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23 thoughts on “DOT Final Rule: No Longer Recognizes Emotional Support Animals, Prohibits Pit Bull Bans in Aircraft Cabin and More

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  1. How could DoT use such a stupid piece of trash as the ATTS temperament test? Who are the people making this decision. Did they sign anything. What are there names? These are dumb, unelected , uninformed, no-nothings making these decisions. It’s infuriating. I hope Delta will ignore their stupid decision about fighting breeds as service dogs in the cabin. Also why on earth does one person need two service dogs. That is fraud as well. A little good news in this decision, but only a little.

    • I agree with your point completely, Anita.

      The DOT cited the ATTS without having a clue as to what the ATTS actually is, we deserve better from those tasked with protecting the safety and rights of the peaceful public.

      I’m going to post factual information about the ATTS for any pit bull advocate who considers bringing it up here. I have never met a pit bull owner who has actually done the ATTS but they talk about it constantly. Yes, I have done the ATTS and passed with a Standard Poodle.

      The ATTS is a for-profit company. They do not certify any dog safe, or even pleasant. The test was devised for Schutzhund enthusiasts and for police work. The breed stats pages begin with this disclaimer “The pass-fail rate is not a measure of a breed’s aggression, but rather of each dog’s ability to interact with humans, human situations, and the environment. “ The test is breed specific, not all breeds are judged to the same standards. The test has a strong self-selection bias. You don’t take a dog you don’t think will pass.

      The stats shown by the ATTS Society are cumulative since the inception of the program 43 years ago. Nine hundred and thirty-one pit bulls have passed in the last 43 years. That averages less than 22 per year.

      The owners of dogs that pass the test (which tests for nothing particularly useful but is a pleasant way to spend a day in the sunshine with your dog) get a certificate in the mail. The certificate does not impact insurance rates, local regulations, or housing restrictions, does not get you 50% off on a cup of coffee at Mcdonald’s. The certificate is a vanity item.

      Having said all that, here is a partial list of breeds that outscore pit bulls on the ATTS counting only breeds not particularly rare and with over 100 dogs of that breed tested; Belgian Malinois, Black Russian Terrier, Borzoi, Brittany Spaniels, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Curley Coated Retrievers, Irish Setters, Irish Wolfhounds, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and Schipperke. It is interesting to note that only 48 Pugs have been tested and 44 passed with a passing percentage of 91.7%.

      The ATTS is a foolish talking point, poorly understood by pit bull advocacy. When you see an advocate use this particular talking point, you can be sure they don’t have a clue. Breed advocates flooded the DOT with their foolishness to accomplish what they have.

      More attacking Pit Bulls have been SHOT by police in American cities than have ever passed the ATTS.

      • Carole. cLaP cLap aPpLaUse

        perfectly stated about ATT

        Just because someone can blow a gun off near a dog that won’t flinch–doesn’t make it sociable towards humans or other dogs. Anyone who worked with protection dogs can attest to that.

        When brave pugs who can’t run and breathe at the same time–pass it, it doesn’t say much for the test, does it?

    • Issued this 30th day of November, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
      –Original Signed–
      Elaine L. Chao, Secretary.

      Elaine Lan Chao is an American politician who serves as the United States Secretary of Transportation, having assumed office on January 31, 2017.

      The next Secretary of Transportation (assuming he is confirmed by senate) is Pete Buttigieg, who while in his first term of being mayor (of South Bend, Indiana), repealed his city’s longstanding pit bull ordinance in 2014.

  2. Why is it so hard to protect the public? The majority of people would probably say heck no if asked if they want a pit bull next to them in a confined space. Just ban them. Blocking ESAs is somewhat of a good start, but pit bulls need to just be completely banned from public transport completely.

    And why is there no requirement for animals on planes to be muzzled? That should be the number one rule in order for it to be allowed on the plane. If they won’t outright ban pits, they could at least require them to be muzzled.

      • Colleen, that would depend on what the dog is trained *for*.

        EG: It wouldn’t stop a dog for the blind, doing its duty because it doesn’t require it’s mouth.

        It would stop a pick-up dog for a physical disability. Most of them are retrievers because well…retrieving.

        Can’t see why muzzling a psych dog wouldn’t be viable since they don’t require their mouths unless chewing on someone is a way to prevent or halt an attack of some sort.

        Wouldn’t even stop an epilepsy or diabetic dog since they either paw, or bark. Muzzles don’t prevent barking.

  3. It’s just another way in which we, the people who would rather not fly with dogs, are screwed.

    And I don’t just mean pit bulls. Who wants to spend hours on a flight with some emotional support yapper that won’t stay quiet? I sure don’t!

    • Agreed. I don’t want ANY dog on a plane with me. I’m honestly at the point where I wish there could be 2 separate types of flights; one which is completely animal free (or at least prohibits them from being in the cabin) and another for the people who choose to bring an animal. This whole thing is insane.

