Posted: October 10, 2018
By Monique Valdes, WFTV.com
ORLANDO, Fla. —
A Frontier Airlines passenger at Florida's Orlando International Airport was removed from her flight by police Tuesday after she tried to bring her "emotional support" squirrel on board.
The woman refused to get off the Cleveland-bound plane, so the crew called police.
Frontier Airlines officials said the woman noted in her reservation that she was bringing an emotional support animal but did not indicate it was a squirrel.
Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights, officials said.
The crew asked the woman to get off the plane, but she allegedly refused. Orlando police were called and asked everyone to deplane so they could deal with the woman.
Officers eventually escorted the passenger off the plane and brought her to the main terminal.
Video shows crowds cheering as she was taken off the plane.
The incident is one of many recent cases involving emotional support animals on planes.
In the last year, all the major airlines have changed their policies for bringing animals into the cabin.
Most airlines require a note from a doctor, advanced notification and the animal’s vaccine records.
Most airlines have also restricted which types of support animals are allowed on board.
Delta, for example, has banned goats, hedgehogs and any animals with horns.
skeeze / Pixabay.com
skeeze / Pixabay.com
A Michigan zoning board ruled Wednesday that a boy with autism can keep his emotional support ducks, WXMI reported.
The decision was a victory for the family of Dylan Dyke, who have been fighting an ordinance in Georgetown Township after neighbors complained that the boy’s ducks, Nibbles and Bill, were a nuisance, the television station reported.
Dylan’s parents, Mark and Jennifer Dyke, requested a variance to the ordinance, and members of the Ottawa County zoning board agreed as long as certain rules were followed.
Board members said the ducks must be kept in a coop that is no bigger than 80 square feet and located in the family’s backyard at least 10 feet from neighboring property lines, WXMI reported. The ducks will not be allowed to roam freely in the backyard unless Dylan is with them, the television station reported.
“This has been an exhausting process, we’ve been at it since May,” Jennifer Dyke told WXMI. “And Dylan has really felt the pressure and the exhaustion from all of this. We’re ready to move on with our lives and Dylan just wants his normal back. He just wants his ducks.”
Dallas-based Southwest announced that starting Sept. 17, it will limit emotional support animals to one dog or cat per customer. No other types of animals, such as turkeys, pigs or peacocks, will be allowed.
Southwest also said the passenger will need to present a letter from a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and the emotional support animal must remain in a carrier or on a leash.
When it comes to trained service animals, the airline said it would accept the the most common types -- dogs, cats and miniature horses. Southwest added that “unusual or exotic animals will not be accepted.”
The airline said it made the changes after reviewing recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Transportation, getting feedback from customers and employees, and speaking with advocacy groups for people with disabilities who travel with service animals.
The move comes after Delta in July began limiting each passenger to one emotional support animal, along with prohibiting pit bulls as service or support animals.
Publix shoppers in Florida are starting to see new signs regarding service animals in stores.
A Publix spokesperson told Cox Media Group the policy is not new and the signs are meant to alert customers to store policies. These policies are in place in all stores nationwide.
According to the Associated Press, signs are showing up in Publix store windows that read:
“For food safety reasons, only service animals that are specifically trained to aid a person with disabilities are permitted within the store. Service animals are not permitted to sit or ride in shopping carts.”
The service animal signs -- which include a paw print with a slash through it -- indicate that dogs cannot ride in shopping carts, according to the Associated Press.
American Disability Rights seemed to support the rule enforcement.
The organization tweeted, “Four on the floor! #stopdisabilityfraud.”
Another group, called Stair Step Dog Training, also voiced its support for the rule on Twitter.
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