ESA Gator

People Are Taking Emotional Support Animals Everywhere. States Are Cracking Down.

More Americans are saying they need a variety of animals — dogs, ducks, even insects — for their mental health. But critics say many are really just pets that do not merit special status.
The vast majority of emotional support animals are dogs, but some Americans turn to a wide variety of other species. Wally the alligator was approved by his owner’s doctor in York, Pa., as an alternative to taking medication for depression.

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Delta No Pit Bull Service Animals

Delta refused to let family’s service dog fly, sparking discrimination allegation

“In 2018, Delta tightened its policies on Emotional Support Animals by requiring a “confirmation of animal training” form, as well as other official documentation. The airline also banned pit bulls and animals under four months of age as service or support animals.”

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ESA parrot

‘With Me Nearly Always’: Readers on Emotional Support Animals

Legitimate emotional support animals only have civil rights under rules for the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act.
Owners should not be implying that these are medical assistance animals with rights to retail stores, restaurants and hotels as written by the author.

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So you want a letter saying you need a support dog on that flight? Here’s why a therapist might balk

“This thing has gotten out of hand,” said Jeff Younggren, a psychologist and clinical professor at the University of New Mexico, who has conducted several studies on the subject of emotional support animals.

The number of passengers flying with emotional support animals on the nation’s airlines has surged. United Airlines, one of the biggest carriers, saw a 75% increase last year compared with 2016. The trend has been accompanied by more incidents of animals urinating, defecating, biting, barking and lunging on planes. A passenger was even mauled by a 50-pound dog on a Delta flight last year.

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These 19 states are cracking down on fake service dogs

“Today, any pet owner can go online and buy a vest for a dog to pass it off as a service animal to gain access to restaurants, hotels and places of business,” said Republican state Rep. Kimberly Ferguson, who introduced the Massachusetts bill. “Their animals aren’t trained and end up misbehaving in these public places, which gives real service dogs a bad name.”

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