Jump to content

Emotional Support Animals


navybankerteacher
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just saw a news story about how a number of airlines are cracking down on the spreading practice of "certified" Emotional Support Animals being brought aboard planes.

 

They are now going to require advance certification from legitimate licensed professionals - rather than the "get your comfort animal certification in 24 hours so she can fly free for you" operators.

 

Does anyone think it is likely that cruise lines will follow suit? I have not seen anywhere near as many "support animals" on ships as on planes ( which are now very common), but even the few questionable critters now seen might be the "foot in the door" leading to the sort of widespread abuse the airlines are now trying to cap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just saw a news story about how a number of airlines are cracking down on the spreading practice of "certified" Emotional Support Animals being brought aboard planes.

 

They are now going to require advance certification from legitimate licensed professionals - rather than the "get your comfort animal certification in 24 hours so she can fly free for you" operators.

 

Does anyone think it is likely that cruise lines will follow suit? I have not seen anywhere near as many "support animals" on ships as on planes ( which are now very common), but even the few questionable critters now seen might be the "foot in the door" leading to the sort of widespread abuse the airlines are now trying to cap.

 

These new development is a major concern to me. I have trouble seeing at night (an old people problem, apparently) and I need my Nigerian Association of Voodoo Doctors, Inc. (NAVD.COM) certified night vision support bat with me to avoid running into things. What am I going to do now????????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emotional support animals have never been permitted onboard. Emotional support animals are not service animals. The new airline restrictions will not stop the fake service animals.

The airlines created their own issue by charging so much to fly pets and requiring larger pets to fly in the hold. If they had just charged $25 instead of charging like $150, people would not have bothered with doing shengians with paperwork and just paid. By by calling them Emotional support animals, they flew for free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Does anyone think it is likely that cruise lines will follow suit?

 

I certainly hope so.

 

And this is not from someone who hates dogs or doesn't care about people with disabilities. This is from someone who heavily supports (both with $$ and time) one of the largest agencies in the US that provides service dogs, PTSD dogs, assistance dogs, skilled companion dogs, hearing dogs and therapy dogs. These fly by night operators, and people who defraud the ADA to get their pet with them, are just being selfish, and are not helping those who really need and get a benefit from a well trained and behaved dog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emotional support animals have never been permitted onboard. Emotional support animals are not service animals. The new airline restrictions will not stop the fake service animals.

The airlines created their own issue by charging so much to fly pets and requiring larger pets to fly in the hold. If they had just charged $25 instead of charging like $150, people would not have bothered with doing shengians with paperwork and just paid. By by calling them Emotional support animals, they flew for free.

 

So the airlines made frauds cheat, is that it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly hope so.

 

And this is not from someone who hates dogs or doesn't care about people with disabilities. This is from someone who heavily supports (both with $$ and time) one of the largest agencies in the US that provides service dogs, PTSD dogs, assistance dogs, skilled companion dogs, hearing dogs and therapy dogs. These fly by night operators, and people who defraud the ADA to get their pet with them, are just being selfish, and are not helping those who really need and get a benefit from a well trained and behaved dog.

 

Legitimate question. As you are well versed in this area, with all of the above referenced legitimate service related dogs, how do emotional support animals fit into these categories? I guess what I don't understand is how do you distinguish a legitimate need emotional support animal from someone who simply wants their pet along with them so as not to leave them at home? I truly get and support those service animals as you reference but question how is the line drawn with those who claim emotional support needs simply to travel with their pet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emotional support animals have never been permitted onboard. Emotional support animals are not service animals. The new airline restrictions will not stop the fake service animals.

The airlines created their own issue by charging so much to fly pets and requiring larger pets to fly in the hold. If they had just charged $25 instead of charging like $150, people would not have bothered with doing shengians with paperwork and just paid. By by calling them Emotional support animals, they flew for free.

 

You may think they haven't been allowed on but most of the animals on board fit that category.

 

Hopefully the cruise lines will stop this stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emotional support animals have never been permitted onboard. Emotional support animals are not service animals. The new airline restrictions will not stop the fake service animals.

The airlines created their own issue by charging so much to fly pets and requiring larger pets to fly in the hold. If they had just charged $25 instead of charging like $150, people would not have bothered with doing shengians with paperwork and just paid. By by calling them Emotional support animals, they flew for free.

 

That sure wasn’t true on an RCI cruise I was on last month. There were several young men and one had his French Bulldog running around on a leash during sailaway. I talked to his friend and he said he needed him for emotional support. Said the dog went everywhere with him.

 

But there was another woman who was very nice and explained her dog alerted her to seizures, which she said usually occurred while she was asleep. He always woke her before they happened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Legitimate question. As you are well versed in this area, with all of the above referenced legitimate service related dogs, how do emotional support animals fit into these categories? I guess what I don't understand is how do you distinguish a legitimate need emotional support animal from someone who simply wants their pet along with them so as not to leave them at home? I truly get and support those service animals as you reference but question how is the line drawn with those who claim emotional support needs simply to travel with their pet?

