ESA Weekly News Report June 18th: Florida Airport & Wyoming Schools Update Their Animal Policy

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Dog reading ESA news

Every week we bring you the freshest emotional support animal news. Today, we’re recapping two stories. The first is about changes made to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport animal policy. The second is over a change made to two Wyoming school’s ESA policy.

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Changes Its Animal Policy

The Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority has recently announced changes to its animal policy. Although this change of policy will not affect service animals, emotional support animals and pets will have to adhere to the new rules.

According to the new stance, ESAs will still be allowed in the airport’s terminals and gates. But, they must travel with their owner, and inside an animal carrier. In the event that no carrier is available, the ESA may be carried by the owner. If the animal is too big, they may walk on a non-retractable leash and must always be within three feet of the owner.

This new policy also states that all ESAs must be housebroken. That is, they must be well behaved and relieve themselves in the correct airport relief areas. Under no circumstances can they be a nuisance to others. If they make a mess, the owner must be the one to clean it up.

These are not innovative changes; many other airports already follow similar rules. But it is a sign of stricter control of emotional support animals in travel regulations.

Source: https://www.srqmagazine.com/srq-daily/2019-06-13/10885_SRQ-Airport-Announces-Updated-Animal-Policy

emotional support dog dressed like cabin crew with hat and life jacket

Casper and Natrona Schools Ban ESAs From Facilities

Schools in Natrona County, Wyoming, have changed their animal policy in this past week. The Natrona County School District Board was in charge of drafting these new changes. According to the new policy, only a small group of animals will be allowed into the school’s grounds.

Only instructional assistance, professional therapy, service animals, and law enforcement K9s can come onto the school grounds. It is clear that emotional support animals are not welcome anymore in Natrona County schools.

The school board justified these changes by pointing out that emotional support animals are not service animals. Thus, they are not covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Moreover, since they have not been professionally trained, the board doesn’t want them around children and staff.

Source: https://oilcity.news/general/2019/06/10/emotional-support-animals-not-allowed-under-new-school-district-policy/

child sitting down with her emotional support cat

CertaPet’s Views on This Week’s News

CertaPet is in favor of tighter regulations of emotional support animals. The new airport’s policy will make interactions between passengers and ESAs smoother. Airports are high-stress environments for animals. So, keeping them on a leash or in carriers lowers the risks of accidents and incidents happening.

We’re glad to see that the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) is not breached despite these new rules. ESAs and their owners will still be allowed to travel by airplane.

We are sad to learn about banned emotional support animals in Natrona County schools. Yet, we understand the board’s position about safety. They are in the right when they say that ESAs are not covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Owning an emotional support animal in Wyoming does not mean you can take your furry friend to public places. This includes schools. But, ESAs and their owners still have rights that pets don’t. For instance, they have the right to live in rented housing.

Keep in mind that to fly and live with your ESA, you need an ESA letter. Only a licensed mental health professional can issue one. CertaPet makes the whole process easier. The first step is taking our free 5-minute pre-screening test. From there, it will be smooth sailing.

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