    • Yes, and what about people who are severely allergic to dogs? I don’t have allergies, but I DO NOT want to pay good money to fly with dogs. Not only the whining and yapping, but the defecating in the aisle. The flight attendants get to clean it up. BTW, the owner of the dog that brutally ripped up that passenger’s face (the pictures are horrific) told a bold-face lie about the breed “mix” of his ESA mauler…it was clearly a pit or pit mix. Pictures don’t lie, but pit bull owners do!

      • I don’t know what the laws are in the USA, but in Canada, it is perfectly legal to ban a service dog that causes any kind of nuisance–even if the owner can prove it’s a service dog.

        Service dogs have been legally banned for barking, defecating/urinating, begging for food, sitting in chairs etc. and it has been upheld in court.

        • In the U.S., the relevant federal law is 28 Code of Federal Regulations, section 35.136 (for local and state government) and 36.302 (for “public accommodations”). Technically, these laws don’t actually apply to federal government or the DOT, but here is the text from §36.302 everybody else has to follow. See (2)(i) and (ii):

          (c) Service animals

          (1) General. Generally, a public accommodation shall modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability.

          (2) Exceptions. A public accommodation may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if:
          (i) The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or
          (ii) The animal is not housebroken.

          (3) If an animal is properly excluded. If a public accommodation properly excludes a service animal under § 36.302(c)(2), it shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to obtain goods, services, and accommodations without having the service animal on the premises.

  4. I am not surprised by this since DOT’s first announcement prohibiting banning of pit bulls, I knew the final result would be the same since they already showed their cards.

    It is not just PSAs and seizure dogs that will be the claim. People will claim their pit bull senses low blood sugars or the presence of food allergens. For those asking about how someone can have two service animals, this is how this came about. Years ago, I read an article explaining and promoting this. Of course, the dogs were pets that the “disabled” person trained themselves. A person with celiac disease could have a gluten sensing dog that smells their food. The same person may also have a peanut allergy and they get another dog that they train to smell peanuts in their food. Viola! The need for two dogs exists!

  5. It’s nice to see a step in the right direction, except for the ‘psychiatric’ service dog BUNK. We have therapies and medications for psychiatric disorders.

    • But-but-but therapy requires WORK! As in, you have to WORK on yourself! And that is ha-a-a-ard!

      So much easier to get an animated teddy bear and not have to deal with your problems.

  6. I’m not against Psychiatric Service Dogs. Not all medications or therapies work for all people the same way or sometimes, they don’t work at all.

    I AM for regulating sensibly.

    What *symptoms* is the dog mitigating? In the case of PTSD…is the dog trained to find an exit? Block people coming close to someone who panicked by physical closeness? Capable of NOT picking up their anxieties and trained behaviourally to calmly interrupt a panic attack?

    Can it follow every command 100% without prompting or correction (someone in the middle of an episode is incapable of correcting a dog properly)

    Can the owner PROVE that?

    That’s just one example.

    There was a movement to license PSAs where the criteria was perfect obedience and it had to show three mitigating behaviours based on the mental health requirements of the owner.

    That would put pad to every pitbull without even naming pitbulls because they are notoriously stupid and rarely follow any command 90% of the time–never mind add in more complex tasks.

  7. Every day, it seems the ” Laws ” are getting more and more absurd.
    Just think of the people that have been the victim of a Pitbull attack, or have lost a pet because of a Pitbull attack.
    What about their….”emotional support”.
    I am sure A LOT of passengers feel uncomfortable been in a enclosed are with no escape route …..with a potentially DEADLY ANIMAL that has a proven track record of KILLING OTHER LIVING THINGS.
    Again……we are putting hundreds of people’s lives at risk…..TO ACCOMMODATE ONE INDIVIDUAL AND OR AGENDA !!
    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it .

    • Christine, What are you yelling about?

      I’m pro BSL. Everywhere.

      However, I am not going to stop disabled people from living freely with dogs that are properly trained to manage an airplane. I’m certainly not going to blame vulnerable people for the actions of those few who are abusing a system that should be designed to protect them, and their accredited service animals, as well as you.

  8. Dear kad & Your quiet neighbour, I take legal maximum dose of medication(s) for depression/anxiety/psychotic episodes, but am still considered too unstable for therapy,maybe because of also having three personality disorders ?. However my psychiatrist thought that a dog capable of detecting paralytic anxiety prior to the actual black out was sensible. As did my local MP, my GP and the judge at benefits tribunal ,who ruled that he (dog) is legal working animal. Charlie is a hard working little dog who behaves as well as any guide dog. Happily I will concede that we’re British ,that Charlie is a Cavalier king Charles Spaniel, who fits easily on my lap, is trained not to bark,yap or whine, unless warning me. Incidentally Pit-bulls and variants are Illegal in Britain, except Staffies, guess which breed has attacked Charlie 3 times?.

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