Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a Final Statement of Enforcement Priorities Regarding Service Animals that clarifies rules governing service animals on flights for passengers, airlines, and other stakeholders involved in commercial air travel. The statement also specifies the department’s enforcement priorities, clarifies service animal species limitations, and lists the specific situations in which it is required for handlers to provide official documentation to the airline before boarding.
Students at Columbia are seeking help from disability rights lawyers to convince university housing officials that multiple assistance animals are a medically required disability accommodation. Olivia Deloian of the Columbia Chronicle interviewed business major Lindsey Barrett who says her therapist prescribed dog companionship to treat symptoms of adjustment disorder. The problem is, Barrett already has an emotional support cat for her severe anxiety disorder, which means she needs new approval from Columbia to house the second animal. Deloian carefully describes her journalism process in contacting Columbia officials to request their side of the disagreement. With Barrett’s help, Deloian also provides a useful explanation of the distinction between emotional support animals and other service animals.
The qualifications of service animals are becoming a contentious issue as more pet owners apply for certification. Some patients register their companions as “Emotional Support Animals” but critics suggest the category is being misused and distracts other service animals from their duties. This article by Robby Berman at BigThink.com the controversy in detail.
In the pilot episode of a new podcast from Cronkite News, a reporter examines the relationship between a woman with autism and her service dog. The service animal is trained to help reduce anxiety in a person. Read more
In the case of a now-13-year-old Michigan dog battling in court over her right to bring a service dog to school, the Supreme Court has ruled that her family should be allowed to forego a bureaucratic process in lower courts.Read more