THE TSA, PRIVATE SECTOR & SERVICE ANIMALS



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PETS AND FAKE SERVICE DOGS

WHATS NEXT PEACOCKS AND PIGS?

I am an animal lover, sometimes more than a people lover.  I  have participated in many rescues, mostly birds, seashore and raptures and a fair amount of kittens and pooches.

Most animals are quite honest about things, many people are not and it’s those that I take stand against.   And my pet gripe lately of many gripes I write about, illegal service dogs with fake ID’s called “ Companion Animals”  with the fake documentation readily  and easily available on the web.

You can get the fake coats and letters on the web.  Folks think they can get away with anything and a free ride for Snookums is worth attempting.  A few $5,000 fines for fraud might change a few peoples mind.


FIRST - THANKS TO REAL PEOPLE

One beach restaurant here in Indian Rocks Beach, Pinellas County, Aqua Prime, has an outdoor bar and grill on the back of the high-end indoor facility and one late night with a buddy and a great little Yorkie named Chippy we had dinner there.  Our server said its fine, since its outdoors,  and the love pets.  OK by the Board of Health as long as rules are followed, and not a code violation.  

As long as the pup doesn’t get on the table or chairs.  And they kinda frowned throwing them doggy scraps, bad impression on others eating there,  so she brought out a water dish and a few treats.  The pup had as much fun as we did, he just laid down and chilled, and she got a really nice tip.

Travelers and diners may find themselves these days sharing their flight or their restaurant with animals. Many other types of businesses are seeing increasing numbers of patrons with furry friends, too. It’s a trend that presents special challenges, particularly in settings where public health and safety regulations often limit or exclude animals. As a growing number of people with disabilities rely on service animals — and others attempt to pass off their pets as trained assistants — here’s a few incidents you should know about.


ONE BLIND WRITER RESPONDED
I have been traveling with a service dog for the past 24 years. It has never been as stressful as it is today. Service dogs and emotional support animals should not be lumped together. 

Service dogs are highly trained, as are their handlers. To get my first guide dog, I attended the Leader Dogs for the Blind school for 3½ weeks of training.  The service-animals community has spent years to develop legislation and regulations so that individuals such as myself, a deaf-blind person, can travel, work and be a part of our society.

The most common-sense solution for this conundrum would be for the Air Carrier Access Act to adopt the service animals. Justice Department’s definition and act accordingly. 

Then let airlines develop their own protocol for emotional support animals. Unlike service dogs, emotional support animals are not covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.


AGAIN,  A VETERINARIANS REPLY:

Emotional support animals are a not the same as highly trained owner/animal service dogs pairs. The ability to get meaningless "service animal" vests for emotional support dogs doesn't mean they are legitimate and in my opinion do not deserve the same protections that a true service animal is entitled to. 

I have been asked to provide medical certification for emotional support animals and I declined to do so. This is a highly abused categorization and the airlines are right to decline boarding.

Any dog traveling in an aircraft to assist a passenger must be trained to behave properly in public, such as not wandering about, snapping at people etc.  A dog that is not successfully so trained should be excluded from travel, a point recognized by both current Federal regulations and Delta's modified procedures, which appear consistent with those rules.

Emotional support animals are not covered by the ADA and DOJ implementing regulations. That is irrelevant to air travel, which is governed by a separate statute, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), and DOT implementing regulations.  DOT has been working for some time on revising those rules, though an advisory committee was unable to come to consensus on service animal issues. 


EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PEACOCK

BARRED FROM UNITED AIRLINES PLANE - 31 January 2018

A picture of the peacock perched on a baggage trolley near United Airlines check.  The unusual creature drew some confused glances from other passengers.  A female traveller was recently banned from taking a large "emotional-support peacock" on board a United Airlines flight, it has emerged.

She had offered to buy the bird its own plane ticket, according to travel blog Live and Let Fly.  Nonetheless the airline refused to let the bird board at Newark airport in New Jersey, saying it did not meet guidelines due to its weight and size.

United says this was explained to the traveller before she arrived at Newark.  She challenged them. 

 Pictures of the striking bird and its owner emerged via The Jet Set, a travel-based talk show.  The images show the animal perched on an airport baggage trolley, as fellow passengers gaze at it in shock.

‘My therapy animal is inspirational’.  Sometimes I wonder if the pet is sane and the person bringing it along is sane.  

