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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A woman who was kicked off the airplane for trying to fly with her emotional support squirrel is speaking out.
The Frontier Airlines flight out of Orlando was delayed for two hours due to the ordeal.
“They told me I had to get off the plane. That they do not accept rodents,” said Cindy Torok after flipping the bird to jeering passengers as staff took her off the flight.
Torok was booked on a later flight but had to leave Daisy the squirrel behind.
“It was emotional. We took off and I didn’t have her with me,” Torok said.
And now airlines are revisiting their policies for what creatures are allowed in the cabin to help comfort those anxious while in the air. Most allow just cats and dogs and proof those animals have been properly trained.
“I think that for maybe her, that’s emotional support, but for me that’s pushing it a little bit,” one person tells CBS3 reporter Greg Argos.
“Some people take tranquilizers. Some people drink. So there is a legitimate need in some cases for people to have support animals.,” another person said.
But Dr. Kenneth Covelman, a psychologist with the council for relationships, says airlines do have the right to limit what animals can be on their flights.
“We need to balance off the need for the airline to protect their passengers at large and set some limits, versus the need of the individual flier,” said Covelman.
And though many are fearful of flying he says only those with valid proof from a licensed therapist should be allowed to fly with their emotional support pet.
“If you’re not able to get the animal onboard, you may have to find another way to self-soothe and to make it tolerable for yourself,” says Covelman.