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'comfort' animals

Rockinruby

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 27, 2013
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2,740
What do you think? Should there be more definitive language on what constitutes a "comfort" animal and who is allowed to bring them on board? Do you think people should have to register (or have a national registry) for their service or emotional support animals? I personally know people that need their service animal. OTOH, a pet photographer bragged to me earlier this week about getting to take her dog everywhere because she pretends she needs him. :wavey:



Attention, fliers: You may need to leave your 'comfort' animal at home
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/10/11/airlines-emotional-support-animals/91721824/

To calm his nerves for frequent airline flights, Jason Ellis swaddles his marmoset Gizmo in a blanket and tucks him into his shirt.

“You look into his eyes, and it’s like looking into human eyes,” said Ellis, 30, of Las Vegas, who travels weekly for work on innovative lighting for growing cannabis. “Just having him with me, it’s like your security blanket.”

Critters like Gizmo, a species of monkey, are allowed to tag along on flights as emotional-support animals for their owners. A wide variety of animals from turkeys to pigs have joined the stampede of an estimated 100,000 animals riding 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. Comfort animals can sit on their owner's lap if they are leashed.

“It’s getting out of hand,” said Richard Bogash, a marketing executive from Hallandale Beach, Fla., a member of USA TODAY’s frequent-flier group called Road Warriors. “I recently saw a cat freak out in business class on Delta from Europe and fur went flying all over the meal of the customer next to the owner.”

But advocates for emotional-support animals say they can treat unseen ailments such as low blood sugar or heart arrhythmia, or simply calm travelers who suffer stress. Alicia Smith, a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said emotional-support animals provide medical assistance as crucial as an oxygen bottle and can help calm an autistic child or a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.

DOT debates access for disabled in plane restrooms, entertainment, animals

Earlier this year, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx named the Access Advisory Committee to try to negotiate a compromise between airlines and advocates to limit the definition of comfort animals. Since beginning in April, the group has debated possible restrictions on the size and species of comfort animals. But it’s not clear it will reach a consensus by the final meeting, which begins Wednesday and ends Friday.

Even without a compromise, the department could propose a change in how it defines the animals, though it could take months or years before the change takes effect. The department is also considering ways to make lavatories more accessible on single-aisle planes and seat-back entertainment more accessible for the deaf and blind.

The animals generate strong feelings on all sides.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 2, 2016
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5,909
We have a neighbor that registers her dogs as support animals just so they can go everywhere with them. Like grocery shopping and the mall, I guess they just pay through some company and get paperwork and a vest and then the dog can't be denied entrance. Makes me sick because they are not legitimate service animals in fact I think one of the dogs pooped in the mall one day which a legit service dog would never do.

There needs to be more regulation, one agency that handles the licensing of these support animals so that all the other scammers get weeded out. These other companies are just out for the money and are ruining it for the people who really need a support animal.
 

lyra

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I'm in favour of properly trained therapy pets. As long as they have gone through a training program successfully, then they should be allowed. Trained therapy pets do provide emotional support for people suffering from different forms of mental illness, which is a valid concern. I'm not in favour of anyone just claiming a house pet is a service dog, for reasons already mentioned--they are not properly trained and can be unpredictable.
 

Arcadian

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arkieb1

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Wow, I can just imagine having to be the poor person who has to clean up in the cabin after a duck, pig or untrained dog has pooped in a plane :shock: I see both sides of it, I have friends who have a fully trained autism dog for their son, but it is a proper dog that cost many many thousands of dollars and he has severe autism so, I think for all the people that just like to travel with their pets for fun it kind of negates/ruins it for people and children with real needs like that.
 

redwood66

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Aug 22, 2012
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I think it has gotten out of hand just a bit with people who do not really need them. And with registries comes cost and the government does not need to spend more money. Can't they just have a blanket like Linus? Maybe a robot comfort animal?

These are my comfort animals. Can I bring them?

20150927_113533.jpg
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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I have no problem with true therapy animals. Many in the military suffer from PTSD after Afghanistan and Iraq and some have a need for such animals, which are trained to keep these men and women level.

