Mini horses are allowed now!
The rules when you live and travel with a service animal are super confusing for most but not anymore! The U.S. Department Of Transportation (DOT) provided an updated statement and it's all made very clear for those that need to fly with their service animals, ESA'sand PSA's.
The Department's disability regulation has a broad definition of service animals. Priority will be placed on ensuring that the most commonly recognized service animals (dogs, cats, and miniature horses) are accepted for transport.
Yes to miniature horses!
With that in mind, we wanted to write about 'Flirty' as she boarded an American Airlines flight with her handler and did great!
'Flirty' and her handler, Abrea Hensley, had their first flight together! They traveled from Oklahoma to Chicago and the handler has PTSD. She's allergic to dogs so 'Flirty' helps just like a service dog does.
As you'll see in the video, 'Flirty' got a pat-down at security. To help with ear pressure 'Flirty' ate pretzels.
Hensley shared the trip on social media but she said she probably wouldn't fly again soon as the trip was a little stressful.
"It was a great experience and I learned a lot," she tweeted on @FlirtyTheSH. "Flirty was FANTASTIC and handled it all like a pro. That being said, I'm going to keep traveling by car, it's just easier on Flirty. Flying will be reserved for emergencies and such."
Check out this Inside Edition story!
Some people had issues and concerns about traveling with a horse but it doesn't look like there were any issues.
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) September 10, 2019
Here is a great picture of Flirty and the flight crew from our return flight! They absolutely loved Flirty. pic.twitter.com/QfavxFj0B2
— Flirty The Mini Service Horse (@FlirtyTheSH) August 31, 2019
The crew clearly loved having Flirty on board.
'Flirty' is a trained miniature service horse, not an emotional support animal so you need to know the rules. This handler had health issues and PTSD and the trip looked very organized. Air travel can be stressful for people and animals so I was glad she mentioned this in her story. These animals are trained yet they still feel stress especially when people are constantly in their personal space.
This is a wonderful example to demonstrate that some people are allergic to dogs and will look at other animal types for service animals like mini-mares or horses. These animals help with medical alerts and have an important job!
Do you have a service animal? Does this impact you? Please leave a comment below.