Maybe the extra ticket money should be spent on medical mental help.  Airlines have allowed some passengers with emotional or psychiatric problems to take therapy animals with them on board.

I suppose finding peacock baby sitter in NY might be difficult.

But the number of emotional support animals has been rising in recent years, sparking suggestions that people are abusing the system.  In 2014, a woman was escorted off a US Airways flight when her pig, named Hobie, defecated and squealed before the plane took off.   Peacock poop, pig shit...  Possibly he didn’t like the food... I thought the peanuts were ok but overpriced.

Airlines that have begun talking about tightening restrictions on a proliferating array of “emotional support” animals on commercial flights may have found their case bolstered this week after a picture of a peacock that was reportedly denied a seat aboard a United Airlines flight traveled far and wide. Changes will be in mid 2018.

United Airlines confirmed that the exotic animal was barred from the plane Saturday because it “did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size.”   “We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport,” a spokeswoman for the airline said in a statement Tuesday.  United Airlines did not identify the bird’s owner, citing privacy policies.  Identify?   You gotta be kidding, I wanted to call the guys in white with a van from the Grizinsky Chronic Nutcase Hospital.

in response to the post, many people criticized passengers’ decisions to bring such animals on planes.  “Now its getting out of hand,” one person wrote beneath the Facebook post about the peacock.  “People are abusing this and causing those with true service animals difficulty,” another person added.  “Ridiculous to think she could fly with an bird this size. A very loud large bird,” another one wrote.

UPDATE:  THE EMOTIONAL PEACOCK DROPPED DEAD

Dexter, the emotional support peacock who captured the public’s attention died unexpectedly in his “favorite human’s arms,” his owner announced Tuesday.  The peacock’s owner, New York City-based artist Ventiko, revealed on an Instagram account specifically created for Dexter that the peafowl died around 1 p.m. on July 22.  

“His passing was sudden and unexpected. Attempts were made to save him, but his doctor confirmed that nothing could have been done to alter his fate,” the artist captioned a photo that appears to show a shrine to Dexter.  “Dexter defied stereotypes and brought joy and magic to all who encountered him. It was an honor to know him and a privilege to share this life journey with him,” she added.

Thats nice but what did Dexter die from? Could it be contagious in a small closed environment like a aircraft recirculatory cabin?  Photos of the bizarre scene at the New Jersey airport soon made the rounds on social media, making Dexter one of the most talked-about passengers of the year.


👺    PETS AND FAKE SERVICE DOGS 
And my pet gripe lately of many gripes I write about, illegal service dogs with fake ID’s called “ Companion Animal”  with the fake documentation readily and easily available.  You can get the fake coats and letters on the web.  Folks think they can get away with anything and a free ride for Snookums is worth attempting.  If you want to really see how this scam with fake service animals works check here.    

Travelers and diners may find themselves these days sharing their flight or their restaurant with animals. Many other types of businesses are seeing increasing numbers of patrons with furry friends, too. It’s a trend that presents special challenges, particularly in settings where public health and safety regulations often limit or exclude animals. As a growing number of people with disabilities rely on service animals — and others attempt to pass off their pets as trained assistants — here’s what you should know:


🐕  HOME DEPOT - THE LAW 
Home Depot now allows dogs, most are not even service dogs while you shop just pets or fake 39.95 pet clothes and fake logos.    OK, I understand,  Florida is hot and leaving a dog in a car is animal cruelty.   Leave Rover home if Rover is not a certified service dog.  If not,  you people are really stupid as you are hurting your dog, in a strange environment, possibility of a huge lawsuit if he bites someone and I mean huge.... Think people!  

This is a noisy, dangerous environment for Rover and I’ll be the first to agree the owner needs a service dog.  (Psychiatric reasoning)  

Most states in the US make dog owners financially responsible when their animals bite someone, even if the owner wasn’t negligent or didn’t know the dog could be dangerous. When a dog hurts someone, the injured person is likely to sue the animal’s owner for medical costs and other damages. In more than half of the states, those lawsuits may be based on laws that make the owner automatically liable for most dog-bite injuries. 

These laws are often called “strict liability” statutes, because the injured person doesn’t have to prove that the dog owner was negligent (legalese for careless) or knew that the dog was dangerous (often called the “one-bite rule”).

