One of the most interesting trends in recent years is the addition of odd animals to the emotional support animals (ESA) family. Since they take their companions everywhere, these people are often asked to supply proof that their animals are, in fact, certified to work as ESAs. However, these certificates can be purchased online from private companies, and they’re easy to pass off as the real thing.
As you can imagine, people have begun abusing the privilege. While we were once satisfied with support dogs, there are more bizarre animals being added to the ESA roster every day.
For example, there’s this emotional support turkey that was spotted on a flight to Seattle last week.
There is technically no law against having an emotional support animal with you in a public place. However, the law is intentionally vague around ESAs and what they are permitted to do. This ambiguity has led to an explosion in the number of ESAs that are “working” all over the country.
This expansion of the ESA industry has caused quite a bit of controversy, especially among those with trained and certified service animals that they need to get through everyday life.
This is inspiring legislators to rethink the ways in which laws deal with the use of ESAs in public spaces.
While I can completely understand someone’s legitimate emotional need to have their pet with them at all times, there are far too many people out there who have taken advantage of this lack of regulation for their own gain. It’s fair to say that they’re really messing things up for those in need.