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Changes to emotional support animal policies effective 9/17/18

Changes to emotional support animal policies effective 9/17/18

Old Aug 15, 18, 9:27 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by kaller View Post
I hope this empowers GAs to require presentation of documentation prior to boarding. The current status is most people are taking their pets aboard without a carrier, without documentation and without paying the pet fees.
And how long will this hold the line up?

Has the 'current status' been verified, or just opinion?
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Old Aug 15, 18, 11:29 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by jeffandnicole View Post
And how long will this hold the line up?

Has the 'current status' been verified, or just opinion?
While perhaps not "most," I'd say it's been "verified," since flyers claiming pets are ESAs or Trained Service Animals is specifically the reason carriers are tightening up their rules.

That's the whole point here.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 8:20 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
We find it highly offensive that Southwest is suggesting that cats can ever be fully trained. That's soooo beneath us.

Sincerely,
Cats
"Fully"? More like, "at all".
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Old Aug 17, 18, 3:32 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
"Fully"? More like, "at all".
Well, they CAN be trained to use a litter box. When they feel like it.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Here's a gem from that article:
"A provision in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes a provision about the use of miniature horses as service animals, though it's unclear how an airline might be able to accommodate a passenger requesting to bring one on a flight."

The editors weren't very diligent; a quick search came up with images including this one:
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Old Aug 17, 18, 3:45 pm
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Words fail me

(... that's actually not entirely true, but the words I have would never pass the FT community standards)
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Old Aug 17, 18, 8:47 pm
  #22  
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Someone who emotionally cannot get from A to B without being accompanied by a damn horse should be forced to stay home.

The law is an ....
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Old Aug 18, 18, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Someone who emotionally cannot get from A to B without being accompanied by a damn horse should be forced to stay home.

The law is an ....
Well, actually, I think you may be falling into the classic trap: you've mistaken a Service Animal for an Emotional Support Animal.

The horse in ehallison's photo appears to be wearing the same type of harness and guide handle worn by seeing eye dogs, so it's entirely possible that the animal is a guide for a sightless person (presumably the woman in the window seat, since the man in the aisle seat is obviously writing and is not wearing glasses, so his vision would seem to be good enough that he needs no guide animal). It's also possible that the horse is some other type of service animal that merely uses the same harness.

But on another note, I think it's rather heartless to suggest that people with insecurities and social anxiety be "forced to stay home". Certainly, I believe that stricter regulation of ESA's is called for, and their presence should not be tolerated in places that don't allow pets (unlike trained service animals). But people with such issues shouldn't be treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against, or treated like a disease just because they have a disease.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 8:42 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Well, actually, I think you may be falling into the classic trap: you've mistaken a Service Animal for an Emotional Support Animal.

The horse in ehallison's photo appears to be wearing the same type of harness and guide handle worn by seeing eye dogs, so it's entirely possible that the animal is a guide for a sightless person (presumably the woman in the window seat, since the man in the aisle seat is obviously writing and is not wearing glasses, so his vision would seem to be good enough that he needs no guide animal). It's also possible that the horse is some other type of service animal that merely uses the same harness.

But on another note, I think it's rather heartless to suggest that people with insecurities and social anxiety be "forced to stay home". Certainly, I believe that stricter regulation of ESA's is called for, and their presence should not be tolerated in places that don't allow pets (unlike trained service animals). But people with such issues shouldn't be treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against, or treated like a disease just because they have a disease.
In some ways this is worse. First of all, why cats? Secondly, it’s like they are suggesting you just call your ESA a PSA. If your ESA helps with depression by comforting you then it’s basically a PSA or at least that’s all someone now has to say. I fully get that there are people that really need assistance but unless I’m missing something here it seems like a door will be easier to exploit. I suppose in theory someone could get busted for lying about a PSA related disability but short of someone filming a video saying they are scamming the system it seems hard they would get found out.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 1:05 pm
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The harnesses and other outward decorations mean nothing. A person willing to falsely claim their pet is an ESA will likely be willing to claim their pet is a service animal. The only real solution is an official national registry.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
I think it's rather heartless to suggest that people with insecurities and social anxiety be "forced to stay home".
You'll say that 'till one of 'em nuts up on your flight Greyhound and Amtrak go pretty much everywhere.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 7:17 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Well, actually, I think you may be falling into the classic trap: you've mistaken a Service Animal for an Emotional Support Animal.

The horse in ehallison's photo appears to be wearing the same type of harness and guide handle worn by seeing eye dogs, so it's entirely possible that the animal is a guide for a sightless person (presumably the woman in the window seat, since the man in the aisle seat is obviously writing and is not wearing glasses, so his vision would seem to be good enough that he needs no guide animal). It's also possible that the horse is some other type of service animal that merely uses the same harness.

But on another note, I think it's rather heartless to suggest that people with insecurities and social anxiety be "forced to stay home". Certainly, I believe that stricter regulation of ESA's is called for, and their presence should not be tolerated in places that don't allow pets (unlike trained service animals). But people with such issues shouldn't be treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against, or treated like a disease just because they have a disease.
Everywhere imaginable we are twisting ourselves into knots in this country to accommodate the most insane behavior.

