That’s not a headline you read every day. It all started when a woman got on a plane Wednesday headed for South Carolina.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, 29-year-old Rachel Boerner was flying out of Connecticut to reunite with her family for Thanksgiving. As she walked down the aisle of her US Airways flight with a heavy load on her shoulder, passengers thought she was just carrying a duffle bag. But when she tied the duffle bag to her armrest with a leash, they realized it was a pig, ABC News reports.
Boerner sat next to University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Jonathan Skolnik, who told ABC News that the 50- to 70-pound pig immediately started causing trouble.
“it turns out it wasn't a duffel bag. We could smell it, and it was a pig on a leash. She tethered it to the armrest next to me and started to deal with her stuff, but the pig was walking back and forth."
As the agitated pig began to become disruptive, Skolnik said, “I was terrified, because I was thinking I'm gonna be on the plane with the pig.”
But the professor’s fears were not realized. Because the animal was so unsettled, Boerner and her pig were asked to leave the plane. Details about what Boerner did next were not provided.
According to the airline, Boerner brought the pig on the plane with her as an emotional support animal. While not a common choice, pigs have been certified for that role. Airlines do allow emotional support animals on planes — and at no extra cost — but can determine which types are allowed. American Airlines, which owns US Airways, does not specify which types on their website.
The use of pigs as emotional support animals, though, has sparked some legal issues. In Marionville, Missouri, for instance, the city council is dealing with two residents who have micro pot-bellied pigs as support animals, according to the Seattle Times.
Marionville, like many U.S. cities, has an ordinance against raising pigs within city limits. Some cities, however, do allow miniature pigs to be kept as pets.
Pig owner Carolann Scott Leo says her pig helps her family deal with the tough times caused by her health issues and absent husband. Pig owner Jennifer Renner uses a pig to help her son deal with ADD and ADHD.
“Anytime I don’t want to medicate him, he’ll go play with (Jax), and it completely comforts him. Anytime he gets rambunctious, I just send him with the pig,” she explained.
What do you think about all of this? In other news, Franklin Graham is warning parents about the next big thing coming from Disney.