in place.

There is a HUGE difference between a SERVICE animal, like those dogs trained and partnered with someone with severe PTSD, and a "comfort" animal, which is basically a pet with no training. Service Animals are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Comfort pets are not.

I know I get lots of "comfort" from my pets, and two have been trained to do visitations, but that does not mean they go everywhere I go!


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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:30:21 PM
Oh come on, Dani-Mani: everybody knows that penguins can't fly!



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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:39:57 PM
For those that have flown with non-service/therapy pets, I guess my question becomes why? Is it due to support, moving, companionship? Or are you just traveling normally and want to take your pet?

My dog is too big to fly in a carrier and generally is boarded near home. When we moved across the country, he rode in the one car we didn't ship. So he's never been on or near a plane. I hadn't ever even considered it, so it is foreign to me.


brab74
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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:48:04 PM
OP, I would not trust that website. They have no actual authority ... they'll just take someone's $ and mail them a fancy certificate which has no actual value.

Pets have flown in cabin for years - under the seat, in a crate, so it's not completely new. I flew with a dog for the first time nearly ten years ago. I typically fly with a friend so I am not seated usually next to a stranger.

I know people (who are not blind) who have actual service dogs - one woman has a seizure alert dog and another woman has a dog who can assist with her balance issues - keep her stable, pick up things she has dropped, etc. Do I know people who have "emotional support animals" just so they can fly their dog in cabin for free? Unfortunately - yes. It's a system that does get abused.

This is from the Department of Transportation's website:

ADA RULES CONCERNING PASSENGER VESSELS

PVO = Private Vessel Operator


QUESTION: WHAT KINDS OF ANIMALS ARE REGARDED AS SERVICE ANIMALS?
ANSWER:
*
The Department intends that the service animal provisions of Part 39 be interpreted to be consistent with the service animal provisions of Department of Justice (DOJ) rules under Titles II and III of the ADA (as published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010).
*
Consequently, the Department understands a service animal to be any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
*
Other types of animals (e.g., cats, primates) are not considered service animals under DOJ rules.
*
Animals that are not trained to do work or perform tasks are not considered to be service animals. For example, emotional support animals, which provide emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship to an individual with disabilities but are not trained to do work or perform tasks, are not considered to be service animals.



QUESTION: SHOULD PVOs MODIFY POLICIES TO ACCOMMODATE REQUESTS BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO TRAVEL WITH ANIMALS THAT DO NOT MEET THE DEFINITION OF SERVICE ANIMALS?
ANSWER:

*Section 39.21 of the rule provides that a PVO must make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures to avoid discrimination (public entities) or to afford goods, services, facilities, advantages, and accommodations to individuals with disabilities (private entities), unless doing so would fundamentally alter the PVO’s services, programs, or activities (public entities) or the PVO’s goods, services, facilities, privileges, or advantages (private entities).
*
On some occasions, a passenger with a disability may ask to travel with an animal that does not meet the definition of a service animal, for the purpose of helping the passenger deal with the effects of her or her disability.

*If transporting such an animal would be inconsistent with the PVO’s policies concerning the transportation of animals other than service animals (e.g., a “no pets” policy), the PVO should determine whether (1) it can make a reasonable modification these policies to permit the animal to accompany the passenger, or (2) whether doing so would create a fundamental alteration.

*
This is a case-by-case determination. If in the facts of the specific situation, the PVO can determine that it is able make the requested modification of its policies, practices, and procedures to allow the animal to accompany the passenger, without creating a fundamental alteration, the PVO should make the requested modification. If transporting the animal would result in a fundamental alteration in the situation, the PVO need not modify its policies.

*The PVO may also, in order to determine whether a reasonable modification of its policies is appropriate, ask questions and seek information or documentation about the animal, its training, and the function it performs for the passenger that go beyond what is appropriate in the case of a service animal.

+
For example, the PVO could require the passenger to provide evidence or documentation that the passenger has a disability requiring assistance from the animal.

+
In the case of someone requesting the accommodation of an emotional support animal, this could include obtaining recent current documentation (i.e., no older than one year from the date of the passenger's scheduled initial flight) on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, including a medical doctor specifically treating the passenger's mental or emotional disability) stating the following:

(1)
The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—Fourth Edition (DSM IV);
(2)
The passenger needs the emotional support animal as an accommodation for the voyage;
(3)
The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and
(4)
The date and type of the mental health professional’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.

*A PVO also may require a passenger with a disability seeking to travel with an animal that does not fall within the definition of service animals to provide sufficient advance notice to allow the PVO to determine whether a reasonable modification the PVO’s policies is appropriate.

+ The requested advance notice is intended to give the PVO adequate time to check any documentation requested by the passenger and to make the determination of whether granting the request would create a fundamental alteration of the PVO’s services.

