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What are emotional support animals?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

dog therapy - cat therapy - pet therapy
Emotional Support Animlas

In recent weeks, several airlines have banned travel with these pets, "which bring therapeutic benefits to their owners through affection and companionship".

These pets, unlike service animals such as guide dogs, do not need specialized training and can be of any species or breed. On social networks it is easy to find photographs showing ducks in diapers roaming the aisles of airports, pigs sitting on cushions or small kangaroos held on a leash. Nor is there a definition of the therapy needed by these travelers with emotional support pets. They range from problems such as autism to mere artistic inspiration. It was this latter need that justified Ventiko, the name of conceptual artist and owner of the galliform Dexter. Delta Air, however, explained to The Washington Post that from 2012 to 2016 travelers with these "emotional support animals" quadrupled.

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