ESA Weekly News Report September 25th: Delta Lifts Ban on ESAs on Long Flights

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an emotional support dog reading the ESA weekly news

Once more, we’re bringing you the latest scoop in emotional support animal news. We have a couple of stories to cover today. The first is about Delta Airlines lifting the ban on ESAs on long flights. The second covers an ESA policy at the University of Delaware, which has affected a couple of students. The last one covers one of CertaPet’s own LMHPs and her podcast, The Animal Effect.

Delta Airlines Has Lifted Their Ban on ESAs on Long Flights

As of Monday 23 September, Delta Airlines has lifted its ban on emotional support animals on flights longer than 8 hours. The airline made this change in order to align itself with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) guidelines regarding ESAs on flights.

The airline, however, still has a ban on pit bulls in place. According to the DOT guidelines, airlines are not allowed to have any breed bans for there flights, but the airline refuses to lift the ban as a result of multiple incidents involving the breed, which occurred on their flights.

cute fluffy white dog dressed like a pilot


The University of Delaware Bans Exotic Emotional Support Animals

With the start of the 2019/2020 school year, the University of Delaware is making policy changes. Namely, they are altering their emotional support animal rules. Now, “exotic” animals will not be allowed in dorms or anywhere else on campus, not even if they’re ESAs.

The Office for Disability Services hasn’t justified this change in policy. However, so far, the new regulations have affected at least two students. One of them has kept a leech as an ESA for two years now, who helps her cope with her depression. Another owns an African turtle named Eta, also an ESA who helps her owner manage their anxiety.

Both students have an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). Yet, the University of Delaware categorically banned these two ESAs from campus grounds.

The Review (University of Delaware’s independent school newspaper) asked representatives for an interview on this topic. However, no official at the Office for Disability Services wanted to comment. a no snakes allowed sign


CertaPet LMHP Prairie Conlon Makes Debut on The Animal Effect Podcast

CertaPet’s very own Prairie Conlon, recently joined a podcast called The Animal Effect. She joined the CEO of Mental Health News Radio Network, Kristin Sunanta Walker, and delved deeper into the topic of animal-assisted interventions. Conlon is a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) working together with CertaPet to promote animal-assisted therapy as a natural and holistic approach to treating mental illnesses and conditions.

Conlon educated listeners on the beneficial impact Equine Assisted Therapy has on patients suffering from mental or emotional conditions such as PTSD, learning disabilities and anxiety or depression. Conlon facilitates the opportunity for people to form meaningful human-animal connections, for people who struggle to form that deep meaningful bond with other people.

Because she understands the importance of the human-animal bond, she aims to help people get their emotional support animal letters as part of the patient’s treatment plan.

woman hugging her emotional support animal esa


CertaPet’s Thoughts on This Week’s News

We are thrilled to see Delta lift the ban on ESAs on longer flights. People suffering from mental or emotional conditions experience higher stress levels during air travel, so the presence of their ESA is necessary. We are however saddened to see that the airline has not lifted its ban on pit bulls. We believe that no breed should be discriminated against, especially when that discrimination is based on prejudice. We will have to wait to see what happens with Delta’s pit bull ban, but in the meantime, we want to encourage ESA (regardless what breed) owners to take on the responsibility of seeing to it that their dog is socialized and well trained in obedience!

We’re saddened to learn that the two University of Delaware students will have to say goodbye to their ESAs, at least for now. Both had legitimate ESA letters from therapists and benefited from being around their ESA. A part of their therapy plan will have to be put on hold while they work this out with the school.

That said, it’s not uncommon for exotic ESAs to be banned from public and private facilities. This is why our licensed mental health professionals only recommend getting a dog, a cat, or the occasional rabbit as an ESA. It will be much easier to navigate ESA policies and to live with your support buddy.

On a happier note, we’re thrilled to see Prairie advocate for the importance of ESAs for people suffering from mental illnesses. At CertaPet we know the invaluable impact the human-animal bond has on people with disabilities. That’s essentially why the company exists! An emotional support animal is a treatment option that falls under a natural and holistic approach to treating and managing mental illness.

If you are struggling with an emotional or mental health problem, you should consider getting an ESA. They make coping with a disability a million times easier. Plus, starting is easy and stress-free. You can take our 5-minute pre-screening for free. We’ll then put you in touch with a LMHP in your state who will, potentially, issue your very own ESA letter. You could be holding your support buddy in no time!

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