United Airlines Denies Boarding To Emotional Service Animal… A Peacock

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they aren’t the only animal willing to lend a helping hand or paw to people in need. Some folks adopt service cats or pigs for emotional support, and there are even a few service kangaroos, skunks, and boa constrictors out there, apparently. But having an exotic therapy pet doesn’t always pay off when it comes to travel.

A prominent Brooklyn artist ruffled some feathers at Newark Liberty International Airport when she attempted to board a United Airlines flight to Los Angeles with her emotional support animal – a rescue peacock named Dexter.

In a statement, United said the airline denied boarding to the passenger and the animal because the peacock failed to meet several guidelines, including those on weight and size. The airline also suggested that the passenger wouldn’t take no for an answer: “We explained this to the customer on three separate occasion before they arrived at the airport.” The airline also noted that passengers are required to provide proper documentation from a medical professional at least 48 hours in advance of boarding that specifies the passenger’s need for an animal.