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Most react to emotional support animals with coos and adornment, but for Dexter the peacock, reactions were far from welcoming.
Dexter arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport last week alongside his owner, a Brooklyn artist named Ventiko, ready to jet set to Los Angeles. While Ventiko claimed she had a ticket for her emotional support peacock to accompany her on the flight, Dexter’s travel plans went array as United Airlines reportedly denied the request.
According to Fox News, a spokesperson for United Airlines said Ventiko was told three times before arriving that the animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, specifically weight and size.
However, according to the Emotional Support Registration of America, birds can qualify as emotional-support animals, and there is “no size discrimination allowed when it comes to Service Dogs and ESA’s.”
Even so, few on social media provided empathy.
*wakes up, opens yahoo news*— Dana Goldberg (@DGComedy) January 30, 2018
‘Woman denied emotional support peacock on United flight.’
*SMDH, closes yahoo news, goes back to bed*
Just an observation....— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 30, 2018
In 2017, Trump became President.
In 2018, Americans started snacking on Tide-pods and flying with emotional-support peacocks. https://t.co/Yst35OmsjM
free band name: emotional support peacock— NOISEY (@NoiseyMusic) January 30, 2018
Does Emotional Support Peacock have his own Twitter account yet?— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) January 30, 2018
Washington Post opinion journalist Radley Balko asked the Twitter-sphere if the emotional support peacock had his own Twitter account yet—and yes, parody handle @UnitedPeacock is up-and-running.
As for Dexter (and Vertiko’s) current whereabouts, his official Instagram page shows the two decided to fulfill their California adventure via car. Their most recent post, posted earlier today, was taken in Miami, Oklahoma.
A post shared by Dexter The Peacock (@dexterthepeacock) on
Vertiko did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
Samantha Reichstein is a former intern for the Daily Dot whose work focused on entertainment and politics. She's written for the Bump, the Nest, the Knot, the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Way Magazine, and Broadway World TV.