The theory behind strict-liability statutes is that anyone who has a dog should be responsible for any damage it causes, period. But a few states have dog-bite statutes that aren’t really all that strict, because they apply only under conditions that may be under the owner’s control—like when the dog is roaming “at large.”

Also, dog owners may have legal defenses to avoid liability for dog bites. Most dog-bite laws include exceptions—typically when the injured person was trespassing or provoked the dog. And many of the laws don't apply if the dog was performing its duties as a police dog when the bite happened.


MORE STUPID PEOPLE
Only a real screwball would bring Rover into this environment.  In addition, the smell level of dogs being 100 times more so than humans is not good for the dog in this crazy environment of thousands of chemicals where even I avoid certain departments with my allergies due to the odors and chemicals they sell and open containers I find all the time.

I did witness about a fifty pound mixed breed on leash snap at a customer while she was on line,  I was shopping there and Rover got excited about something.  If someone gets bitten my camera or cell phone comes out, and I offer a card from one of the attorneys I due forensic work for.  

If I were to be bitten, I can see it now, a lawsuit against the owner and a lawsuit against Home Depot for allowing it.  Having access to attorney’s whom I do photo lawsuit work for, I’m going for the big bucks... 

I’m not an ambulance chaser, just a journalist but some things bug me like animal abuse, but as one who works when needed rescuing animals from Pelicans to Kittens, Puppies and Pooches, and I hunt Pythons.  Thats why I’m against putting these animals into situations that might trigger defensive actions by Rover not anticipated.  

My other pet peeve is when I see Rover hanging out the window of a car doing fifty miles an hour.  The abrasion, flying objects, sand, wind all will hurt your animals eyes. And few veterinarians will do eye surgery, it’s more like eye removal from an injury. The amount of eye injuries we see is way too much.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires places of public accommodation such as restaurants and transportation carriers to allow service animals that assist people with disabilities. The ADA and related federal anti-discrimination laws take precedence over general restrictions on animals, but only under certain conditions and behavioral standards.


THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 

CONSIDERS ONLY DOGS TO BE “SERVICE ANIMALS” 
Many of the law’s protections also apply to miniature horses.   I want to be there when there is a horse on the next seat.  Because service dogs are not pets, businesses cannot subject them to “pet fees” or segregation in “animal-friendly” areas. These rules are more broadly defined for air carriers, as you’ll see.


DEFINITION OF A SERVICE ANIMAL
To meet the ADA’s definition, a dog must be individually trained to perform specific tasks that directly relate to a person’s disability. For instance, a service dog may be trained to assist with navigation or alert its handler to safety concerns.

However, if a dog provides aid only by its natural behavior, then it lacks the individualized training necessary for ADA accommodation. This standard means that the ADA does not apply to many dogs that function as therapy, emotional-support and companion animals. Admitting these dogs on the premises could violate local health regulations that prohibit animals at food-service establishments except for ADA-protected dogs.

To further complicate matters, it can be difficult for staff members to identify a true service dog. Although pet owners can easily buy fake unofficial documents or apparel, these papers and emblems have no bearing on ADA compliance:Yet the ADA does not permit questioning a person about the nature of his or her disability. The law does not allow public accommodations to require certificates, licenses or other physical proof that a dog qualifies as a service animal. 

So how should a business assess whether a customer’s dog is a service animal? Federal regulations instruct that if it is readily apparent that a dog is aiding a person with a disability — for example, by leading a person who is blind — then staff members should simply allow the dog in as a service animal. 

But if the dog’s function is not apparent, then the ADA permits only two types of inquiries. First: “Is this dog required because of a disability?” And second: “What specific assistive task or tasks has the dog been trained to perform?”


SOUTHWEST POLICIES Southwest Airlines welcomes small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs in an appropriate pet carrier in the aircraft cabin. But Animals are not allowed to travel in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight.           Pet Fare Price:  Pets traveling are subject to a $95 Pet Fare each way per pet carrier.

Law Enforcement/Search and Rescue Dogs
Southwest Airlines accepts fully trained law enforcement service dogs trained in explosives or drug detection or other specific functions and search and rescue dogs for transportation, without charge, when accompanied by their respective handlers on official business.  

