We brought you the story about Petsmart blocking a pitbull puppy from one of its puppy parties. Sadly, it has happened again. This time, however, it’s an airline. On top of that, the policy in question deals with service animals. Delta Airlines recently announced that it was “further enhancing” its policy governing service animals – they are banning pitbulls altogether.
It doesn’t matter to the airline at all if the animal is a registered service animal or not.
The airline made the announcement just last week. The ban will go into effect on July 10th. On top of banning pitties registered as service animals, the new policy also covers dogs registered as emotional support animals.
“The new requirements support Delta’s top priority of ensuring safety for its customers and employees, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs,” the company wrote in a press release.
So, “legitimate needs” huh? Suddenly, an airline is knowledgeable enough to determine who needs their dog and who doesn’t? Folks, apparently the only doctors we need are all employed by Delta Airlines.
The airline says it put the policy into place as a result of several incidents dogs biting flight attendants as well as passengers. Delta also said there had been an increase in “incidents of urination and defecation,” on the flights.
The company refused to specify, however, whether or not the offenders in question were even pit bulls. Once again, pitbulls are merely a scapegoat.
PAYING THE PRICE
Sadly, because of the continuing campaign of misinformation, pit bulls, as well as their owners, continue to pay the price for people’s ignorance. Meet Linda Hickey and her 13-year-old son Jonny. Jonny has autism, and he relies on his emotional support animal named Xena to keep him calm during stressful situations, like flying on airplanes.
Jonny and Xena have used Delta Airlines in recent years. According to The Dodo, the pair had a pleasant experience both times.
XENA AND JONNY
Xena had it rough early in life. Before they trained her as a support animal, the 5-year-old pitbull overcame extreme neglect to grow and learn and become Jonny’s best friend in the world.
Like every pit bull owner that reads this, Jonny’s mom is devastated by the new policy. She spoke with The Dodo about Jonny’s experience. The airline even gave Xena wings when they flew before. It seemed like everything went off without a hitch. Suddenly, the two best friends are no longer welcome.
“She [Xena] was very proud of her Delta wings,” said Hickey. “The real issue here is not the animals, but the people. We are paying the price because others have taken advantage of the ability to get an animal certified. Now, those who are really in need of their support animals, such as my son, are being restricted.”
Pitbull owners across the country have pushed back against the new policy. The airline built the entire thing on a mountain of ignorance and misinformation, after all. Many people, including Hickey and her son Jonny, hope that the airline will overturn the ban.
“Clearly, we don’t agree with the ban,” said Hickey. “I certainly hope they rethink and reverse their decision. Dogs like Xena are the majority.”
We are 100 percent behind you, Ms. Hickey.
What do you think about this new ban? Tell us in the comments.