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Woman Kicked Off Flight After Bringing "Emotional Support" Squirrel On Board

Julia Papesch - Twitter / Clay LePard - Twitter

Most people wouldn't consider squirrels as emotionally supportive animals, but when you hear that emotional support ducks and peacocks exist, you just know that anything is possible.

U.S. airlines are pretty strict about what animals they allow on board, and probably for good reasons.

Take for instance Dexter the peacock, who rose to fame after getting banned from a United Airlines flight.

dexter the peacock
Dexter the peacock passed away in August 2018. dexterthepeacock - Instagram

People were outraged that the peacock was refused to board the aircraft because he didn't "meet the guidelines for an emotional support animal."

Some people argued that if an animal can help someone get through their day, they should be treated with respect.

The airline, however, argued that certain support animals have wreaked havoc on planes, such as soiling cabins, biting passengers, and causing allergies.

Now another unusual choice for an emotional support animal is making headlines, and this time it's a squirrel.

On Tuesday night, the Orlando Police Department was forced to remove a woman from a Frontier Airlines plane after she brought a squirrel on board.

squirrel
Daisy, the emotional support squirrel. Clay LePard - Twitter

Cindy Torok claimed the rodent was an emotional support animal and refused to deplane the aircraft.

"The passenger noted in their reservation that they were bringing an emotional support animal but it was not indicated that it was a squirrel," the airline said in a statement to WFTV. "Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights."

The low-budget airline's policy reads: "We do not accept unusual or exotic animals including but not limited to rodents, reptiles, insects, hedgehogs, rabbits, sugar gliders, non-household birds or improperly cleaned and/or animals with foul odor."

The flight out of Orlando to Cleveland was delayed by more than two hours, and passengers were also asked to disembark the aircraft.

One passenger was quick to post a video of the woman being taken off the plane in a wheelchair, as she flashes her middle finger at people clapping for her removal.

That's only one side of the story...

According to the Cindy's daughter, Monica, she called the airline twice to confirm that the squirrel was allowed on the flight. Both times, Monica was told that the squirrel was allowed if it stayed in its pet carrier and came with a doctor's note.

"It was just heartbreaking to me," Monica told Click Orlando. "They were wrong for the way they treated my mom."

The family plans to take action and fight for their rights.

"We're going to call the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) and talk to them and see what they have to say about it," she said. "We got to fight for your rights. You can't let people take your rights away."

Social media users were quick to give their opinion about the situation.

"I don’t want it on a plane that I have paid a seat on. They have no place as a rodent."

"I love squirrels & our family even raised a baby squirrel for a year but you're not allowed to keep them as pets. There's something mentally wrong with that woman to think that her squirrel's a support animal & I hope the squirrel is taken away from her."

[H/T: ABC News/ Click Orlando]

Do you think the woman should have been kick off the flight? What's your opinion about emotional support animals?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.