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“Here . . . Have a Teddy!” August 31, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Travel & Leisure.
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We saw a short segment on the news a few weeks ago showing an airline passenger who needed 28 stitches after being bitten in the face by a dog.

On a plane!

The 50-pound dog was allowed on the flight as an “emotional support animal.”

Other animals that have been allowed to fly for free as emotional support animals ~> a turkey, a pig, and a duck!

QUACK!!!

What next?  An emotional support alligator?  Tarantula? Cobra?

Perhaps it’s time to rein in political correctness in favor of common sense by telling passengers that their right to fly with “emotional support animals” is limited by the rights of other passengers to fly the friendly skies.

Then hand them a teddy to hug for the duration of the flight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

As part of her investigation, the reporter applied for and received an “emotional support animal” certificate for HER dog by filling out an on-line form and paying $149.  That’s all it took so that she could bring her dog on her next flight for “emotional support.”

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1. KathrinS - August 31, 2017

Wow that’s crazy!!! I’ve heard before that it’s pretty easy to register a dog as a service animal.

Kathrin — http://mycupofenglishtea.wordpress.com

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

It’s way TOO easy.

Actual service animals and guide dogs go through a rigorous process designed to weed out aggressive animals . . . thus avoiding this type of scenario. In contrast, as demonstrated by the reporter mentioned above, getting an “emotional support animal” certificate involves nothing more than a few minutes of on-line time and payment of the requisite fee.

KathrinS - August 31, 2017

Yes, that’s crazy!!!

2. Joanne Sisco - August 31, 2017

Good grief. Give people an inch and they’ll take a mile.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

A very small percentage of the population receives real benefit from their “emotional support animals” while flying.

A much larger percentage of the population have certified their PETS as emotional support animals so that the animals can fly for free in the passenger cabin.

Joanne Sisco - September 1, 2017

That’s exactly what one would expect to have happen.

nrhatch - September 1, 2017

Yup. Humans can be quite predictable when it comes to their self-serving tendencies.

3. Jill Weatherholt - August 31, 2017

I couldn’t agree more, Nancy. I’m so over PC!

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

Imagine paying for a flight and then getting stuck sitting next to some birdbrain . . . toting an emotional support turkey.

Or worse.

4. Kate Crimmins - August 31, 2017

Perhaps it wasn’t about emotional support at all but wanting his pet in the passenger cabin rather than wherever they normally keep them. Clearly if a passenger comes on with such a big animal that doesn’t fit in a carrier they should be seated at the very back or someplace appropriate perhaps even charged for an extra seat. Shame on that person if they knew their dog could freak out. They should be held accountable.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

In this case the dog’s owner was a marine who was “issued” an emotional support animal. So maybe the animal was “legit.”

But the marine was seated by the airline in the middle row with the 50-pound dog on his lap! The guy who was mauled was stuck in the window seat with no way to get away once the dog launched the attack. That’s just scary.

Don’t know the aftermath of the story except that the victim needed 28 stitches and lawyered up. Maybe the ensuing lawsuit will result in better guidelines for the airlines.

Kate Crimmins - August 31, 2017

50 lb. dog on lap in middle seat? The airline staff should be fired.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

They may have been fired. I haven’t followed the story since it happened.

5. Patrick Dykie - August 31, 2017

Thanks for this great post. This is really crazy, but I’m starting to become immune to the insanity. I hope the reporter gets sued. She may then, really need a support animal.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

Thanks, Patrick. If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane, eh?

BTW: I don’t think the reporter plans to use the certificate she got for her dog ~ she just wanted to see how EZ it was to get an “emotional support animal” certificate. I moved the segue about her to the end of the post to clarify that it was not HER dog that attacked the passenger.

6. Tippy Gnu - August 31, 2017

Good idea to hand out teddies. But you know, just like blankets, they’ll eventually start charging for those cuddly bears.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

Do they charge for blankets now?

It’s been ages since I’ve flown so I’m not up to speed on the “add ons” ~> every time I “almost” talk myself into flying, something “like this” happens and I talk myself out of it again.

Last time, it was the passenger getting dragged off the overbooked flight by United henchmen.

BTW: One of my nieces got head lice from playing hide-and-seek underneath a previously used blanket on a flight. EWWW!!!

Tippy Gnu - August 31, 2017

I last flew on Frontier a few months ago, and they charged for blankets and every other amenity except water. But they are kind of a budget airline. Perhaps some of the more expensive airlines still have a few “free” things, like blankets. But after hearing about your niece, I think I’d feel reluctant about accepting a free blanket. How you can catch lice from supposedly laundered blankets is a real head-scratcher.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

A real head-scratcher!

7. L. Marie - August 31, 2017

Does this mean I shouldn’t bring my emotional support king cobra on my next flight? He just loooooooves people.

nrhatch - August 31, 2017

Ha! Please leave that “charmer” at home! 😀

8. William D'Andrea - September 2, 2017

I haven’t been on an airplane since 1987. That’s 30 years. From all these new reports, I get the impression that it’s just not as much fun, as it was back then. Then everything was included in the price; and if you didn’t like the person who you found yourself seated with, you were allowed to move, if there were any empty seats. Then only guide dogs were allowed in the cabin, with blind people. Whatever ways emotionally insecure people had of coping with their problems, did not include endangering the other passengers.

nrhatch - September 2, 2017

Good thoughts, William. I haven’t flown in 10+ years and don’t miss it. Every time I think it might be an expedient means of moving from Point A to Point B, something like this happens and I decide to drive, or take the train, or just stay put.

9. Debra - September 2, 2017

This is a terrible story, Nancy. I have noted more and more emotional support animals EVERYWHERE, and I have wondered how far the boundaries have already moved and where they will end! There was a young woman on the train with a very large dog. He was gentle, and had I been sitting near her I would have been reasonably comfortable, but that’s certainly not true of everyone, and I think had anyone complained, more than likely they’d have been the ones criticized for intolerance.

nrhatch - September 2, 2017

I agree with you. I don’t think we should be criticized for intolerance when so many pet owners are abusing the system for self-serving reasons.

In a bird sanctuary (posted with a sign “NO DOGS ALLOWED”), I saw a young woman with a PUPPY running around creating a ruckus while she talked on her smart phone. I interrupted her to explain the reason for the rule and to point out that there are 3 neighboring preserves that encourage people to bring their pets. In response, she gave me her best smart-ass smile and said, “it’s my emotional support animal.” So I gave her my best smart-ass smile back and said, “I can see why you would need emotional support.” :mrgreen:

Anne Lene @ MinimalistSometimes - September 10, 2017

😂 😂😂😂😂 what a great comeback from you Nancy this cracked me up…

nrhatch - September 10, 2017

Thanks, Anne. Sometimes no response is the best response. For other times, snarky sarcasm is just the thing.


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