Earlier this week Flyertalk member dlaue (who snapped and owns this picture) spotted this at Terminal 1 at LAX, where Southwest Airlines is the only tenant, and started a thread, “have comfort animals gone too far?”
The since the $95 pet fare on Southwest Airlines only “allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel with you in-cabin,” this must put the duck in the category of an emotional support animal. According to the Guidance Concerning Service Animals in Air Transportation:
In most situations the key is TRAINING. Generally, a service animal is individually trained to perform functions to assist the passenger who is a qualified individual with a disability. In a few extremely limited situations, an animal such as a seizure alert animal may be capable of performing functions to assist a qualified person with a disability without individualized training. Also, an animal used for emotional support need not have specific training for that function. Similar to an animal that has been individually trained, the definition of a service animal includes:
an animal that has been shown to have the innate ability to assist a person with a disability; or
an emotional support animal
I’ve heard of emotional assist turkeys, parrots, pot belly pigs, and even a miniature pony, but I must say this is the first emotional support duck I’ve seen. What do you think? Have you seen or heard of any interesting emotional assist animals?