If you see someone with their dog or pet on your next flight or at your favorite restaurant do not be surprised. The person is probably not pulling a fast one. They are using a new provision in federal policy that allows emotional support pets on flights or in restaurants, and their is nothing the companies can do to stop this. So if you think cell phones are annoying, wait till you are seated next to a person with a yappy dog for a 4 hour cross country flight.
Health care professionals have recommended animals for psychological or emotional support for more than two decades, based on research showing many benefits, including longer lives and less stress for pet owners.
But recently a number of New York restaurateurs have noticed a surge in the number of diners seeking to bring dogs inside for emotional support, where previously restaurants had accommodated only dogs for the blind.
“I had never heard of emotional support animals before,” said Steve Hanson, an owner of 12 restaurants including Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill in Manhattan. “And now all of a sudden in the last several months, we’re hearing this.”
The increasing appearance of pets whose owners say they are needed for emotional support in restaurants — as well as on airplanes, in offices and even in health spas — goes back, according to those who train such animals, to a 2003 ruling by the Department of Transportation. It clarified policies regarding disabled passengers on airplanes, stating for the first time that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments like depression or anxiety should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with physical disabilities like blindness or deafness. via New York Times.