Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

The Peacock That Roared: What Qualifies As A Service Animal?

March 2020 Bar Bulletin

By Carolyn Ladd

In January 2018, a passenger tried to board a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California with an emotional support peacock.1 Despite the passenger having purchased the peacock its own seat, United denied it boarding due to its “weight and size.”2 Pictures3 of the majestic blue bird named Dexter on a luggage carrier went viral and raised questions of what animals should be allowed as service animals and whether emotional support animals should be afforded the same legal protections.

As a result of concerns raised by individuals with disabilities and businesses, the Washington State legislature limited...

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