Part III – Emotional Support Dogs and Airline Transportation

Part III - Emotional Support Dogs and Airline TransportationThe U.S. Department of Transportation regulations are different than those pertaining to the U.S. Department of Justice “Americans With Disabilities Act” regulations.

In summary, per the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners:

“There are new, more detailed procedures for the carriage of emotional support and psychiatric service animals. The carrier may require the passenger to provide current documentation from a mental health professional caring for the passenger that the passenger has a specific, recognized mental or emotional disability and that the passenger needs to be accompanied by the specific, emotional support of psychiatric service animal in question, either on the flight or at the passenger’s destination.”

“Foreign carriers are not required to carry service animals other than dogs.”

“If you are traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you may be required by the airline to provide 48 hours’ advance notice.”

Naturally, contact your airline for their specific rules on service animals and seating. All service dogs will need a current health certificate as well. Most of the time, you won’t need to show it, but there may be a situation where it is required to board. Make sure you have it on you, not packed in your checked luggage.

Part II – Emotional Support Dogs

Training dog in vestIf you missed part one, Service Dog 101, you can read it here.

Continuing the discussion…

It was brought to my attention that I forgot to also mention emotional support dogs need to do physical tasks or “work” to mitigate a medical condition. I will repeat that just having a dog in your lap for emotional “comfort” is not a legitimate service dog in “public” settings. Service dogs must be trained to provide “physical” work or tasks to mitigate a disability.

Here is the link to my website with the Federal Housing Act regarding emotional support dogs. This document will give you the complete information on housing and emotional support dog rights. 

Part III – Emotional Support Dogs and modes of transportation – next installment!!

Service Dog 101 – Part 1

Golden Retriever - Training Page PhotoWelcome to my new monthly series: Service Dog 101

a) Let’s start with…What is a disability?

An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

“Major life activities” include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking and breathing, learning and working.

You must meet these criteria before you will be considered to be a potential service dog handler. There is extensive and intensive training – both for the person (with the disability) and the dog.

b) What is a service dog? [Read more…]