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Airlines revising rules on pets

It has become commonplace in recent years for passengers to bring their pets on flights. The animal will often remain in a carrier, but some pet owners will let their furry friend out at some point during the flight or walk them around in inside the airport.

According to various s, Southwest Airlines has announced that it will now allow only one dog or cat per passenger as emotional support animals. This is a change in policy after a child was bit on a flight. These measures are getting support from regulators at the Department of Transportation.

Requirements for a pet passenger

While service animals like seeing-eye dogs are exempt, furry friends providing psychological or physical support will need to meet the following criteria:

  • No more than one pet per person
  • Proof of specialized training
  • Proof of vaccinations

Other rule changes for Southwest

Starting on September 17, Southwest will impose other rules as well. These include restrictions for the movement of animals on the plane. Animals must stay on a leash or in their carrier. Owners must also present a letter from a doctor or mental health professional stating that the pet is providing therapeutic benefits to its owner. The Texas-based carrier will allow dogs, cats and miniature horses as pets, but not other more exotic animals.

Other airlines also seeking to limit passenger pets

Delta Airlines announced that it transports about 700 pets a day on its flights. This is a 150 percent increase since 2015. This has led to an 84 percent increase in animal incidents on its flights.

If you or a loved one have been bit or in some way injured by a pet’s presence on a plane or in a public space, it is advisable to speak with an attorney about options for damages. Animal bites can be traumatizing and even involve complex and expensive medical procedures.