Airlines should differentiate between emotional support animals and service animals and ban the former

Proposal are afoot in America to limit animals allowed in the cabin of aircraft, out of carriers, to professionally trained service animal dogs.

Cat on plane out of carrier
Mishka. You won’t see this in future in the US. Photo in public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Domestic cats will be excluded from proposed new rules on what animals are allowed into the cabin of American airliner aircraft as service animals, as are a raft of emotional support animals from a ‘supportive peacock’ to a turkey, pigs and horses. The current state of affairs has been described as ‘the days of Noah’s Ark in the air’.

These days are coming to an end because of abuses of the system and a dramatically increased number of complaints by passengers. There were 719 complaints in 2013 and 3,065 in 2018. Untrained animals have caused real problems among passengers including biting them and crew members, fighting with other pets, pooping in the aisle and causing allergic reactions in those passengers who are allergic to certain pets, which must include cats.

Reflecting the semi-chaotic state of affairs with regards to animals allowed out of carriers, in the cabin on passenger aircraft, it is reported in The Times that passengers have tried to board aircraft with snakes, spiders, gliding possums and, on one occasion, a squirrel. They cause delays in boarding.

Under new rules suggested by the US Department of Transportation airlines would be able to differentiate between emotional support animals and professionally trained service animals and exclude the former.

An emotional support animal is one that helps to relieve symptoms of the owner’s emotional issues (incorrect? Please provide your definition in a comment). A service animal is one that is professionally trained to perform tasks that assist a disabled person.

Just allowing dogs as service animals in the cabin will not preclude other animals as pets in carriers and for a fee. This would not solve the allergic reaction problem mentioned above. The Americans With Disabilities Act does not recognize cats as service animals. They are naturally less suited to the task as they are harder to train and can’t in all honesty be walked on a leash. Although technically cats can be service animals and there are many therapy cats visiting hospitals and other institutions.

Emotional support animals require supporting documentation from the human passenger’s GP, psychiatrist or social worker on treating a mental health condition and some expect to see a letter from a vet about the animal concerned. This seems to be a way of assessing an emotional support animal.



K9 JETS remove the worry of flying with your dog or cat

A dog reluctantly boards a plane during 'the inaugural flight of K9 Jets, a private jet charter company...founded in response ...
Cat travel from Canada to UK

Understanding the importation requirements for a domestic cat when travelling from Canada to the UK

Planning to travel from Canada to the UK with your cat? Get insights on importation requirements for domestic cats. Read ...
United Airlines had most animal deaths last year

Cat travel cage and thoughts on flying with a cat

What is the best kind of cat travel cage? I am thinking here of aircraft travel. For traveling in a ...
Scott Liza and Dobby

Cat with Ukrainian refugee banned (after boarding) from flying with Ryanair to UK

NEWS AND COMMENT: Liza Yardley is a Ukrainian woman who is married to Scott Yardley, a Lancashire man, who lives ...
286 cats and dogs on the Russian Ilyushin Il-76 about to be flown to Vancouver from Kabul Afghanistan

286 cats and dogs airlifted from Kabul, Afghanistan to Vancouver, Canada on Russian aircraft

OPINION ARTICLE-NEWS: This is the story of a wonderfully successful evacuation of 286 cats and dogs on a Russian transport ...
Breastfeeding cat in aircraft cabin?

‘Passenger in 13A is breastfeeding a cat and will not put cat back in its carrier when flight attendant requested’

NEWS AND COMMENT: The image below is from a pilot messaging system which tells us that the passenger in seat ...
Pen Farthing at Nowzad in Kabul

British government blocks evacuation of cats and dogs from Kabul to the UK

NEWS AND COMMENT - KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: The background to this story is useful to know. Nowzad is an animal charity ...
Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
Scroll to Top