Each Customer traveling with a law enforcement or search and rescue dog must present a letter of mission and a copy of the animal’s certification.  In accordance with federal safety regulations, the dog(s) must be positioned so as not to obstruct Customers’ expeditious evacuation in the unlikely event of an emergency.  In addition, law enforcement and search and rescue dogs may not occupy a seat or sit in an emergency exit row.

Assistance Animals

Trained assistance animals traveling with and providing assistance to a Customer with a disability are accepted in the aircraft cabin.  Trained assistance animals and emotional support animals will be allowed to travel on flights to/from all domestic and international destinations. Please note trained assistance and emotional support animals may be subject to additional governmental laws and regulations at the destination, including but not limited to, health certificates, permits and vaccinations required by the country, state or territory from and/or to which the animal is being transported.

International assistance and emotional support animals

Trained assistance and emotional support animals are permitted on Southwest Airlines flights, subject to compliance with certain safety and documentation requirements. Please note trained assistance and emotional support animals may be subject to additional governmental laws and regulations at the destination, including but not limited to, health certificates, permits and vaccinations required by the country, state or territory from and/or to which the animal is being transported.

NEW RULES EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 17, 2018
Starting September 17, Southwest Airlines will have updated policies that will affect our Customers who travel with an emotional support animal or trained service animal. We hope these changes give our Customers clearer guidelines about the types of animals that can travel on our planes.  

Our updates are based on a careful review of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) recent enforcement guidance and feedback we received from our Customers, Employees, and several advocacy groups and animal-related organizations.  Here is a look at the updates we’re making:

 

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

Beginning September 17, ESAs:
•  Will be limited to only dogs and cats
•  Will be limited to one per Customer
•Must remain in a carrier or be on a leash at all times

Customers traveling with an ESA will still need to present a complete, current letter from a doctor or licensed mental health professional on the day of departure.


Trained Service Animals

  • In alignment with recent Department of Transportation (DOT) guidance, we will only accept the most common service animals—dogs, cats, and miniature horses.  Paroper Identification or license.
  • For the health and safety of both our Customers and Employees, unusual or exotic animals will not be accepted.
  • As is the case today, the Customer with the disability must be able to provide the credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.

 

Formally Recognizing Psychiatric Support Animals (PSAs)

And, we’re excited to announce that starting in September, Southwest will formally recognize trained psychiatric service animals (PSAs) as trained service animals.  PSAs are trained to perform a task or work for a person with a mental health-related disability. For these animals, like other trained service animals, credible verbal assurance will be accepted. Though we’ve informally accepted PSAs in the past, we’re really pleased to formalize this type of service animal for our Customers.


Animal Behavior

For the Safety of both our Customers and our Employees, all emotional support and trained service animals must be trained to behave properly in a public setting and under the control of the handler at all times. An animal that engages in disruptive behavior, like scratching, growling, or urinating in the gate area, may be denied boarding. 

SERVICE DOG FRAUDSTERS
Unfortunately, some service-dog fraudsters are prepared to give false answers to these questions.  Certain courts have recognized, however, that the ADA allows establishments to ask follow-up or clarifying questions. For example, service dogs must be fully trained, so staff may ask if training is complete (a puppy would not meet the standard). 

They may also ask for more details about the specific assistive task or tasks a dog can perform. Managers should proceed with caution in these situations: Excessive questioning or requests for demonstrations of the dog’s training would seldom be justified under the ADA.

Even legitimate service dogs can be excluded from public accommodations if they are not housebroken or under their handlers’ control. The ADA also does not give service dogs free rein to threaten others’ legitimate health and safety interests. For example, restaurant staff may prohibit service animals from eating at tables or sitting on chairs meant for patrons. And service-dog handlers are responsible for property damage to the same extent that other patrons would be held responsible.

The ADA’s service-animal rules also apply to carriers such as trains, buses and taxis, with a key difference: The U.S. Transportation Department does not limit its definition of “service animal” to dogs. Therefore, other animals may be permitted on transit systems if they have appropriate assistive training, are housebroken and are under the control of their handlers.


ON AIRPLANES IT HAS NEVER BEEN CLEAR
On airplanes, however, the federal Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) provides even broader protections for service animals.  Unlike places of public accommodation governed solely by the ADA, commercial airlines must accept ID cards, other documentation, apparel or “credible verbal assurances” as evidence that a service animal is legitimate (although an airline may prohibit “unusual” service animals such as reptiles, rodents or spiders).  The dumbed down word here is apparel.  And as far as credible verbal assurances, which is a nice way of saying, “ I do lie very well”.

