DOT Issues Proposal Defining Dogs as Service Animals on Aircraft


The Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking public comment on a proposal issued Wednesday defining what can and cannot be labeled a service animal on an aircraft.

The DOT explicitly defined a service animal as as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”

Because of this definition, airlines have greater choice in whether to allow a dog to stay in the cabin with its owner. The DOT said the definition was restricted to dogs because other animals, such as miniature horses, “are not flexible” on an aircraft.

According to the DOT, passengers with a disability would be limited to two service animals per passenger and all animals would have to be leashed or harnessed.

The agency also put additional limits on emotional support animals, saying that while these animals can be recognized as service animals, “airlines do not have to recognize them.” read more

9 Comments on DOT Issues Proposal Defining Dogs as Service Animals on Aircraft

  1. Should only be for people with physical disabilities. If you’re so emotionally unstable that you need a support animal leash your psychiatrist and bring that idiot with you. I wouldn’t want to be on a plane with a nut case anyway. (I would make a exception for ex service members with legitimate PTSD symptoms)

  2. What happens when the dog pooops on the cabin floor? Who cleans it up??
    Current air recurculators will keep recirculating the small of fresh doo-doo through the plane, Be sure there is an abundance of air sick bags,

  3. I could go on and on about this but instead, probably questions regarding this issue are better than me typing 1500 words:
    But first let me say that I am a pet owner.
    1. What if other passengers are allergic to your pet (closed cabin air)?
    2. What if your pet is taking up some of a fellow passengers space, we know space is VERY tight in economy flights.
    3. I understand that you may have a very valid reason for your pet (e.g. blindness). But if there is someone allergic to your service dog, which passenger should disembark? Whose rights are greater? I know this is a tough one! (Overreaching feel-good handicap laws).
    4. If there are multiple flights from city-to-city per day (even from other airline companies), can we have actual planes declared animal-friendly and most other planes declared animal-free? And by this I mean the aircraft itself, not the flight number.

    I’ll stop there if anyone wants to respond.

  4. frankly, I’m more worried about falling iguanas. anybody know where I can pick up a couple of hard hats in the Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area? … good ones, not those cheap bumper caps

    otoh, this ‘service animal’ crap has got to stop … like people above have stated, get one plane & have it ‘silly animal trick friendly’ & be done w/ it … ever been to third-world countries? they bring their farm animals on busses, taxis, trains, etc. … that’s what they want to turn us into … & we’re being stupid enough to allow it.

  5. Anything michelle obama or uglier should not be permitted the title of ‘service animal.’ Just ‘animal’ would suffice.


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