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Re: Service/emotional support dog SCAM

Adventurer C

Personally, as the owner of an ESA and as someone about to get her first full on service dog, I WISH there was a legal certification program for service dogs/ESAs/whathaveyou.  Poorly behaved fake service dogs are huge problem.  Not just in the sense that they make the rest of us look bad, but those dogs can also harm/psychologically damage the real service animals.  

I don't bring my ESA anywhere unless I absolutely have to.  I've only ever put a foot down about needing her when it comes to renting an apartment.  Never has she come into a retail store (except pet stores) or restaurant with me.  

Unfortunately, in the 8 years I've had her, I've developed mobility issues so now I need a mobility dog and it's gonna be huge because bracing dogs HAVE to be large.  I'll probably need an extra seat for the dog once it's fully trained (it's gonna be at least 2 years but I'm already stressing about it).  Situations like this lady make me even more worried about what that's going to be like when I fly with the dog in a few years. At least airlines are finally updating their service animal policies and trying to police them better.  But change happens slowly and I'm seriously worried someone's going to end up seriously hurt or killed by one of these fake service animals before they get actual regulations in place.

Re: Service/emotional support dog SCAM

Explorer C

I agree, a true service animal should be allowed anywhere it's human is.
Over the last couple years people abuse this and I am sorry to say most airlines put the animal...not service animals rights before mine.
I have asthma induced by animal dander and have been on flights with 3 pets.  I have had to wear a mask well before covid.  I understand southwest is not allowing pets on international flights, so we are flying to Mexico next week.  Looking forward it!!

Re: Service/emotional support dog SCAM

Explorer A

Re: Service/emotional support dog SCAM

Aviator A

This is always a touchy subject, as there are many people out there that love their pets as if they were children, and there are other people who have real mental health issues who truly  need an emotional support animal to get by. The difficulty is trying to understand the difference between the two groups of people. Those who "love" their pets and insist they can control them and that they are loving and wouldn't hurt a fly (etc.) are the problem - they try to bring their animals on board an aircraft and the animals can't be controlled. They aren't real service animals and they should not be allowed to board in my view. We need better policies around what qualifies as an emotional support animal and when/how one can bring an animal on board, because apparently people are getting around current policy and bringing non-emotional support animals on board.