Statement from K9s For Warriors & American Service Dog Access Coalition on DOT’s Final Rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals
(December 2, 2020) Today, K9s For Warriors and the American Service Dog Access Coalition (ASDAC) applaud the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision on service animal access, which further supports the important role that Service Dogs play in the lives of disabled veterans while traveling.
“This is a rule change that we’ve long advocated for,” said Rory Diamond, CEO of the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs to veterans, K9s For Warriors. “Those needing Service Dogs – like disabled veterans – deserve to have the freedom to travel just as easily as those without. We applaud the DOT for its decision in supporting disabled individuals and the Service Dogs they need for their everyday life.”
“The misrepresentation of untrained or behaviorally inappropriate animals as service animals undermines both the rights of legitimate Service Dog handlers to access as well as the public perception of Service Dogs,” said Paul Mundell, ASDAC’s Executive Director. “The DOT rules will make this mischaracterization more difficult and will improve the air travel experience not just for Service Dog handlers, but for all passengers and crew members.”
Both K9s For Warriors and ASDAC favor this rulemaking because it has the benefit of protecting the safety of airline passengers, crew members, and true Service Dogs and their handlers onboard aircraft and in airports. This final rule is a critical step forward in travel safety and accessibility.
About K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors’ mission is to end veteran suicide. Based in Florida, we are the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Military Sexual Trauma. Our program is unique, comprehensive, and proven, thanks to groundbreaking research conducted in partnership with Purdue University’s OHAIRE Lab. The majority of our Service Dogs come from high-kill shelters, which means that with each warrior-K9 pairing, two lives are saved.
About American Service Dog Access Coalition
ASDAC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, promotes access for persons partnered with Service Dogs while traveling and throughout society. Working with a broad coalition of partners across industries, ASDAC focuses on public education about the valuable role of Service Dogs and seeks to end the fraudulent misrepresentation of pets as Service Dogs by establishing voluntary, credible standards for Service Dog certification, the Service Dog Pass.