Emotional support animals are companions that a medical professional has prescribed as helpful to someone with a disability. These animals are usually regular pets like dogs, cats and occasionally rabbits or guinea pigs. Many airlines recognize that flying causes great anxiety to many people, and so allow emotional support animals to fly aboard planes with their humans.

Like all nice, good and helpful things however, there are always people that will go too far and ruin it for everyone else. This list, compiled by Bored Panda, is a series of times when people brought unusual, unnecessary and just frankly ridiculous animals along for their 'emotional support,' and while some here have a genuine need, many are just abusing a concept that has a real purpose for many people.

Scroll down to see what we mean for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments.

#1

Duck On Flight

Duck On Flight

Daniel the Duck is a certified emotional support animal, who helps his owner Carla Fitzgerald battle the post traumatic stress disorder. “Everyone just took notice of him and fell in love,” Fitzgerald told ABC News. “I mean, he’s an adorable, funny and sweet little guy. He was very well behaved at the airport and during the flight.”

Mark Essig Report

EHops
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

Look at the little Daniel's shoes!! 😀

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#2

Pony On An Flight

Pony On An Flight

Flirty The Mini Service Horse (a.k.a. Flirty) is a miniature horse who is a service animal. She is a very small miniature horse, standing only 27 inches tall and weighing just over 130 lbs, who loves attention and helping her disabled owner/handler, Abrea Hensley. Abrea is allergic to dogs and has post-traumatic stress disorder, so she takes Flirty everywhere she goes. The little mare reminds Hensley to take her medication and provides support when she becomes overwhelmed

Flirty The Mini Service Horse , FlirtyTheSH Report

Dee Hunter
Community Member
2 years ago

The idea of mini ponies isactually a not that bad - just take into account the life span of a horse (something between 20 and 30 years) vs. a service dog (about 10 years in service)

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#3

Emotional Support Peacock, Trying To Board A Flight From Newark To L.a

Emotional Support Peacock, Trying To Board A Flight From Newark To L.a

This woman brought along her emotional support peacock for her flight to L.A. from Newark Airport. It didn’t go well. Despite being warned three times that Dexter the peacock would not be allowed to travel with her, conceptual artist Ventiko showed up at the airport anyway. Dexter was promptly turned away by United Airlines

dexterthepeacock , thejetsettv Report

Dee Hunter
Community Member
2 years ago

Just one question: HOW. How is a beepin' bird supposed to give you emotional support, especially a peacock. I call BS - or better: attention hog

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#4

'Emotional Support' Pig Kicked Off Flight For Being Disruptive

'Emotional Support' Pig Kicked Off Flight For Being Disruptive

Woman has been kicked off her plane for bringing a 70-pound pig on board for 'emotional support'. She made it to the plane and was sitting with the pig on her lap, however, before long, the pig was reported as being 'out of control' and disruptive. So the passenger was asked to get off.

@ianbremmer Report

Ana Ferreira
Community Member
2 years ago

An animal that actually uses squealing like it's being murdered as a defense mechanism, and is pretty easily triggered is a terrible idea for a support animal to take to a strange and confined environment.

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#5

Pig On Flight

Pig On Flight

goldboxatl Report

Hard 2 Guess
Community Member
2 years ago

Here it is folks. If you ever thought you'll do something when pigs fly then you need to get started on that.

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#6

My Friend Had An 'Emotional Support Turkey' On Her Flight To Seattle

My Friend Had An 'Emotional Support Turkey' On Her Flight To Seattle

Easter the turkey was Jodie Smalley's support animal. Smalley found it 'as a shivering chick standing in the road on Easter Day', hence the name. “Easter came to me as a tiny poult at an emotionally difficult time in my life being in a mentally abusive and failing marriage,” Smalley explained

averym88 Report

Cora Fields
Community Member
2 years ago

Turkeys are inherently aggressive

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#7

Monkey Business! Meet Gizmo Who Stirred All That Trouble On A Las Vegas Bound Frontier Airlines Flight

Monkey Business! Meet Gizmo Who Stirred All That Trouble On A Las Vegas Bound Frontier Airlines Flight

Marmoset Gizmo got through TSA screening and boarded a Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus, Ohio to Las Vegas. Gizmo's owner, Jason Ellis, didn't warn other passengers or crew about his emotional support pet, so their surprise when Gizmo started poking its head out of Ellis's shirt was understandable. Gizmo was never loose on flight and stuck to owner's shirt the entire time.

nateoneal Report

Cora Fields
Community Member
2 years ago

Monkeys get diseases from humans all the time and give them as well.

