Delta Announces New Rules for Service Animals

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service animal
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Many of us throughout our travels have seen service animals. Many of them are serving their owners with their disabilities, while some are simply domestic pets. In late 2017, there was a story about a passenger attack by an Emotional Service Animal on a Delta flight. In response, Delta has made some changes to their policies.

If you need more information about laws regarding service animals, click here!

Related posts:

Duke the service dog
Duke, the service dog in training!

Service Animal Documentation Requirements

If you are flying on Delta anytime after March 1st, 2018, you will now need these documents.

  • A signed Veterinary Health Form and/or immunization record, dated within 1 year of travel.

Emotional Service Animal Requirements

Much different than a service animal, ESA’s have a different set of requirements.

  • A Delta request form which requires a letter signed by a doctor or mental health professional.
  • A signed Veterinary Health Form and/or immunization record, dated within 1 year of travel.

What’s the difference?

A trained service animal and an ESA are much different. A service animal is typically assisting someone with a physical or mental disability. An emotional service animal is someone with a condition such as anxiety or depression. Laws regarding these animals are VERY different but unfortunately are clumped together.

The realities

In my previous story, I wrote about people “gaming” the system. Here are the truths.

  • It is extremely subjective.
  • There is no “licensing” for a service animal.
  • A decent amount of people with a service animal do not need the animal.
  • Legally, a service vest is not required on any animal.

As the old saying goes, “give ’em an inch, they take it a mile.” These animals can truly be lifesavers. Unfortunately, people have taken advantage of the system.

The Bald Thoughts

We at Bald Thoughts LOVE our animals, especially our dogs. I raised a service dog with a non-profit here in Utah. See below!

The reality is that people who need them deserve them. However, in reality, many people simply just want to take their pet everywhere. Regardless, no one is to judge why someone has a service animal. All we can do is hope they aren’t gaming the system.

service animal
Our service dog Duke and his new owner, Matt. Matt was part of the original invasion of Afghanistan.

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