In the USA there is the term ” Emotional Support Animals”, Emotional Supporting Animals. They are dogs that do not necessarily have specific training, as therapy dogs receive: for a dog to be considered as an Animal of Emotional Support, what is needed is to demonstrate that its presence is necessary for the mental health of its owner or for therapy that is following, according to has dictated some medical professional.
The dog only needs to know how to behave in public and not be an annoyance or a threat to other people.
Getting your dog officially considered an Emotional Support Animal is achieved through a letter from a mental health professional, a letter that must meet certain requirements.
From that moment, among other issues, the law in the US determines that these people have the right to travel with their dog by plane. The dogs go along with their owners, in the cabin, without a carrier and without weight restrictions. And they fly for free.
Recently, criticisms of this system have begun to be heard as more and more people fly with their dogs thanks to this regulation (an airline calculates that in its case up to 20,000 dogs a year ).
And the problem, of course, is that it should not be excessively complicated to take advantage of this particular rule: according to the New York Times article, there are psychotherapists who offer their services and issue those letters after paying $ 99. And there are countless websites where certificates are sold. There are also schools in which they teach dogs – both assistance dogs and emotional support animals – to be comfortable in airports and airplanes.