There are also animals that arkbie mentioned not only for mental health but real medical issues. And some dogs like my my mom's dog alerts when her blood sugar is too low. In Maddies case, she's not trained, she just does it because she's bonded very close to my mom. ( we offered to get her certified, but my mom said no, she's great in the house, its outside that Maddie becomes "all dog"....lol)

Thankfully no one has tried a horse on a plane (the poops would be massive!)

I do believe reading however that some miniature horses were therapy animal trained (must be interesting but still..the POOPS!!!)
 

redwood66

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I was just joshing about my horses although they are extremely comforting for me. LOL. True therapy animals are a good thing but I think the increase is because of the other kind - like purse dogs. It makes me think people are too self absorbed.

ETA - horse poop is much cleaner than dog or cat poop. LOL
 

House Cat

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redwood66|1477752546|4091741 said:
I think it has gotten out of hand just a bit with people who do not really need them. And with registries comes cost and the government does not need to spend more money. Can't they just have a blanket like Linus? Maybe a robot comfort animal?

These are my comfort animals. Can I bring them?
Red, you can take these beauties anywhere!! :love: :love: :love:
 

redwood66

Ideal_Rock
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House Cat|1477754935|4091750 said:
redwood66|1477752546|4091741 said:
I think it has gotten out of hand just a bit with people who do not really need them. And with registries comes cost and the government does not need to spend more money. Can't they just have a blanket like Linus? Maybe a robot comfort animal?

These are my comfort animals. Can I bring them?
Red, you can take these beauties anywhere!! :love: :love: :love:
Aww thank you HC. I do love them. :D
 

baby monster

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I know lots of people who buy these fake placards and badges identifying their pet as "comfort animal" just so they can bring them everywhere. Bunch of baloney but no way to regulate this so people push it as far as they can.
 

kipari

Ideal_Rock
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Very interesting topic.... what about everyone else on the plane who might be severely allergic to one of those animals?Just thinking of my hubby, who had a full on asthma crisis because he was sitting next to a person who had a cat once. I cannot imagine an intercontinental flight with a cat or horse :D in the same closed air system than him... he'd be in real danger..
 

House Cat

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I was under the impression that someone needed doctor's approval to certify their animals as an ESA. Am I wrong about this? I have two thoughts about this. First, people are taking advantage of this and they are messing it up for everyone. Or maybe people really do need to have their animals with them. If they are going to go through the trouble of getting a note for the animal and also go through the trouble of having the animal travel with them, maybe there is some part of them that really needs the animal with them.

I love the Battle Buddy Foundation. They train dogs to be highly specialized for PTSD and then give them to veterans. These dogs change lives. When the veteran is having symptoms, the dog helps. The dog can wake the veteran out of nightmares, sense an elevated heartbeat, look around corners to ensure safety, etc. It is so amazing what these dogs can do. These are actual service animals, not ESA's.

I have a little chihuahua mix that is nothing but love. I have often thought that she might be a good ESA for me because I have PTSD. Then I thought it through and realized that she would try to get love from every person she saw and would totally fail at her "job." :))
 

baby monster

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House Cat|1477755633|4091757 said:
I was under the impression that someone needed doctor's approval to certify their animals as an ESA. Am I wrong about this? I have two thoughts about this. First, people are taking advantage of this and they are messing it up for everyone. Or maybe people really do need to have their animals with them. If they are going to go through the trouble of getting a note for the animal and also go through the trouble of having the animal travel with them, maybe there is some part of them that really needs the animal with them.

I love the Battle Buddy Foundation. They train dogs to be highly specialized for PTSD and then give them to veterans. These dogs change lives. When the veteran is having symptoms, the dog helps. The dog can wake the veteran out of nightmares, sense an elevated heartbeat, look around corners to ensure safety, etc. It is so amazing what these dogs can do. These are actual service animals, not ESA's.

I have a little chihuahua mix that is nothing but love. I have often thought that she might be a good ESA for me because I have PTSD. Then I thought it through and realized that she would try to get love from every person she saw and would totally fail at her "job." :))
You can buy fake doctor's approval online to certify your animal as ESA. Who checks that it's legit?
 
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