Time to stop.

So I am heartless. Ask me if I care.

While you are at it, ask that poor guy who got his face chewed off by a “service”/“support” whatever-the-h dog on that DL flight a few months ago.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 8:42 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ehallison View Post
Here's a gem from that article:
"A provision in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes a provision about the use of miniature horses as service animals, though it's unclear how an airline might be able to accommodate a passenger requesting to bring one on a flight."

The editors weren't very diligent; a quick search came up with images including this one:
That's a first class bulkhead seat. I don't think Southwest has too many of those. @:-)
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Old Aug 19, 18, 7:11 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by kennycrudup View Post
You'll say that 'till one of 'em nuts up on your flight Greyhound and Amtrak go pretty much everywhere.
Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post


Everywhere imaginable we are twisting ourselves into knots in this country to accommodate the most insane behavior.

Time to stop.

So I am heartless. Ask me if I care.

While you are at it, ask that poor guy who got his face chewed off by a “service”/“support” whatever-the-h dog on that DL flight a few months ago.


I think you guys are focusing on one sentence and completely missing the part where I said:

Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Certainly, I believe that stricter regulation of ESA's is called for, and their presence should not be tolerated in places that don't allow pets (unlike trained service animals).
Because YES, I actually agree with you that ESAs are currently a legitimate problem and I don't want them in public places, because they're not trained like true Service Animals.

The major problem with this entire issue is that people constantly conflate the person with the animal.

1) Person: May have a legitimate need for a SA or ESA. But under ADA, no questions or demands about the person's disability may be posed to the person as a condition for allowing them to bring an animal into a place of business.

2) Animal: An animal is either a Service Animal (as defined by the law, the ADA), or not. By law, under the ADA, businesses may ask only two questions about the animal (no questions about the person) to determine whether an animal is allowed into the establishment - (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

Now, here's where the confusion comes in.

Businesses seem to think they can't ask any questions about either the person or the animal, so they ask none and allow ESAs in when they are not required by law to do so. That's wrong.

Fellow customers seem to think that businesses should be grilling people over their disabilities and medical history, and requiring proof of the person's disability before allowing an animal into the establishment. That's wrong.

And many of those who who need ESAs seem to think that their ESAs are SAs, and that the SA laws apply to them, and that a note from their doctor saying that they need an ESA is enough to make the ESA qualify under the law as an SA. That's wrong.

Under ADA, only dogs and miniature horses can be Service Animals. Any other animal is, by definition, NOT a Service Animal. Cats, miniature pigs, snakes, peacocks, etc, are not service animals. Thus, businesses are not required to accommodate them as such.

Under ADA, a dog or miniature horse which has been trained to perform work or tasks required by a person because of a disability are Service Animals. Untrained animals are not service animals. Having a note from your doctor that says you NEED to have your dog, cat, or other animal does not qualify that animal as a Service Animal - that's about the PERSON, not the ANIMAL. Thus, businesses are not required to accommodate untrained animals as Service Animals.

So, basically, instead of lumping ESAs and SAs together, instead of lumping people and animals together, we need to examine the issues separately and apply the law fairly, rationally, and dispassionately to each situation, and everyone will be much happier in the end.

We also need to be compassionate in our application of the law. Yes, someone may have a legitimate psychological condition for which they need an ESA. Yes, their doctor can give them a letter documenting this fact. No, they should not be required to hide at home and never go out because of their condition. However, their NEED for the animal does not magically turn an ESA into a Service Animal, and businesses should turn away any animal that is not a Service Animal.

Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
The harnesses and other outward decorations mean nothing. A person willing to falsely claim their pet is an ESA will likely be willing to claim their pet is a service animal. The only real solution is an official national registry.
Even as a naturally cynical and skeptical person, I can't go through life automatically assuming that every person I see with an animal is scamming the system. Absent some evidence to the contrary, I have to assume that dogs with those handles are actually working dogs trained to perform specific tasks required by a disability. I can be skeptical about a chihuahuas or pomeranian being carried into a supermarket in a woman's purse, and obviously any animal other than a dog or miniature horse. But those with the handles, or those with the vests that say "Don't pet me, I'm a working dog", I will assume they are Service Animals and not scammers unless I see something to make me suspect otherwise.

I do agree with you about a national registry, though. I think the companies that train Service Animals should be licensed, and their trainees should be licensed and registered, and the animal's license should be in possession of their human at all times when in public. This would simplify things a LOT, because at that point, any animal with a Service Animal license can be accommodated by a business with no questions asked about either the animal or the person, and any animal without the license can be summarily barred from a business for the comfort and safety of all other patrons.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 11:10 am
  #30  
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The ADA standard, loose as it is, is "reasonable accommodation."

I don't get how having a miniature horse on a 737 can be construed as a "reasonable" accommodation.
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