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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals

Aloha Everyone,

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, only dogs and miniature horses are recognized as Service Animals.

It is stated “service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”  

In 2011, miniature horses were added to that list.

Emotional Support Animal is not a Service Animal. These animals have less restrictions as to the size and species. To qualify for an Emotional Support Animal, its owners must have visible or invisible emotional or mental disability. Such disability requires certification by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Unfortunately there are organizations that are advertising their services to help you get certified to warrant an emotional support animal.

I am not prepared to sit in an airplane seat with a 120 pound potbelly pig next to me that is certified as an Emotional Support Animal. This was the recent experience of a passenger.

Aloha -- Cathi