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Miniature horse takes flight as service animal

Hoofed animal a rarity, but still allowed

Whilst still uncommon, the sight of a service animal on a flight is becoming increasingly less rare. But such animals usually come in canine form, or as another similarly common creature. 


So it was little wonder that on a recent US flight, a service animal of the hoofed variety turned so many heads. The miniature horse, called Flirty, was accompanying her owner on an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Omaha. 



"Flirty and I took to the skies, yesterday!" said a tweet from an account linked to the horse.


"It was a great experience and I learned a lot. Flirty was FANTASTIC and handled it all like a pro. That being said, I’m going to keep traveling by car, it’s just easier on Flirty. Flying will be reserved for emergencies and such."


According to the Washington Examiner  miniature horses are approved by the US government as service animals, despite sometimes weighing as much as a person.   



"The Enforcement Office intends to exercise its enforcement discretion by focusing its resources on ensuring that U.S. carriers continue to accept the most commonly used service animals (i.e., dogs, cats, and miniature horses) for travel," an August statement issued by the US Department of Transportation read.


"Airlines will not be subject to enforcement action if they continue to deny transport to snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders.


"However, airlines will remain subject to potential enforcement action if they categorically refuse to transport other animals or species of animals."


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 4 September 2019

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