Service And Support Animals on Planes.

Rachel Jarvis, Contributor

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There is a huge difference between emotional support dogs and service dogs. Both are important for many reasons, but one can be denied when going places. A service dog has been trained since birth to help people with disabilities. For example service dogs usually help people that are blind, they help them do things like finding their way and much more. Service dogs are also, under the ADA, are allowed to go places that usually dogs would not be allowed, like the airport. service animals are not allowed to be denied. A support animals sole purpose is to provide comfort for their owners. They do not qualify as a service dog. Support animals are used for the following: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, panic attacks,  Fear/phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Suicidal Thoughts/Tendencies. Support animals can be dogs, cats, pigs, and even a miniature horse while service animals can only be dogs according to the ADA.

Service animals must be leashed or tethered unless this interferes with the service it is trying to provide; in that case, the dog must be tamed with voice control or other methods. For example, if the dog needed to be able to go farther than a leash would allow them to the dog must be trained to be commanded my voice. If the dog refuses to obey then then the air lines would have the right to deny them access.

For all air lines there are certain rules. Most if not all air lines have the rules, they have to fit either under the seat or in your lap (only some air lines allow them in your lap), they can not go into other seating areas or the aisle, a doctors not is required, and the dog is not allowed to bark grown or show any signs of aggression. Also some animals are banned from air lines. Some examples are, reptiles rodents, any thing with horns, tusks, or hooves (exception of the miniature pony), insects and some other animals.

Since these support animals are animals they do not have the same training or self control that service animals do. This leads to long stressful flights. The dog may begin to feel restless and whimper or whine to get out. or the animal could relieve itself on the plane letting on for a long, smelly flight home. since this is a huge issue, airports have places designated for animals to relieve themselves, but it does not solve all issues. It has also been an issue where owners say that they need to have a support animal with them just because they want to bring their dogs places. Support animals are usually only needed if the person has a severe mental issue. So people faking having a support animal just to bring the animals on the flight is ruining travel for the people who need their emotional support animals.

Air lines also do not handle their responsibilities as well as they should. In some instances the animal dies. Delta put a dog in the over head bins because it was slightly going into the neighboring seat area. when the flight landed the dog had passed. Even though it is in the rules that the animal is not to be in the neighboring seat, they should have handled it better than that, it should not have ended in any death, even if it was just a dog. Spirit has also done something like that, they would not allow a family on board that had a hamster. the result of that was they had to flush the hamster down the toilet. There are defiantly more ways they could have handled that situation.

Even though support animals are a lot of work, it can save a lot of stress from their owners. If the owner needed their animals with them through a flight, it is probably for a good reason. They need their support animals to be able to function correctly, they help their owners in ways that humans would never be able to help another human. They offer love and support. They even give the owner some responsibility and in some cases that is all that they would need to start getting back on track.

Information About Emotional Support Dog Registration

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