Service Dog Registries to Streamline Travel for Veterans with ‘Invisible Injuries’ – NPR

Retired Army Sgt. Kevin Crowell boarded an American Airlines flight from Miami to Key West with his wife and his psychiatric service dog Bella in April 2014. They were heading to a couples retreat sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project.

Crowell, who has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from an explosion during his deployment to Iraq in 2004 and 2005, says he made sure he properly documented the golden retriever over the phone, days ahead of his trip.

But, Crowell says, gate agents denied him a seat in the bulkhead of the plane, where Bella could sit comfortably in front of him, because “pets” were not allowed there. And when Crowell got off the plane to explain his situation, an airline representative petted Bella, which is strictly against suggested service dog guidelines.

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