 

We could start with getting "certified" on line, by somebody you have never met before, may not even be remotely qualified to determine a disability. The dog that becomes "certified" has zero training, no exam to determine if the dog will behave appropriately. Don't know if the dog has any shots!

 

There is, probably, a need. There is also, definitely, a legimate process. Follow the process. Maybe the "process" could be simplier in some cases, but the stuff that is going on via the internet, is, by and large, fraud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly hope so.

 

And this is not from someone who hates dogs or doesn't care about people with disabilities. This is from someone who heavily supports (both with $$ and time) one of the largest agencies in the US that provides service dogs, PTSD dogs, assistance dogs, skilled companion dogs, hearing dogs and therapy dogs. These fly by night operators, and people who defraud the ADA to get their pet with them, are just being selfish, and are not helping those who really need and get a benefit from a well trained and behaved dog.

Well sad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly hope so.

 

And this is not from someone who hates dogs or doesn't care about people with disabilities. This is from someone who heavily supports (both with $$ and time) one of the largest agencies in the US that provides service dogs, PTSD dogs, assistance dogs, skilled companion dogs, hearing dogs and therapy dogs. These fly by night operators, and people who defraud the ADA to get their pet with them, are just being selfish, and are not helping those who really need and get a benefit from a well trained and behaved dog.

Correction to previous post. I meant -well said. (y)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP's description of what Delta requires is inaccurate as it exaggerates what documentation is required for emotional support animals.

Those who are interested can find the requirements here - https://www.delta.com/content/dam/delta-www/pdfs/policy/EmotionalSupportAnimal-RequiredForms.pdf

- a vet certification of vaccination,

- a mental health professional certification that the person has a DSM diagnosis and is under treatment, and

- confirmation of training, signed by the passenger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We could start with getting "certified" on line, by somebody you have never met before, may not even be remotely qualified to determine a disability. The dog that becomes "certified" has zero training, no exam to determine if the dog will behave appropriately. Don't know if the dog has any shots!

 

There is, probably, a need. There is also, definitely, a legimate process. Follow the process. Maybe the "process" could be simplier in some cases, but the stuff that is going on via the internet, is, by and large, fraud.

 

Thanks. It seems to me that the real need and value of service animals that provide a necessary function is taken advantage of by those claiming a real "need" just to have fluffy along for the ride......sad. And what clouds it further is there is - as you indicate - a real place for legitimate emotional support animals that gets obscured by the rest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP's description of what Delta requires is inaccurate as it exaggerates what documentation is required for emotional support animals.

Those who are interested can find the requirements here - https://www.delta.com/content/dam/delta-www/pdfs/policy/EmotionalSupportAnimal-RequiredForms.pdf

- a vet certification of vaccination,

- a mental health professional certification that the person has a DSM diagnosis and is under treatment, and

- confirmation of training, signed by the passenger.

 

Getting the vaccine records is easy to get. from the vet. The passenger could always say they are trained. People will get hung up obtaining a mental health professional certificate. Good idea. Also, maybe get some type of paperwork showing the animal has had proper training (but that can also be fake).

 

For individuals that truly need the service animal should be allowed to use them. They can easily obtain all of the needed documentation. As others have said, people abuse the system just because they don't want to leave their pet home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emotional support animals have never been permitted onboard. Emotional support animals are not service animals. The new airline restrictions will not stop the fake service animals.

The airlines created their own issue by charging so much to fly pets and requiring larger pets to fly in the hold. If they had just charged $25 instead of charging like $150, people would not have bothered with doing shengians with paperwork and just paid. By by calling them Emotional support animals, they flew for free.

 

You're blaming the airlines for requiring larger animals to fly in the hold? Where else does one keep a large dog? In a seat? Or in a hold section that is climate controlled? Bringing an animal on a plane is a problem that justifies $150.

 

 

Who cleans up after it? The flight attendant who has to clean up dog poo or urine from the aisle because a cross country flight was too long for the animal?

 

 

And if I don't care to have Fido or Fluffy stretching into my floor space am I a mean and selfish person to complain?

 

People with allergies to pet dander fall under the ADA as well, but it seems that those with service/support animals trump that disablity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comparing the airlines to cruise ships is apples to oranges. The cruise lines have to allow service dogs onboard because of the ADA. Airlines have to allow service dogs onboard because of the ADA as well, but additionally they have to allow ESA's (emotional support animals) onboard because of the ACAA (Air Carrier Accessibility Act). ESA's are not granted the same protection as service animals, even legitimately prescribed ESA's, except in two cases: air travel under the ACAA, and housing under the FHA (Fair Housing Act). ESA's, despite what many who have them, or many who have their pets impersonate them, are not guaranteed access to any public space, under any Federal law. This is because a "service animal" performs a task or tasks that assist the disabled person, the same way a wheelchair or walker does. An ESA assists the person by its mere presence, and this is explicitly described as not being a service animal under the ADA.

