So it turns out that emotional support dogs are okay but emotional support peacocks? Not so much.
The Washington Post reports that United Airlines denied a woman's service animal, Dexter, to come onboard the aircraft at Newark International Airport since he "did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size."
"We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport," an airline spokesperson said in a statement to the newspaper.
The peacock's human friend has been identified as Ventiko, a photographer and performance artist based in New York. And according to Ventiko, an airline ticket for the beloved rescue pet was purchased. But in the end, it wasn't enough. Ventiko went to Instagram (on her peacock's account) to share Dexter's next move — road trip!
"Spent 6 hours trying to get on my flight to LA (after following all required protocol)," read the Instagram post. "Tomorrow my human friends are going to drive me cross country!"
According to The Washington Post, although federal guidelines require airlines to permit trained service animals or emotional-support animals to board (with their person of course), they can deny "unusual" animals including snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders. The deciding factor usually comes down to whether or not the animal serves as a threat to passengers' health or safety during a flight.
And it seems that the airline decided to err on the side of caution, which might have been a good move since another peacock with "expensive taste" caused $500 in damages at a liquor store last year. In the meantime, see Dexter live his best life on the way to Los Angeles here.