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Southwest Airlines Puts Their Foot Down On Support Animals

Southwest Airlines Puts Their Foot Down On Support Animals

Southwest Airlines has finally caught on to the increasing trend amongst flyers - emotional support animals 

We at The Sitch absolutely love animals and for those of us with pets, we love flying with them! However, people bringing on strange and even exotic animals onto flights has become a bit problematic for some airlines. Southwest Airlines is putting it's foot down on which animals can fly and which ones can't. 

 

The Problem

Anxiety and Depression are very real things. Having a furry friend is definitely something that can help alleviate those symptoms - especially in a stress inducing situation like flying. Doctors do prescribe these animals to people, but only in extreme circumstances. For example, a woman who has experienced a miscarriage might be prescribed a support animal to help give her something to love amidst her heartbreak. Having a pet to love them back can help people who suffer from anxiety and depression find peace and purpose. However, when it comes to flying with these animals, some people may have taken it too far. 

Over the years, people have become increasingly confident in bringing their emotional support animal onto a flight. People have brought their emotional support pig, duck, monkey, peacock, turkey, and even an appaloosa horse! The presence of these unexpected and exotic animals on flights has caused a bit of anxiety and frustration for the other passengers on the flight. 

 Photo courtesy of CNBC

Photo courtesy of CNBC

 

New Rules For Southwest Airlines

According to CNN, Southwest Airlines has officially changed their rules and regulations for bringing an emotional support pet onboard. Starting in September they are only going to allow cats and dogs on as support animals and the passengers must present proof that their animal is actually a support animal. Passengers traveling with support animals need to have a letter from a doctor or licensed mental health professional on the day of their flight. These animals also must remain on their leash and/or in a carrier. 

The hope is that this new policy will eliminate the fakers (who just use the words emotional support animal to get their pet onto a flight for free) and make the process easier for those who actually have emotional support animals. However, for those who were prescribed a peacock for emotional support...you might be out of luck. 

 Photo courtesy of Fox News

Photo courtesy of Fox News

What do you think about this new pet policy? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to subscribe to The Sitch for more entertaining reads. 

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