Our driving team consists of key personnel from all over the country with a wide variety of backgrounds. Most importantly, all HTT drivers love pets! They will keep you up to date about your pet’s well-being and trip progress through text and picture messages along the way!
As our company grows, we are frequently looking for individuals who have what it takes to join our driving team. Meet some of our driving team here and check out our new cartoon about what it takes to be a driver for Happy Tails Travel!
Service animals are excellent assistants trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental illnesses (such as PTSD), seizure disorder, and mobility impairment. Service animals must be dogs or miniature horses that have gone through special training and are able to perform a specific task for individuals who have disabilities. These animals must be accepted in all public places, as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Therefore, if you have a service animal you will be traveling with, they can go in the cabin with you while you fly. As such, the animal will be part of your personal reservation as the airline must accommodate you and your service animal.
Emotional support animals are animals that provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship for an individual suffering from various mental and emotional conditions. They can assist with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, fear/phobias, and other psychological and emotional conditions. Because these animals are not specially trained to perform any specific tasks, they do not have the same legal rights to accompany you on the plane or in other public spaces that pets are not typically allowed.
Therapy animals are used to bring comfort and joy to those who are ill or under poor conditions, such as those who have been affected by a natural disaster. Therefore, these pets often do not travel with an owner, but travel for business purposes. These pets commonly are transported by their handlers, or volunteers, to stressful locations such as natural disaster areas, schools, or hospitals.
While it is great that there are so many classifications of service animals to help those who need it, unfortunately when it comes to pet travel many people abuse the system. When your pet travels as a service animal, they can fly in the cabin alongside of you, no matter how large they are or their breed. If you were to bring your pet as a carry-on they have to fit under the seat in front of you. Therefore, any other pets must be transported under the cabin in a special live-animal section on the plane. In this area pets’ airfare is charged based on their weight in their crate. These fares typically run from $400 - $2,000 depending on the size of your cat or dog, and your destination. While there are many legitimate cases of people needing service animals or emotional support animals, far too often passengers are abusing the system in order to avoid spending the additional money on their pets’ airfare.
Because too many people abused the system, emotional support animals are no longer allowed to fly in cabin domestically unless they are small enough to count as a carry-on. If passengers continue to abuse the system, it will make it more difficult for those who really need service animals to continue bringing them along. Not only will stricter requirements and certifications be put into place, but saying your animal is a service animal, when it is not, can cause safety concerns. While service animals go through special training, emotional support animals do not. Therefore, when brought to a busy airport and confined to a small aircraft these pets may display behaviors that they do not typically do at home and could cause harm to themselves, you or other passengers.
Please be mindful and courteous to those who really need such animals. There are still many ways for your pet to travel to their new home, or even on vacation with you. While it may cost you some extra money, pets who travel below the cabin are generally more comfortable than in the cabin. This is because they have their own space, and more room to move about during the flight. It is also not as crowded and is quieter so they will not get as stressed out.
While Happy Tails Travel is unable to assist with the relocation of service animals as they must be tied to your personal reservation, we are happy to assist with the relocation of your pets and emotional support animals that will be traveling as live animal manifested cargo or By Ground Safe and Sound! For more information please visit our Website, and fill out our Pet Travel Form today!