Further, if a passenger with a disability produces appropriate documentation from a licensed mental health professional, the ACAA requires airlines to accommodate emotional-support animals that would not be protected by the ADA.

Service animals accompanying commercial air travelers must be permitted in any seat space where their passenger-handlers are permitted to sit.  But federal regulations also instruct airline staff to assess whether a service animal presents a direct threat to the health and safety of others or a significant threat of disruption to the airline service in the cabin.  I have seen enough in the cabin and it’s gotten worse.

If a dispute arises with a passenger as to whether the animal should be permitted, staff are to refer the matter to the airline’s mandatory complaint resolution official (CRO). Commercial airlines must provide a written explanation to any passenger whose service animal has not been accommodated under these rules.

For managers at places of public accommodation, decisions about allowing animals on the premises raise challenging legal issues, not to mention difficult customer-service and public-relations predicaments. But developing written animal policies that balance the legal issues at play can help. 

Policies should instruct staff on permissible questioning and emphasize that service animals that are fully trained to assist individuals with disabilities are welcome, provided that their handlers effectively control their behavior.


UNFORTUNATELY THE FEDS HAVE TO STEP IN
The simple solution is a national registry with visible chip-able tags the service dog is assigned with.  NO CHIP-NO TRIP,  simple solves the whole problem and Rover can bend over, sit-up, beg, high five, do cartwheels, flips but  NO CHIP-NO TRIP.   And this should be an easily verifiable program through the national medical database notation and administered chipping by licensed veterinarians.


ON AIRPLANES, THE ADA IS WRONG

On airplanes, however, the federal Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) provides even broader protections for service animals.  Unlike places of public accommodation governed solely by the ADA, commercial airlines must accept ID cards, other documentation, apparel or “credible verbal assurances” as evidence that a service animal is legitimate (although an airline may prohibit “unusual” service animals such as reptiles, rodents or spiders).  The dumbed down word here is apparent.  And as far as credible verbal assurances, which is a nice way of saying, “ I do lie very well”.


TWICE PETS (NOT SERVICE DOGS) CAUSED ME TO REACT


EPISODE ONE  
-  On a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas on Delta  I had a seat across the aisle, from a woman with dog.  I have at times bad, really bad allergies.  Whether it was the dog or the cheap perfume the woman was wearing, like she took a bath in it,  I felt an attack coming on.  Thats all I need, sneezing my way to Las Vegas. I buzzed the stewardess, showed her the reaction I was about to have, nothing was done and soon one colossal (my friends call it a nuclear class sneeze) provoked sneeze got me moved.  The five passengers around me supported my decision to move.  I  apologized, they cheered when I moved.

EPISODE TWO  -  On another flight the yappy dog almost nipped a passenger in front of me boarding who while moving down the aisle to her seat and fido threatened her.  Actually lunged at her.  The stewardess came since this was escalating, and I had to run the same gauntlet in the aisle after her next.  I wanted to see what the crew would do.  Nothing, not even move the dog to the window seat.  Out comes the camera.  I believe at times Journalism is required and there are steps :   Incident - Camera - Record - Law Suit  -  Evidence.

EPISODE THREE - I’m writing this adding to it as I have witnessed too many of these incidents and I am with skills or have experience in two arenas.  I am a pilot who flew a lot of animals in crates as freight. The worst were pigs, stronger than you think, they could break wood cages,  and they come out of anesthesia very quickly.  I suggested they ship to the islands by boat, but something about a lot of pulled pork on the journey by the crew.

When the Key West  Deer (A protected specie and KEY WEST DEER is their correct name), a subspecies of whitetails, was threatened by their sever habitat flooding in the keys, these miniature deer are about the size of large dogs 55 to 75 lbs. and had to be brought out and taken to a safe undisclosed preserve in the panhandle.  We had no other safe haven closer to the keys. Many pilot friends with planes took out the seats and we started an airlift to the panhandle. 

