Emotional Support Alligator denied entrance to Baseball game
As a guide dog user, this is one of the more difficult articles for me to write.
Recently, Joie Henney, of Jonestown, Pennsylvania, a Phillies fan was denied entry to watch Philadelphia host Pittsburgh. The reason he was denied entry to the game was because he brought his emotion support alligator WallyGator, who has a significant presence on TikTok and Instagram. I have worked with a lot of emotional support animals and completely understand the importance of the role they play in society,. ESA’s help veterans with PTSD, they help elevate the impact of depression and so many other things. Problems arise when people who rely on ESAs mistakenly think that their animals have the same rights as a guide dog. Perhaps an even larger issue is that there are so many ESA users who buy an official looking card off the internet, and a vest thinking that their dog is now allowed to go anywhere. Many of these animals are not well trained and end up creating a nuisance when they are brought to a restaurant or store.
These behaviors make it difficult for those who rely on guide dogs or seizure detection dogs. Those who bring ill-trained animals with them into public situations not only cause unneeded stress on the animals, but they also make the establishment owners leery of any service animal. It’s easy to say that there should be clear legislation in place for these animals, but with the snail’s pace the government runs at, we are only just now seeing DOT legislation for dogs on planes.
Can we please leave our Emotional Support Animals at home? Some members of the public are afraid of big dogs, and I always try to be cognizant of that when I have my guide dog with me. I would imagine that the number of people who are uncomfortable with a large alligator are many times that of those scared of dogs. I have seen small kittens on the plane as ESA’s and we have all read about the peacocks and pigs that people have tried to bring on board the airlines. These animalia are only going to be stressed in that situation. Guides have has so many hundreds of hours on every form of transportation, and my guide loves to fly because she always gets extra attention.
If you would like to read more about the incident at the aseball game, follow the link below.
“Ted’s journey into the landscape of the human body is a marvelous celebration of all that is physical, sensual and diverse
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About the author
Ted Tahquechi is a blind photographer, travel influencer, disability advocate and photo educator based in Denver, Colorado. You can see more of Ted’s work at www.tahquechi.com
Ted operates Blind Travels, a travel blog designed specifically to empower blind and visually impaired travelers. https://www.blindtravels.com/
Ted’s body-positive Landscapes of the Body project has been shown all over the world, learn more about this intriguing collection of photographic work at: https://www.bodyscapes.photography/
Questions or comments? Feel free to email Ted at: firstname.lastname@example.org