MIAMI — In the midst of the highest dispute regarding service animals flying on planes, a service dog named Eleanor “Ellie” Rigby gave birth to eight puppies at the Tampa International Airport’s Gate 80 moments before its flight to Philadelphia departed.
Ellie, a trained and permitted to fly yellow lab, was flying with its owner.
As the dog went into labor, the airport’s fire rescue team arrived at the scene to assist with the birth of eight blonde pups.
— Tampa Fire Rescue (@TampaFireRescue) May 25, 2018
The airport registered the whole event, which was also witnessed by numerous passengers and airport workers, through social media by using the #AirportPuppies hashtag.
Service Animal Dispute
Just recently, American Airlines (AA), Delta (DL) and United (AA) issued new rules, banning animals like goats, hedgehogs, insects, reptiles, snakes, spiders, ferrets, spiders, and non-household birds.
The airlines are also banning unclean animals.
The service animal benefit has been exploited to a level in which passengers have brought the wildest kind of animals with them on a flight.
American Airlines states that “emotional/psychiatric support and fully-trained service animals can fly in the cabin at no charge,” highlighting that these “must meet the requirements.”
Before, passengers could arrive at the airport and file the paperwork at the check-in desk. This is no longer permitted.
From now on, however, those passengers who wish to bring such type of animal on board a plane must file paperwork at least two full days before the trip.
A domestic one-way ticket for a service animal costs $125 on a Delta flight.
“We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal,” AA said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers, and working dogs onboard our aircraft.”
American Airlines also claims that between 2016 and 2017, the number of service animals traveling onboard its planes have grown by a whopping 40%.
Delta’s numbers are higher, with over 250,000 animals flying since 2015—a 150% increase.
Delta is now asking its passengers to sign a form that the animal is trained, well behaved, and will not pose a threat to other passengers at the airport and the flight.
Last year, a passenger was hospitalized because another passenger’s dog attacked him during boarding.