HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -Have you been on a plane and seen a turkey, miniature horse or even a peacock?
Those are just some of the animals that have recently been allowed on flights as so-called emotional support animals. They’ve met a lot of backlash and now the federal government is stepping in.
You can get your pet classified as an emotional support animal with a letter from your physician. There is no training for the animal in order to become an ESA. A service dog however goes through extensive training to serve a specific need for their handler.
The Department of Transportation wants the only animals to be allowed on planes to be trained service dogs. That’s because they say people have been taking advantage of the emotional support animal rule, and are threatening the safety and health of passengers.
Right now airlines have to allow service animals regardless of species, with the exception of unusual species.
Mary Graham works at Therapy Partners in Huntsville. They are a nonprofit that trains therapy animals and brings them to hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
Graham says she thinks this is the right call. She says ea poorly trained ESA can cause serious damage to a service animal.
The Department of Transportation is looking for feedback on this proposed change from you. You have less than 60 days to submit your responses here.