1. jrkrideau says

    Why no rodents? Admittedly the idea sounds a little strange but I cannot see any obvious “valid” objections.

  2. pedantik says

    Iris seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth; no word from her since January. Hopefully this small victory against the squirrel menace will bring her out of hiding.

  3. Holms says

    Aren’t ’emotional support animals’ pretty much a scam? Over here we call them ‘pets’.

  4. says

    Homes @4

    There are legitimate emotional support animals, but the exotic pets people keep trying to bring on planes aren’t any such thing.


    Of course there are scams that have come up around this and now there are websites where you can “officially register” your emotional support animal, but those sites are pure BS.

  5. anxionnat says

    Things have certainly changed on airlines since I was in college in the early 1970s. In around 1972, I took my kitten on the plane with me going back to college. Nobody, including the flight attendants, batted an eye. On the contrary all the flight attendants came over to admire, feed, and pat my kitten. The pilot even came back and asked to hold her. She was about 10 weeks old, and a purr-and-snuggle machine, and turned all her wiles on the pilot. He eventually gave her back to me quite reluctantly. I didn’t own a cat-carrier, but that didn’t matter. Since then, I don’t think I’ve seen any pets on flights–including squirrels.

  6. microraptor says

    I admit, I’d feel uncomfortable with someone bringing an exotic pet rodent (as in, not an ordinary rat or hamster that’s available in every pet store) onto an airplane just because of rodents’ propensity to carry communicable diseases.

  7. analog2000 says

    These “emotional support animals” drive me crazy! That is not a service animal – that is a pet! There might be a few legitimate ones out there, but most are scammers.

    It is really unfortunate. My aunt has an actual disability and a legitimate service dog. She is currently on her third dog. When she got the first one 25+ years ago, she sometimes got hassled bringing it into public places. But then people started to understand the concept and she didn’t have any problems. But now she is starting to have problems again because there are so many fakes out there she is presumed to be one of them. People with their fake “support animals” are actively making the world worse for disabled people.

    I would add that her dog had 2+ years of intensive training and cost over $60,000 (health insurance and various charities cover most of the cost). True service animals are actually kinda spooky, they are so well trained. Nothing phases these dogs and they always do their jobs perfectly. They never misbehave or so much as bark in public. Think of a seeing eye dog – that animal is literally entrusted with the blind person’s life! They are so well trained they can be trusted to not lead you in to traffic or to the wrong place in the event of a fire. So to see a website advertising a “certification program” is infuriating!

  8. DanDare says

    No one ever challenges my emotional support rock.
    Actually what about the new line of robot companions? Probably have to pay for a seat?

  9. wzrd1 says

    @8, therein lies the key. Emotional support animals are very, very real, supporting their humans, who suffer from various very real illnesses, such as PTSD.
    That said, the human part of that is also given a certification card that identifies the animal as one that was specially trained for a specifically defined role that is listed on the legal document that the card is.
    Turning the human and their assistance animal away then becomes a legal offense, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    We have a young man at my employer’s “head shed” office, who has an assistance dog. I had interacted with him previously, as he required some desktop support with one of his two monitors having a high contrast theme, he’s also deaf. Annoyingly, my recall of ASL failed me entirely, as it’s been over three decades since I last used what limited vocabulary that I had. The dog had a better understanding of his frustrations than I did, as I could only recall two words and while “good” is what I was hoping for, the virtual environment was primitive enough that it didn’t allow for what he actually needed. So, after a couple of hours of research on configuring that specific environment, I called upon option 2, seek help. From the base EEO office, who most certainly is familiar with Section 508 reasonable accommodations.
    All of said efforts were mooted at the beginning of this week, as that environment was changed over from a Windows 8 to Windows 10 environment. I can say one good thing about Windows 10, it does a much better job at enhancing the environment in a more granular way, on a per screen basis and per application basis.
    That’s about the only good thing that I can say about it, otherwise, it’s rubbish and its major version updates are like one is intentionally sabotaging one’s networked systems when you push them out! The method of network identification gets switched from the one set in the baseline and the group policy object to Microbrain PEAP, smartcard authentication gets horrifically broken, Intel drivers get borked for starters.
    And that’s before the fatal 1809 update, which Microbrain pulled at the end of last week! Something about borking Intel drivers again and essentially performing a deltree on the user’s documents folders.
    Oh well, I guess I’ll learn ASL again and expand upon it.
    But, to assess, based upon how I observed him attempting to read that screen, probably central vision loss.

  10. says

    Our resident squirrel keep sneaking into our kitchen and nibbling on the fruit. Its my wife who needs the emotional support but the squirrel is too quick for our lazy overfed cats. Here’s another question. When can we expect a good guy with a gun to demand to bring his emotional support assault rifle on the plane?

  11. andyo says

    #11 wzrd1,
    You’re conflating emotional support animals and service animals. Only service animals are especially trained and certified, and protected by the ADA. Emotional support animals can or cannot have a doctors’ note, and are not protected by the ADA. I think there’s a separate rule for airlines, but for hotels and restaurants and other service businesses, you are not obligated to let an emotional support animal in.

    But even with service animals there are issues of fakes (not just because many people think they’re the same as emotional support ones), because according to the ADA the business is only allowed to ask two questions, “(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?” See:

    You are not allowed to ask for “papers”, and the animal is not required to be using the vest. Unscrupulous people have very little trouble passing these animals as a consequence, and they can get vests online to add to the scam. I understand why these rules are as they are, but as it is it’s a problem for everyone involved, worst of all for legitimate service dog owners, especially as more people are getting wind of how easy it is to scam your pet into any business you want, especially planes.

    A good tip to figure it out if you’re the business is to note the behavior, as someone else noted, these service animals are exceptionally trained and will stay quiet and usually standing on all fours. There was a rather sad story recently about a service dog that was attacked by a fake service dog and the real one didn’t even try to defend itself, and from googling to find the story right now it seems it’s not uncommon.

    Finally, if I recall correctly, only dogs and mini horses are allowed to be trained as service animals.