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#8

When My Mom Has A Kangaroo On Her Flight As An "Emotional Support Animal"

When My Mom Has A Kangaroo On Her Flight As An "Emotional Support Animal"

DevinnZeller Report

Rosesinmyhair
Community Member
2 years ago

Kangaroos are not pets. Makes me boiling mad that you can buy Roos in Pet shops in the US.

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#9

Monkey Helper

Monkey Helper

Richard, a bonnet macaque monkey, belongs to Debby Rose, who suffers from agoraphobia, the fear of places and situations that causes panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. She brings her monkey everywhere and will even drive with him in the front seat.

Rebecca Skloot Report

Tracey Tait
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

That's illegal. Driving with any animals on your lap impairs driving and is a moving violation

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#10

Woman Removed From Flight To Cleveland With Emotional Support Squirrel: 'You Will Not Take My Baby'

Woman Removed From Flight To Cleveland With Emotional Support Squirrel: 'You Will Not Take My Baby'

A passenger was removed from a Frontier Airlines flight when she attempted to fly with her “emotional support” squirrel and then refused to get off the plane when she was told no, according to the airline. A Frontier spokesman said in a statement that the passenger had alerted the airline that she would be bringing an emotional-support animal on the flight but did not mention it would be a rodent. “Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights,” the statement read. “

fox8news Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
2 years ago

She is still emotional with her support animal?

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#11

There Is Such A Thing As A Service Pony And I Want One

There Is Such A Thing As A Service Pony And I Want One

Alancumming Report

Random Panda
Community Member
2 years ago

That poor woman. I don't think people with emotional support animals should be allowed to make other passengers so uncomfortable.

comboplush
Community Member
2 years ago

Judging from the glasses and the info from earlier in this article that mini ponies are used to help the blind, maybe it is her's and they both are travelling together.

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Ivana
Community Member
2 years ago

That pony isn't for emotional support, is it for vision support. See the handle on the back? That handle is the same handle they use for seeing eye dogs, this is a seeing eye pony. The woman sitting by the window probably is either blind or has significant decreased vision. People are so judgemental. I would rather fly with any animal over any human.

Holly Hofmann
Community Member
2 years ago

Mini Horses are recognized by the ADA as Service Animals. The woman looks to be sight-impaired. My guess is that this is a legitimate service animal and not an ESA.

Ben Smith
Community Member
2 years ago

That poor animal looks miserable

Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
2 years ago

It’s working

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Scott Lloyd
Community Member
2 years ago

One of the two types of animals recognized as service animals. Service animals are protected by the ADA. These are not emotional support pets they work for a living.

Joshua Putnam
Community Member
2 years ago

Plenty of room in bulkhead for mini horses or large service dogs. Either one is trained to stay comfortably in place for many hours without making a mess.

Ann Abdelzaher
Community Member
2 years ago

Mini horses are also being trained as seeing eye dogs.

Vikki Nay
Community Member
2 years ago

Again, what about the other people on the plane with allergies? I have a severe allergy to horses.

SuperCooper
Community Member
1 year ago

It is the airline's job to ensure that every person is SAFE during their flight. So in you case, they would need to make accommodations for you to sit far away, or get you a new flight. They cannot, however, kick the disabled party off just because someone is afraid or allergic to the animal, as that is illegal under the ADA.

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Gillian Black
Community Member
2 years ago

dont think that person is uncomfortable he is with her and just think if you were in the position these people were in and you had to have a support animal would you like these comments, I have a dog my best friend

Douglas Iley
Community Member
2 years ago

That poor woman looks miserable. I can't say i blame her.

SuperCooper
Community Member
1 year ago

.... I think that's because she's blind.......

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Alejandro Vega
Community Member
2 years ago

The horse looks like it's about to poop, and the woman looks like she knows it!!

Avimech 85
Community Member
1 year ago

Can you ride that or throw your luggage on top while traveling between terminals? If so then it would be worth it lol

Rat kid and his dog
Community Member
6 months ago

It's a service animal, it's worth it bc it does life changing work

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Felicia Dale
Community Member
2 years ago

This isn't fair to the animal at all, nor the other passenger. There is simply not enough room for the horse!

okpkpkp
Community Member
2 years ago

effed up airlines allowing shit like this. you don't see all this at movie theaters, restaurants, department or grocery stores, do you? no.

Rat kid and his dog
Community Member
6 months ago

It's a service animal?

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L McN
Community Member
2 years ago

Ponies, horses, dogs, and a few other specifically TRAINED animals for specific needs are expected. Horses don't fly, too big really. Ponies, well obviously they can. Have you ever spent some serious time with one? That pony is literally trusting it's partners despite being scared. Not terrified, but sure as heck it is not comfortable in that plane. It feels anxious, and by the looks almost threatened. If not for the partner near by it would likely bolt.

