All week we’ve been talking about support and service animals. I think we all support the idea of therapy animals, but are some people taking this concept too far? Are we taking advantage of the public and the corporate world? I mean a goose or a goat as a passenger on an airline? A service kangaroo in a fast food restaurant? A therapy snake in a Mexican food restaurant? A turkey on an airline? What are we thinking?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for enjoying our animals to the fullest. They give us a lot of comfort. Some people, including at-risk or ailing children might need a more intense commitment from their pets and, as we’ve discussed before, some animals can help in detecting disease, predicting when a seizure is coming and so forth. But raise your hand if you think some people are taking advantage of this concept. And because of these people, who must take their turkey into the passenger compartment of an airline, for example, or a goose or a goat, well, I think they’re pushing the envelope and they’re making life more difficult for those who need a service dog or cat and for those who must travel on public transportation with an animal for a legitimate reason. One woman in Hawaii is training a miniature horse to be her support animal, which is wonderful. Horses are being used as therapy for children and less-abled adults all the time. But she intends taking this little horse into restaurants and other public places. Can you potty-train a horse?
Are airlines cracking down on therapy and service animals on board? Oh yes. Here are some of the airlines’ new rules: United Airlines: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/specialneeds/disabilities/assistance_animals.aspx
Here’s a list of other airlines and their requirements: https://esadoctors.com/airline-requirements-for-traveling-with-an-emotional-support-dog/
You might enjoy this site showing some of the more unusual animals being used as service animals: http://blog.ncpad.org/2010/12/13/6-of-the-most-unusual-service-animals/