*The Department believes that carrying certain kinds of animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders) would create a fundamental alteration of a PVO’s services.

brab74
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Posted: 1/21/2014 1:49:52 PM

For those that have flown with non-service/therapy pets, I guess my question becomes why? Is it due to support, moving, companionship? Or are you just traveling normally and want to take your pet?
I've traveled with my dogs several times ... to go to dog shows.

Why does there have to be a reason? I paid my fee and was allowed to board the plane. Each time, my dog was under the seat in front of me and was not a bother to anyone. Most people did not know the dog was there.

(edited)

Luvspaper
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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:02:42 PM
brab74 -- I was just curious because this topic interests me even though I personally have no pro or cons to allow or not allow pets on planes.

Obviously everyone who travels with an animal has a reason for it and I am sure that they span the spectrum. I knew there were probably reasons beyond service and companionship. Hadn't actually thought flying to dog shows. All the people I know who show dogs tend to drive. But maybe that's because I have been close to two metropolitan areas where there are large pet shows within driving distance. I've never had a reason to travel on a plan with a dog/cat or other pet.



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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:10:06 PM

For those that have flown with non-service/therapy pets, I guess my question becomes why? Is it due to support, moving, companionship? Or are you just traveling normally and want to take your pet?


My inlaws have done it a bunch of times when they move. The moving company takes care of all the "stuff" and they fly to their new home with their cat.

angelag
the most ransorish pea evah

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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:19:56 PM

I also remember reading a story a number of years back about a woman who took her service pig on a flight with her. They sat in first class. Mid flight the pig flipped out, pooped all over the place, and the flight had to be diverted.


Awesome. Definitely need more stories in the news like that. Although entertaining, I bet it kinda sucked to be the other 200 people on the flight.





gmcwife1
SamFan

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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:27:30 PM

Do ESAs need a service animal vest? Is there a requirement that there be an obvious visual identifier? Or are we all to assume that any animal that gets drug along with their owner everywhere they go are above reproach?



One of the biggest problems is that there is so much confusion between service animals and therapy/companion/emotional support animals. Service dogs/animals fall under the ADA and therapy/companion/emotional support animals don't.

You can not ask what a person's disability is but you can ask what service the animal is trained to do. A service animal is allowed in restaurants a therapy animal is not.

But the line is so fine that businesses are afraid of asking for fear of discrimination lawsuits. This is where some people make the choice to cross the line between right and wrong and do what they want for themselves.


~ Dori ~

brab74
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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:31:29 PM

Obviously everyone who travels with an animal has a reason for it and I am sure that they span the spectrum. I knew there were probably reasons beyond service and companionship. Hadn't actually thought flying to dog shows. All the people I know who show dogs tend to drive. But maybe that's because I have been close to two metropolitan areas where there are large pet shows within driving distance. I've never had a reason to travel on a plan with a dog/cat or other pet.
There are lots of dog shows in my area which I drive to. However, there are also national events which do involve air travel from time to time. It would have to be an important show for me to incur the expense of flying with my dog. It's not cheap.

ETA: I would fly a dog in cabin, but not as cargo ... so flying with my Shih Tzu is an option; flying with my Border Collie is not.

Luvspaper
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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:45:43 PM
@brab74 --- my doggie is 1/2 border collie, 1/2 black lab....definitely couldn't fly with him either! Love border collies -- he was a rescue and we thought he was a BC...but I am happy with the mix once he stopped chewing everything as a puppy!

Georgiapea
Mom to the Wild Things.

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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:46:54 PM
I flew one dog and I from Portland, OR to Roswell, NM when picking up our household goods in storage. The dog was for companionship on the return drive with a U-Haul truck. On another occasion I flew from Portland to Austin, TX when adopting a rescue dog.

The first flight with ferrets was from Portland to Baltimore, MD for a show. On the second one I was returning from an east coast show without animals and brought one back to Oregon for someone else.

If I had a severe animal allergy I would ask if a flight had cabin animals and what my possibilities were to change flights.

gmcwife1
SamFan

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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:53:37 PM

Hadn't actually thought flying to dog shows. All the people I know who show dogs tend to drive. But maybe that's because I have been close to two metropolitan areas where there are large pet shows within driving distance. I've never had a reason to travel on a plan with a dog/cat or other pet.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



One of our 4-H kids is going to Westminster and Crufts this year - wooohooo. There is no way she is driving to either New York or London from Washington so her pug is probably flying under her seat


~ Dori ~

SDeven
Love Letters Pea

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Posted: 1/21/2014 2:57:21 PM
Holy cow.






sammi71
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Posted: 1/21/2014 3:16:10 PM

Holy cow.


Haven't heard of one of those on a flight yet, but you never know....
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