Culture

This Holiday Season, Please Keep Your Pets Off My Airplane

All aboard! (Shutterstock)

As a card-carrying pet hater, I go out of my way to avoid homes infested by animals: dogs, cats, hamsters, goats, pigs, parakeets, chimps and chickens, among others. I’m extremely allergic to them all, but I also object to the smells, sounds and excrescences these charming outdoor creatures leave in their fetid wakes. One might think I’d be safe on an airplane, but thanks to the Snowflake Culture, it ain’t necessarily so:

With the holiday travel season now here, many air passengers are boarding the plane with service dogs and emotional support animals — a practice that critics say is open to fraud.

How do airlines know whether these pets are true service animals and not impostors wearing an official-looking vest bought online for $39.99? The answer is, they don’t. Critics say many travelers claim their pets are service or emotional support animals because they don’t want to pay for them to travel. While many of these animals are dogs, passengers have also gotten on board with birds, including a peacock, cats and other animals.

Good Lord — why would anyone do such a thing? And shouldn’t there be some, you know, legitimate medical reason (although I can’t think of one) before you trot Fido, Tabby or Bonzo into row 19, seat B and snuggle all the way to Tampa?

“I see more violations than legitimate use of service dogs in public. A drastic majority of what I’ve observed in airports is misuse of the service dog law,” said Brian Skewis, executive officer of the California State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the only state agency in the nation that regulates guide-dog schools and individual instructors.

Rod Haneline, chief programs and services officer for Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, says he too believes fraud is a problem. “The law is so ambiguous the airlines don’t know what side to come down on. Everyone is afraid of the ramifications of not allowing someone equal access,” Haneline said. He said blind people fought hard to get public access for their dogs, and that right is “diluted” by a proliferation of questionable service and support pets.

Thus proving there’s no end to the mischief lawyers can get up to when they set out to corrupt the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Meanwhile, the rest of us — trapped next to a support alligator or sympathetic snake — have to suffer.

Let’s give Samuel L. Jackson the last word — language warning ahead!

 

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