Weekly ESA News Report January 3rd: A Look Back on 2018

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Weekly ESA News ReportIt’s been a year full of highs and lows for emotional support animals, during this crazy Eighteenth-year post-millennium. ESAs are a wonderful help to those of us that need them, and there’s been plenty of heartwarming stories of them assisting those in need. Of course, there’s also been some pretty embarrassing ESA incidents that made us shake our heads in disbelief.

Here, we take a look back at the best and worst emotional support animal new stories of 2018.

The Best of 2018: Emotional Support Animal News

Pets for Vets Program

The Pets for Vets program was a welcome beacon of loveliness in 2018, with its focus on connecting dogs in shelters in need of a home with veterans needing an ESA. Stories like this are just the kind of recognition that wonderful ESAs deserve!

Landlord Sued and Fined for Denying ESA Owner Accommodation

In a win for ESA owners everywhere, a landlord felt the full weight of the law for their discrimination against a tenant suffering from a disability.

After being investigated, the landlord was deemed to be in breach of the Fair Housing Act and slapped with a hefty fine. This incident set a great precedent for those ESA owners who face discrimination at the hands of unfair landlords.

ESA cat beside an airplane window on Delta Airlines

Airlines Tightened Their Policies Regarding ESAs

While travel with an ESA is essential for many, there’s no doubt that some have abused this right. That’s why we believe that it is a positive thing that many airlines have tightened their policies this year, allowing those with a real need for ESAs to travel safely and without discrimination.

From Delta to Spirit, we hope that in 2019 policies continue to be made clearer to assist those traveling with ESAs.

The Worst of 2018

Emotional Support Squirrel Smuggled onto Flight

In one of the worst cases this year of emotional support animal owners behaving badly, a passenger on a Frontier airlines flight attempted to smuggle a squirrel on board, against the policy of the carrier. After refusing to exit the aircraft, the squirrel and owner were escorted off by security, causing a two-hour delay for passengers on the flight.

ESA Goes Missing on International Flight

A scary incident for ESA owners earlier this year, when an ESA stowed in the cargo hold on an international flight went missing between the U.S. and Uruguay. This news story definitely caused pet owners to think twice before stowing their animals under the plane.

emotional support dog with passport

Popeye’s Launches Emotional Support Chicken

In perhaps the most insensitive marketing ploy of the year, fast-food franchise Popeye’s mocked those suffering mental illness who use ESAs. The company released packaging referring to its fried chicken as ’emotional support chicken’, angering animal and mental health rights organizations.

CertaPet’s Thoughts!

Overall, 2018 has been a big year for emotional support animals. We wish all the best to all the current and future ESA owners out there, and hope that 2019 is even bigger, better and brighter for you!

If you think your new year could be even happier with the support of an ESA, remember that CertaPet has made the process of getting an ESA letter quick and simple! Simply start by taking our free online 5-minute pre-screening, and if your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a licensed mental health professional and you could have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs!

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