Proposed Flight Restrictions On Service Animals Go Too Far: Group

Steve Miller
January 23, 2020 - 7:28 pm
Pets, Service Animals, Planes

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago-based disability rights group says the federal government’s proposal to restrict service animals on flights is over the top.

Basically, the Department of Transportation is proposing that a service animal on airline flights must be trained as a service animal, and it must be a dog.

"In our view, it's an over-the-top response to a problem that does exist,” says Ken Walden, managing attorney for Access Living, a disability-rights group in Chicago.

"We're concerned that it throws the baby out with the bath water. And what I mean by that is that it takes aim at people with psychiatric disabilities, mental health disabilities, in a way that is not deserved."

Walden says some people have tried to pass off their pets as emotional support animals to avoid pet fees on planes.

But he says the government's proposal penalizes people like veterans who have PTSD and use emotional-support animals that usually don't have special training as a service animal.