 

Personally, I feel the airlines made a mistake in allowing general pets in carriers to be in the cabin and not the hold.

 

As noted, all Delta's new requirements will do is open a new cottage industry of "medical professionals" to issue certificates. What it does in a positive direction is place the liability for the dog's actions on the passenger, not the airline. Once an owner of one of these fake ESA or service dogs gets sued by their seatmate because Fluffy bit them, this is what will slow down the scamming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought that cruise lines do require that they be service dogs and there is a process to follow.

 

Am I wrong?

 

Keith

 

By law, all the cruise line can do is to ask "is this a service animal", and "what task is it trained to do?" There is no registration, or certification required. They can require that the animal meet the animal import requirements of all countries visited (vet certificate, microchip), but that's about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you haven't seen this, you should give it a read of the abuse of cruisers on the subject of service dogs. Clearly the ones who feed their pet at table, or don't clean up its mess in the dining room are not keeping animals who are trained to perform a service. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2584297&highlight=pets

And it all comes down to litigation. Airlines and cruise lines are only allowed to ask the minimum of questions, and rarely refuse because of the threat of a law suit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As noted, all Delta's new requirements will do is open a new cottage industry of "medical professionals" to issue certificates. What it does in a positive direction is place the liability for the dog's actions on the passenger, not the airline. Once an owner of one of these fake ESA or service dogs gets sued by their seatmate because Fluffy bit them, this is what will slow down the scamming.

 

That cottage industry already exists. Perhaps these policy changes might force some legitimacy on the participants, but I am sure there will be many who simply will continue to be frauds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Chengkp75......Cruise Critic can you add a LIKE button?

 

 

Comparing the airlines to cruise ships is apples to oranges. The cruise lines have to allow service dogs onboard because of the ADA. Airlines have to allow service dogs onboard because of the ADA as well, but additionally they have to allow ESA's (emotional support animals) onboard because of the ACAA (Air Carrier Accessibility Act). ESA's are not granted the same protection as service animals, even legitimately prescribed ESA's, except in two cases: air travel under the ACAA, and housing under the FHA (Fair Housing Act). ESA's, despite what many who have them, or many who have their pets impersonate them, are not guaranteed access to any public space, under any Federal law. This is because a "service animal" performs a task or tasks that assist the disabled person, the same way a wheelchair or walker does. An ESA assists the person by its mere presence, and this is explicitly described as not being a service animal under the ADA.

 

Personally, I feel the airlines made a mistake in allowing general pets in carriers to be in the cabin and not the hold.

 

As noted, all Delta's new requirements will do is open a new cottage industry of "medical professionals" to issue certificates. What it does in a positive direction is place the liability for the dog's actions on the passenger, not the airline. Once an owner of one of these fake ESA or service dogs gets sued by their seatmate because Fluffy bit them, this is what will slow down the scamming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other evening, we were at a hockey game when a young man came in and sat next to me with a very mangy looking dog. I overheard him say it was his support animal. I highly doubt that because all evening long, that dog kept trying to jump on my lap, and misbehaved the whole time, even taking a dump on the stairs. And not once did the guy try and stop the dog from misbehaving. Came home covered in dog hair and slobber.

 

And yes, to those wondering, I did bring this up to the ushers who said there was nothing they could do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other evening, we were at a hockey game when a young man came in and sat next to me with a very mangy looking dog. I overheard him say it was his support animal. I highly doubt that because all evening long, that dog kept trying to jump on my lap, and misbehaved the whole time, even taking a dump on the stairs. And not once did the guy try and stop the dog from misbehaving. Came home covered in dog hair and slobber.

 

And yes, to those wondering, I did bring this up to the ushers who said there was nothing they could do.

 

Unfortunately, this is a misunderstanding about support animals in general. First, ESA's are generally not trained to be "working", i.e. focused on their owner and the situations the owner is in, to aid the owner. An ESA's mere presence is what provides the support. Now, ESA's are not allowed in public spaces, unless the owner of the establishment wants to allow them, but there is no legal guarantee of free access. Further, ESA's, and even service animals (since there is no legal requirement for them to be trained in good manners), can be legally removed from the premises if they are creating a nuisance or a health or safety concern. While there is no requirement that the animals be properly trained, there is a requirement that the dogs be properly behaved. Unfortunately, many business owners, and their employees, do not understand the legal rights of the business owner, nor the difference between ESA's and service animals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • Special Event: Q&A with Laura Hodges Bethge, President Celebrity Cruises
      • Hurricane Zone 2024
      • Cruise Insurance Q&A w/ Steve Dasseos of Tripinsurancestore.com Summer 2024
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...