Emotional support animals are under attack: Yesterday, the Department of Transportation proposed a new rule allowing only specially-trained service dogs to qualify for the special treatment these animals receive on U.S. airlines. The crackdown is based on the belief that people may be taking advantage of the system—with the Associated Press pointing to passengers boarding planes with everything from pigs to pheasants to rabbits to snakes. Meanwhile, here’s a guy who certainly isn’t helping the problem: A Brooklyn man reportedly registered a pint of beer as his emotional support animal.
Floyd Hayes—a “New York based creative director, ideas crafter, and consultant”—apparently first mentioned his unorthodox service “animal” choice to the craft beer paper Ale Street News back in December. “I’m not permitted a dog in my building, so I thought an emotional support beer would be more appropriate. It helps alleviate my anxiety and is a cost effective way to manage stress,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s a delicious beer and at a reasonable 5 percent ABV, can be consumed without hindering hand-eye coordination, mental ability or judgement [sic]. I’ve had trouble trying to take the pint onto public buses and into places of business, so I had the idea to get it registered.”
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More than a thought, Hayes actually did register his beer on the USA Service Dog Registration website—and he quickly received the apparently now-deleted registration number 1085780890. Contacted by the Brooklyn Paper, the organization offered its lack of approval. “He can register his beer all day long, it’s not going to get him anywhere,” an employee reportedly stated. Meanwhile, the site supposedly said its registration service isn’t legally binding anyway. So there.
Still, the ongoing debate over support animals is a serious issue to those who say they rely on them. Hayes told the New York Post he wasn’t trying to mock these people. “It was really just … an experiment,” he explained. “I’m not trying to make light on anybody who has any emotional issues.” Of course, the idea of calling a beer an emotional support animal is inherently silly. Personally, I would have gone with “brewers’ yeast.” At least it’s a living thing.
This story originally appeared on Food & Wine.
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