Woman kicked off plane for bringing her emotional support squirrel


A properly trained and socialized ESA or assistance animal is fine. The problem arises when people try to bring their pet _______ (fill in the blank) on board the plane as an emotional support or service animal. The inadequately trained creature then proceeds to cause trouble during the flight by being aggressive or a nuisance otherwise. I read the original article via MSNBC, and my faulty memory says that 61% of the flight attendants they surveyed had encountered problems with a so-called service animal.


I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that the squirrel didn’t go through any support animal training or certification.


Unless it had a Bob Ross seal of approval I wouldn’t get near it.


After hearing the horror stories of “emotional support” animals on planes (this includes dogs which are not service animals) I think the line is quite clear. If the animal is a service animal, which means it is properly trained, it is allowed on the plane. If the animal isn’t a service animal, no flying. Or have some sort of certification process, which is under the control of the airlines or the FAA, to test animals for training. The last thing I want on a plane is a squirrel pooping on or next to me.


We might be cousins.


I’m all for poking fun at the security theater of air travel, but even I can understand prohibiting bringing a squirrel on a commercial flight. They aren’t a domestic animal. They are a wild animal with sharp little teeth and sharp claws, and it’s silly (and unfair) to expect them to behave like a pet when put in a confined, loud, unfamiliar environment with a bunch of strangers.

This isn’t about being authoritarian, it’s just pretty basic common sense.


Gosh, I hope so.


Can I bring my ferret? Please?


Sure we can. Just not in a metal tube floating thousands of miles above the ground. Unless that animal has been trained and she carries the papers, hell no. A few years ago a friend of mine and well-know animal trainer wrote a widely-derided piece about how she would claim her dog was an emotional support animal so she could take it everywhere with her. The problem with this (and I’m assuming squirrel lady fits this bill), is that it devalues the importance of people with real needs who rely on actual support animals for their daily welfare. A squirrel? Nah.


My dog gets quite a lot of emotional support from her squirrels. Does this mean that she can’t take one with her on the plane? Good luck getting her to drop it…


I don’t want to judge your dog, but I think the emotional support may be a one-way street in that relationship.


hate to mock your mockery, but this woman is engaging in Service Animal Fraud – a crime – and being a huuuuuge pain to any and all who encounter her. I dislike Airport Security, but I also dislike our new era where whackaddoo white people do whatever they want because the rules don’t apply to them. If you have a real Service Animal, great. But you can’t bring any damned livestock you want onto a plane, or into a restaurant, or into a theater, and the sooner you’re disabused of this self-centered nonsense, the better we all fare.


Although it is a lot of fun to make fun, you’re right. It is not just unfair, but actually dangerous, for people to claim that animals are service animals when they are not. Real service animals are highly trained. Other animals, not so much. An animal may behave just fine in ordinary conditions, but become frightened and agressive in strange ones – not because they are “bad” but because they’re animals, and it’s not fair to them (or anyone who might be nearby) to forget that.


Good doggo! Can I borrow her next May?


My dad was a depression-era baby, and it’s my understanding they sometimes hunted and ate rattlesnake when living in Texas, and squirrel when living in Tennessee.


That’s a great point. Want to fly with a rodent? Then patronize an airline that accepts rodents.


As long as the animal was in a carrier that fit under the seat and didn’t stink. Who fucking cares?


I was just watching a Swiss political debate show where the right wing guy was complaining about how the works is now ruled by the minority. Like “I am hetero, so I’m called homophobe”. (Yeah, don’t worry, it didn’t make sense in the original French either.)

But when I hear a story like this, I kind if see what he’s talking about. I mean, wtf? How is it that we started acting so nonsensically? That a plane full of people can be disrupted by this precious lady?

I mean I’m not going to start voting right wing, but this gives me a tiny bit of empathy for them.


So then, the squirrel wasn’t secured and could just run around? No? Thought not.
I think it’s silly and unfair to claim this animal was NOT an emotional support animal for this person.

Ah the appeal to common sense. There’s a fun trope I never get tired of.

Ah, so we get to decide what animals people can use for emotional support now?

do you have anything to suggest this person did not have the real need they claimed to have?

Is she? Do we know that this animal does not bring her emotional support?

A lot of people seem to have insight in to the life of this person. A lot of people seem to have insight in to her mental state. I don’t have that insight. I do have sympathy for anyone who needs an animal for emotional support.


This women was interviewed by a local station.

" ‘You’re not taking my squirrel. Sorry, you’re not. I refuse. You will not take my baby from me.’"
Torok, who also owns lizards and bearded dragons, said she got the squirrel three weeks ago to help with her anxiety in crowds."