Woman kicked off plane for bringing her emotional support squirrel




I have a bad habit of watching airplane disaster videos on YouTube and things about as minor as a loose squirrel on a plane have actually killed a whole aircraft full of people.


The lady may indeed get emotional support from this animal, or any number of other things. But that doesn’t make it reasonable to bring it on a plane. Apparently she’s only had it for a few weeks, which means it isn’t trained, and she has no real idea how it will react. Does that really sound like a good idea to bring it on a plane?

The common sense to not allow a wild animal like a squirrel on a commercial flight is a "trope,? Huh.

Yes! We do get to decide what animals people can use for emotional support on an airplane with other people. It’s the principal that allows reasonable people to allow a trained dog to be on a flight, but not a rattlesnake or a raccoon or a bobcat. Or an untrained squirrel!

As do I. It sounds like she has a hard time with a lot of things. But one may have sympathy for her while recognizing the need for basic health and safety standards to be observed.


Just to clarify, the squirrel did have a container. (Not @ you specifically, @dommerdoodle.)

One may also note that no matter what an airlines’ policy, the TSA stance is that many animals do not pose a threat to the aviation system.

“The squirrel was screened the same way someone’s cat would be screened. The container was sent through the x-ray machine while the passenger carried the squirrel through the walk-through metal detector. In this way we could be sure that there were no explosives or other prohibited items hidden inside the container. Once the TSA determines that an animal and its carrying case do not pose a threat to the aviation system, then it is up to the airline to determine if the animal may fly or not.”

My view is that this is largely an issue of perception.

ETA: Just want to add, all animals should be kept in escape-proof carriers on a flight. It’s just basic courtesy. Like not removing your shoes, or not harassing fellow travelers.


I mentioned this woman was committing Service Animal Fraud, and you asked:

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

Service Animals AREN’T FOR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT, and you’re conflating two things. A service animal is specially trained to help the less able; Emotional Support Animals are just wackadoos insisting their pekingese, or squirrel, is the only thing keeping them together. Which may or may not be true, but you DO NOT GET TO FLY WITH WHATEVER YOU LIKE.

If you want to have an animal that gives you emotional support, lovely. That doesn’t mean you get to take it everywhere you goddamn want to, because this is not the land of ‘do as you like’; this is the land of 'we’ve all got to get along, so no, no squirrels on your own say-so."

Sympathy without reason is idiotic weakness; reason without sympathy is cold arrogance. I’m not calling for an end to Service Animals. I’m asking for people to not slap a name on a pet and suggest it’s trained, required, or medically necessary.


ESAs have turned into an utter shitshow because there is no certifying body that says even so much as, “this animal has had all its shots.” Meanwhile lots of businesses advertise “registration” for a fee, even advocating it as a way of being allowed to take your pet with you wherever you like.

I’m not, in principle, against the idea of a squirrel as an ESA (to whatever extent they’re trainable), but right now, we’re in a hole of suck where the rules are kind of loose and the people who abuse them cause genuine problems. Even when we’re just talking highly domesticable animals like dogs–people have been literally mauled. Does a squirrel represent that kind of danger? Likely not, but here’s a question: Is it good for the squirrel? I briefly befriended some squirrels and when I looked into it, I found out rather quickly that it’s not really good to keep squirrels as pets because squirrels don’t really thrive in captivity. Not all animals are inherently suitable for these kinds of roles.


Only if you wear it internally.


Out on a limb with a squirrel…sounds nuts to me.


Let’s just grant that it is. This is pretty uncontroversial, but if we’re talking about drawing lines how about an emotional support crocodile?
The truth is as a dog owner, I wouldn’t trust my dog to not freak out on a plane, she just isn’t trained for that and it would be unfair of me to expect that she would behave without proper training. Yes I am saying that it’s not about the woman, but about the animal that’s being asked to provide emotional support, if that squirrel scratches somebody, even accidentally, things aren’t going to go well for it.
A responsible pet owner wouldn’t do that. Since I grant that this person get’s emotional security from the squirrel I would expect the owner to provide some training in order for the squirrel to perform it’s function without being put in danger.

If she was making it up, we could call her selfish, but since she’s not but is being negligent in providing for the needs of the animal then I could still call her selfish.


Well, that explains why those b*stards picked, bit, and dropped every one just before they were ripe. I would’ve been less upset if they’d had the common decency to eat what they took, instead of leaving a trail of ruined fruit all over my yard.


Seriously, I would pay that dog’s weight in kibble if it made “friends” with the pair who hang around here!


Yes. If the animal was a true ESA, she would have had documentation from a mental health professional, per ADA. Additionally:

“Even though some states have laws defining therapy animals, these animals are not limited to working with people with disabilities and therefore are not covered by federal laws protecting the use of service animals. Therapy animals provide people with therapeutic contact, usually in a clinical setting, to improve their physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.” -emphasis mine

The point of this really isn’t about whether a squirrel is an acceptable ESA, but rather that this woman and many, many other people lately have been gaming a system that was created to help people with real needs get through life. It blurs a line that is of critical need for people. You wouldn’t park in a handicapped spot or be surprised if you were ticketed or towed, right? So why should she be allowed an exemption just because she claims that she has a need (I could find no evidence that she provided the very simple documentation required). Hell, I’m a fucking mess without my wife, but I don’t think she should get a free seat on a plane or be allowed to sit on my lap (sigh) because she’s definitely my emotional support animal. We only have these terms because we live in a slightly more humane society now that recognized differing needs. To waste them on belligerent and selfish people only erodes the functionality and intent of the laws.

Oh, forgot the link:


Counting the days until a furry tries to get another fursuiter to go on the plane in suit as his “Support Fursona”

Sir, I must travel with my pack of mod wolves.



It should be allowed as long as the squirrel waits its turn in line.


I’ll just open the carrier a scooch to give baby a cuddle…oopsie! Say goodbye to that plane flying again any time soon.

Let’s not forget that rodents are know to gnaw through wiring, given the chance.


That’s my experience with the older-white-lady-with-a-lap-pet type on flights. If it’s there for “emotional support”, they’re likely to want to be petting it. Last flight we had a small dog wandering up and down the aisle while the flight attendant was serving drinks and pretzels. Owner lady wasn’t paying any attention and I was petrified the dog would be stepped on or crushed, but calling the attendant would require that he push his heavy cart ahead of him (possibly over the little dog) to get near my seat.

Getting off the plane, the lady had the dog bag held completely vertical, as she wobbled off in extreme heels. Poor little dog.


People are so cruel these days.


That is exactly what happened to my garden. The rodent bastards wasted a whole lot of great tomatoes, Cherokee Purples, Yellow Orange-Golds, and some Mortgage Reds. Bites here and there and the rest just left on the ground to rot. Arrrgggggh!

Regards to the water angle, it makes sense as the hellish carnage took place during a hot dry spell this summer. @TobinL I’ll be trying the water dish next year. Maybe find a bowl that says ‘Rocky’ or ‘Secret’ or better yet, ‘Dinner’.


Can I get a concern troll as my next emotional support animal?


Clearly she should have flown Budget…