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State Makes It a Crime to Have a Fake Service Animal

Violators face fines and community service.

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Alabama is instituting criminal penalties for anyone who misrepresents a pet as a service animal.

The legislation takes effect Sept. 1. It makes such representation a Class C misdemeanor that leads to a $100 fine and 100 hours of community service, Al.com reports.

Under Alabama law, only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals. They have to be trained specifically to help people with disabilities — emotional support animals do not count.

The law allows for signs to be posted in public places with this wording: “Service animals are welcome. It is illegal for a person to misrepresent an animal in that person’s possession as a service animal.”

According to Al.com, Alabama is one of 25 states with laws related to misrepresentation of service animals.

Read more at Al.com

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Delta Rolls Out High-Tech Carrier At $850 Per Flight

It’s being offered at eight US locations.

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Delta pet travel

Delta is rolling out a pet travel carrier called CarePod with features such as a built-in hydration system and real-time updates throughout the journey.

CarePod will be exclusively offered at eight U.S. locations: Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York (JFK and LaGuardia), San Francisco and West Palm Beach. There will then be a phased approach to roll out the CarePod pet travel carrier across Delta’s U.S. network, according to a press release from the airline.

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The introduction comes after five years of research, development and testing, on top of a successful two-month trial, according to the release.

“Continuous innovation is in Delta’s DNA and the launch of the CarePod pet travel carrier, an industry first, is an example of us seeking out innovative partnerships and looking at ways to improve the customer experience throughout all parts of their journey,” said Shawn Cole, vice president — Delta Cargo. “As the only airline to offer this premium pet travel solution, it represents a significant improvement for the millions of people who want to travel with their four-legged family members.”

CNN reports that the CarePod “is roughly under two feet high and large enough for a dog up to 50 lbs.” and that the cost to book on is $850.

Delta explains that CarePod’s features include:

  • Stronger, industrial strength walls that are insulated to protect your pet against potential temperature fluctuations when moving between different climates and travel conditions.
  • Multi-layered windows and doors with specially angled blinds to help create a calming environment for pets by blocking out visual stress from unfamiliar environments.
  • The world’s first built-in hydration system for pet travel carriers, holding up to a liter of water that will auto replenish the spill-proof water bowl to ensure pets always have easy access to fresh water.
  • A powerful, enterprise level GPS tracking and monitoring system that connects your pet’s journey directly to the specialized Delta Cargo Control Center. The Center is managed 24/7/365 by trained experts who supervise and digitally monitor every CarePod pet journey from beginning to end, with the expertise and authority to send out the right staff on the ground to check on the pet if needed.
  • Seamless connectivity that enables you to use your mobile phone to view your pet’s key travel updates throughout their entire journey via deltacargo.com
  • CarePod pet travel carriers are made to the highest quality and standard, with human grade materials that are non-toxic, UV and antibacterial treated for longer lasting strength and protection.

The CarePod can accommodate dogs and cats permitted in a 300 series crate or smaller, and can be booked between three and 13 days prior to departure. The CarePod can be booked by visiting deltacargo.com or by calling Delta’s Cargo Customer Service Center at 1-800-352-2746.

“We’re thrilled that pet owners can now vacation and fly their pets with Delta’s best-in-class CarePod solution, having the peace of mind that their pets are protected in smart pet travel carriers, that are also digitally supervised by the Delta Cargo Control Center throughout the entire journey,” says Jenny Pan, founder and CEO of CarePod. “With the Delta partnership, we aim to raise the benchmark for pet air travel to allow families and pets to stay connected and travel safely together.”

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The airine notes:

Delta’s team of specialists and staff veterinarian constantly review processes and policies to identify areas of improvement to ensure the safety and health of pets. The airline has specially trained ground handlers who take care of pets at every step of their journey. Delta also has temperature-controlled holding areas and vehicles in numerous locations and overnight kenneling services.

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Dog Wanted: DOGTV Seeks Chief Puppy Officer

The winning candidate could become Instafamous.

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LOS ANGELES — DOGTV, a 24/7 digital TV channel for dogs, announced that it is looking for dog candidates to serve as the first-ever Chief Puppy Officer this year.

“We are thrilled to offer pet parents this unique chance to make their dog a pet influencer on Instagram,” said Beke Lubeach, general manager at DOGTV. “We’ve partnered with several popular social media influencers to provide the CPO’s dog parent with insight, tips, and training to help grow their pet’s Instagram account. This is our first time selecting a CPO and we look forward to working with the winner to spread the word about bringing joy to pups through DOGTV.”

The full benefits awarded for the dog selected as CPO include:

To be considered for the role of CPO, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a pup of any age.
  • Be a fan of DOGTV.
  • Have an Instagram account (or their person needs to be willing to create one).
  • Love their human unconditionally and live to make them happy.

This contest coincides with DOGTV’s first-ever puppy takeover, called Puppies Gone Wild. During the week leading up to the Big Game on Feb. 2, puppies are taking over the channel. DOGTV is accepting applications for the CPO from now through Saturday, Feb. 1, at DOGTV.com/puppies. Applicants are encouraged to have their family and friends vote to increase their chances of being selected as the CPO. The identity of the dog selected to serve in this role will be revealed on DOGTV’s Instagram on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

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Feds Consider Cracking Down on Emotional Support Animals on Flights

Under proposed rules, only dogs could be classified as service animals.

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a set of rules under which emotional support animals would no longer be classified as service animals.

The rules are intended to “ensure that individuals with disabilities can continue using their service animals while also reducing the likelihood that passengers wishing to travel with their pets on aircraft will be able to falsely claim their pets are service animals,” according to a press release from the department.

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The Washington Post notes that the proposed rules “narrow the definition of service animal to dogs that have received individualized training to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” A psychiatric service animal would be classified as a service animal “and require the same training and treatment of psychiatric service animals as other service animals,” according to the department.

Department of Transportation officials “noted that the proposed rule doesn’t prohibit people from flying with emotional support animals but the decision will be left to the airlines,” according to the Post.

The agency is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to its Air Carrier Access Act regulation on the transportation of service animals by air.

The department proposes to:

  • Define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability;
  • No longer consider an emotional support animal to be a service animal;
  • Consider a psychiatric service animal to be a service animal and require the same training and treatment of psychiatric service animals as other service animals;
  • Allow airlines to require forms developed by DOT attesting to a service animal’s good behavior, certifying the service animal’s good health, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal has the ability to either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner;
  • Allow airlines to require passengers with a disability who are traveling with a service animal to check-in at the airport one hour prior to the travel time required for the general public to ensure sufficient time to process the service animal documentation and observe the animal;
  • Require airlines to promptly check-in passengers with service animals who are subject to an advanced check-in process;
  • Allow airlines to limit the number of service animals traveling with a single passenger with a disability to two service animals;
  • Allow airlines to require a service animal to fit within its handler’s foot space on the aircraft;
  • Continue to allow airlines to require that service animals be harnessed, leashed, tethered, or otherwise under the control of its handler;
  • Continue to allow airlines to refuse transportation to service animals that exhibit aggressive behavior and that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; and
  • Continue to prohibit airlines from refusing to transport a service animal solely on the basis of breed.

The department’s notice can be found here. Comments must be received within 60 days of the notice, which was issued Jan. 22.

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