When you board a commercial airliner, you know there are certain risks that go with this mode of transportation. You may be placed next to someone with a squalling infant, or behind a traveler who insists on reclining, or alongside an overly talkative stranger – hopefully wearing a tight-fitting mask. The plane may sit on the tarmac for hours waiting for takeoff or hit stomach-churning turbulence once it does. Most air travelers learn take these possible outcomes in stride.
But miniature horses? Turtles? Monkeys? Potbellied pigs? Humans have brought (or tried to bring) all sorts of animals on flights, claiming they are needed for psychological purposes. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, the number of “emotional support animals” on flights rose by a whopping 81%.