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Emotional Support Peacock That Was Banned From United Airlines Flight Unexpectedly Dies

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With a growing number of emotional support animals in the United States, it's easy to see why those in need would gravitate to owning one of these invaluable pets.  

Although most emotional support animals are dogs, wild animals such as squirrels and peacocks have been known to help individuals with physical, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities.

Even though it sounds absurd that these animals would be able to genuinely provide aid when their owner is in need, Dexter the peacock did just that.

The unusual emotional support animal first made headlines in January when he was denied entry on an United Airlines flight.

While Dexter's owner, New York City-based artist Ventiko was outraged, the airline reportedly told her she had to leave the peacock at home three times before she arrived at the airport.

"The animal did not meet United’s guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size," United spokesman Charlie Hobart told PEOPLE. "We explained this to the customer … the peacock did not meet the guidelines for an emotional support animal."

Now, the famous peacock is back in the news, but it's not for a story of redemption.

Sadly, Ventiko announced Dexter had unexpectedly passed away on July 22 in his "favorite human's arms."

At approximately 1pm on Sunday, July 22, 2018, Dexter the Peacock passed away in his favorite human’s arms. His passing was sudden and unexpected. Attempts were made to save him, but his doctor confirmed that nothing could have been done to alter his fate. Dexter defied stereotypes and brought joy and magic to all who encountered him. It was an honor to know him and a privilege to share this life journey with him. He never let fame, adoration or his prodigious number of followers on social media inflate his ego, and he loved working the camera with grace and humility. He is survived by his sisters, Eva (pictured here) and Zsa Zsa, and by all the humans who loved him. Dexter, you will forever be missed and remembered with fondness and love.

A post shared by Dexter The Peacock (@dexterthepeacock) on

“His passing was sudden and unexpected. Attempts were made to save him, but his doctor confirmed that nothing could have been done to alter his fate," Ventiko captioned an Instagram photo.

"Dexter defied stereotypes and brought joy and magic to all who encountered him. It was an honor to know him and a privilege to share this life journey with him."

"He never let fame, adoration or his prodigious number of followers on social media inflate his ego, and he loved working the camera with grace and humility,” Ventiko said in reference to Dexter’s popularity on social media.

"He is survived by his sisters, Eva (pictured here) and Zsa Zsa, and by all the humans who loved him. Dexter, you will forever be missed and remembered with fondness and love," she concluded.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Ventiko first came across her beloved peacock in 2014 after seeing he was up for sale on Craigslist.

The artist was searching for birds for her Art Basel installation and immediately fell in love with Dexter. When her arranged housing plan for him fell through, Dexter moved into her Brooklyn apartment, where he lived until his death.

"I scooped him up, and was like, ‘Oh my peacock, oh my darling,’ and he just, like, immediately wrapped around my neck and that was it," Ventiko told the publication.

Although Dexter's passing is heartbreaking, did you think he should've been allowed on the United Airlines flight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

[H/T: Fox News, PEOPLE]

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