These deer were  severely waterlogged and suffering from hoof rot which is a killer when the deer can’t move. They were partially doped as they are really skittish. The vets,  all volunteers and the wildlife people did an incredible job and we started the evacuation.  They have only two predators,  Gators and Chevrolets, Fords or Dodges.  It was a great calling,  executed well but these little guys were not in good shape, not used to the stress and we lost many.  Even subdued with small doses of Diazepam or Valium just enough trying not to knock them out with a proper dosage.  It was horrible. 

I was a volunteer animal rescuer handling injured birds of prey, gulls, pelicans, with the Seabird Sanctuary years ago and have many friends in the veterinary business.  And volunteer when needed, they call me, I don’t call them. Occasionally I helped with pooches and cats especially during hurricanes when lots of animals are lost, scared, uncontrollable, unpredictable.   Wild cats, your cuddly purring snuggie bunny are the most unstable when trapped and the jokes about  a ball of fur with claws is not a joke.  

I never took on a cat or raptor, both have claws, without elbow length heavy leather gloves, usually putting them onto their back in a choke hold position which in animal language is submission.   The next step is bribery with treats.   Usually food works best if you see they are starving.  Some stay wild for a while, some will adopt you.  

If a dispute arises with a passenger as to whether the animal should be permitted, staff are to refer the matter to the airline’s mandatory complaint resolution official (CRO). Commercial airlines must provide a written explanation to any passenger whose service animal has not been accommodated under these rules.

For managers at places of public accommodation, decisions about allowing animals on the premises raise challenging legal issues, not to mention difficult customer-service and public-relations predicaments. But developing written animal policies that balance the legal issues at play can help. 

Policies should instruct staff on permissible questioning and emphasize that service animals that are fully trained to assist individuals with disabilities are welcome, provided that their handlers effectively control their behavior.


DELTA STEPS IN, LEADING THE PACK

Delta deserves praise for its recent decision to impose tighter restrictions on service animals. Here’s hoping the other airlines will follow suit.  The epidemic that has led to animals showing up in places where they don’t belong has been going on for a while now. 

It’s been abetted by loopholes in well-meaning legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, that were intended to make sure that people who have disabilities and their trained service animals would be able to get around without hassles. But many pet owners, not to mention a bunch of online registration companies, have taken advantage of the law.

The New Yorker took a droll look at the abuses a few years ago. Among the many anecdotes of animal excess the magazine reported was one about how Ivana Trump let her miniature Yorkie romp at a fancy Italian restaurant in New York. Ivana, too, claimed the pup was a service animal, the New Yorker says.  Married to TRUMP she needed a service dog and a psychiatrist.

Regulators are making it easier for US airlines to limit the growing number of animals being brought onto flights by passengers who say they need them for emotional or psychological support.  The Department of Transportation said Wednesday it won't take action against airlines if they refuse to let passengers take aboard more than one support animal, demand assurance that a passenger has a disability or require proof of an animal's vaccination and training.

The agency also will allow airlines to impose "reasonable restrictions" on the movement of emotional support animals in a plane's cabin, and is seeking public comment on possible additional regulations to further restrict the animals. Service animals including seeing-eye dogs won't be restricted under the proposed changes.

The department's announcement comes as the three largest U.S. carriers have altered their policies on support animals since the start of this year, as a growing number of passengers claimed they needed them.

On Monday, American Airlines, the world's largest carrier, announced it was adopting rules that require new documentation for passengers with animals and ban altogether several types of creatures, including hedgehogs, goats, ferrets, chickens, birds of prey and snakes.

Federal law allows passengers to bring animals into the cabin that provide emotional support or assistance to fliers with disabilities free of charge. Such animals can sit at the feet or on the laps of the passengers.

Small pets that are not service or emotional support animals can be transported in containers that fit under the airline seat. Larger animals must be shipped in carriers that are placed in the cargo hold.

In the last few months, the surge in animals being brought onto planes has resulted in some animals urinating, defecating, biting, barking and lunging on planes, according to carriers. A Delta passenger was mauled by a 50-pound dog on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego last year.

American Airlines' new policy takes effect with tickets issued on July 1. Among its provisions, passengers must submit a form 48 hours before their flight signed by a mental health professional who will attest that the passenger needs to travel with an emotional support animal. The carrier reserves the right to contact that professional.

Delta and Alaska have also added rules that require passengers to submit documents ensuring that their animals are healthy, well trained and being brought on board at the direction of a mental health professional.

*07-2018 aljacobsladder.com