Meami
Community Member
2 years ago

So legroom is already at a premium. I think these guys should have to buy all the seats in the row so no one has to sit with their legs scrunched up the whole flight.

Lyn Moffett
Community Member
2 years ago

She really doesn’t look at ease

Viv Hart
Community Member
2 years ago

Poor horse!

Sherry Harvey
Community Member
2 years ago

The woman seems to be upset, so is this really working?

Gail Watkins
Community Member
2 years ago

There is no room for this poor baby he can’t even turn around 🤬

Wanda Miller
Community Member
2 years ago

I have mixed feelings about ESA'S. As someone living with PTSD, I see the value in having a pet. But, I think things are out of control at this point. There are so many frauds out there that those who truly benefit from animal therapy are paying the price. Case in point, my upstairs neighbor has an 'emotional support pit bull'. She leaves him alone for hours a day, he is not neutered, and she drags him down to our Courtyard to potty or gives him 10 minute walks. She has a stream of men coming in and out of her apartment at all hours. For some reason, the landlord overlooks this behavior and allows her to run amok. She has threatened other tenants with a knife, screams, yells, and is incredibly aggressive. I live beneath her and am waiting for the day when she does something violent to the dog. Then, she'll probably just get another dog and it will start all over again.

Teri Donovan
Community Member
2 years ago

This is a minihorse and, as such, is NOT an ESA. It's a legally recognized SERVICE animal and covered under the ADA.

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Eleanor Redding
Community Member
2 years ago

lady is questioning the life choices that led her to be crammed into a small space on a plane with a fecking horse pressed up against her knees

Teri Donovan
Community Member
2 years ago

It's HER horse

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Bethan Coleman
Community Member
2 years ago

What would happen in the event of an emergency? The pony would be panicking and getting in the way.

Pahulu
Community Member
2 years ago

They're as trained as dogs so likely not. They behave better than most humans

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#12

Emotional Support Kangaroo

Emotional Support Kangaroo

"A customer tried to bring a baby kangaroo on the plane as a service animal," a retired airline customer service agent with 18 years of experience told Business Insider.

ShawnReynolds_ , twitter.com Report

Kaisu
Community Member
2 years ago

No, kangaroos are wild animals, not pets and definitely not service animals, especially young joeys like this!

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#13

Don't Act Like You've Never Seen A Therapy Turkey Going Through Airport Security

Don't Act Like You've Never Seen A Therapy Turkey Going Through Airport Security

This emotional support turkey was spotted at San Francisco Airport.
The turkey was seen going through security sometime last week by KTVU journalist Frank Somerville, who shared the story to his Facebook page.
According to the post, the turkey is an emotional support animal for a woman who lost her husband. The woman takes the turkey everywhere with her, and it even sleeps with her at night.

Frank Somerville KTVU , Maggie Serota Report

Parmeisan
Community Member
2 years ago

Ah, that makes me remember my favourite show. "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." I miss ya, WKRP. I wish I could re-watch on Netflix.

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#14

We've Got Cock!! Emotional Support Rooster For. The. Win

We've Got Cock!! Emotional Support Rooster For. The. Win

passengershaming Report

Ben Smith
Community Member
2 years ago

Hope it’s not a a red eye...that bird will go nuts!

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#15

Piggy Pilot. Hoggin' The Cockpit

Piggy Pilot. Hoggin' The Cockpit

Hamlet the Beach Hog is the emotional support animal of Megan Peabody who loves flying, but suffers from anxiety. According to Peabody, having her hog on board makes her feel "more comfortable and provides a lovely distraction."

hamlet_the_beach_hog Report

Ideo Gram
Community Member
2 years ago

So, that's Hoggpit?

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#16

Just Your Everyday Emotional Support Kangaroo...

Just Your Everyday Emotional Support Kangaroo...

passengershaming Report

Ben Smith
Community Member
2 years ago

Yep, kangaroos loooove being on a leash....

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#17

Emotional Support Hamster's Owner Claimed The Staff Working For Spirit Airlines Told Her That Pebbles Would Have To Be Flushed Down A Toilet

Emotional Support Hamster's Owner Claimed The Staff Working For Spirit Airlines Told Her That Pebbles Would Have To Be Flushed Down A Toilet

Belen Aldecosea said she contacted Spirit airlines twice to confirm that her emotional support hamster can fly with her. But the animal was refused entry upon arrival, and an employee suggested she flush her pet down the toilet 


@DavidOvalle305 Report

Diana Eriksson
Community Member
2 years ago

This is absolutely sick, why didn't she try giving the hamster to someone at the airport or something, anything would be better than literally being DROWNED IN THE SEWERS?

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