Emotional Support Duck, Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt Takes Flight on Plane

The duck assisted her owner with handling PTSD on flight from Charlotte to Ashville North Carolina


ABC News

Instead of bringing a book to read or sleep pillow, Carla Fitzgerald took her Indian roadrunner duck, Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, to help her cope with  PTSD while on her first flight from Charlotte to Asheville on October 20, 2016, with Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt on a plane ride, as reported by people.com.

 Washingtonpost.com reported the boarding of passengers onto the plane was  uneventful until they noticed a duck in red boots and a “Captain America” diaper. As all eyes turned towards the duck, Fitzgerald introduced him as Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, or Daniel for short. Fortunately for Daniel Turducken and his human companion, their fellow airline passengers although curious were also accepting. 

Many passengers on the flight began taking photos of Daniel. According to washingtonpost.com, a man named Essig tweeted, “Daniel, the duck on my flight, likes to look at clouds.” After Essig’s tweets about Daniel, he became featured in Buzzfeed, ABC News, and Cosmopolitan

Emotional support animals help their owners in many ways and provide companionship for owners with psychological disabilities, reported esadoctors.com. For example, emotional support animals can relieve owners of stress and anxiety. 

On the other hand, service animals are trained for certain disabilities and to perform tasks, reports nsarco.com. According to usdoregristry.org, a service animals can aid with mobility issues, sensory issues, cancer, autism, Epilepsy, etc. The difference between the two types of support animals is whether or not the animal is trained for a specific duty, but both emotional and support animals provide great help for their owners.  

Reported by share.america.gov, about 500,000 people own service animals. The New York Times reported, ”In 2011, the National Service Animal Registry, a for-profit company that sells official-looking vests and certificates for owners, had 2,400 service and emotional support animals in its registry. Now the number is nearly 200,000.” 

Emotional support animals can provide comfort to various mental and emotional conditions. Some of those conditions can include stress, anxiety, or depression. “Their presence, their unconditional love, their warmth and softness to pet and hold are all thought to be calming and mood-boosting,” reported self.com.

Any domesticated animal can qualify as an emotional support animal. That means emotional support animals aren’t just limited to dogs or cats. According to akc.org, some exotic support animals include turtles, kangaroos, peacocks, llamas, hedgehogs, squirrels, monkeys, and so much more. 

A monkey is another example of an exotic emotional support animal.  Monkeys can help with anxiety, depression, and certain phobias reports akc.org. For example, a woman in Missouri named McBride-Teahan has three monkeys. McBride-Teahan said, “They are not dangerous animals. They are trained. They assist me. I have PTSD because of something that happened to me, a very bad thing that happened to me a long time ago,” reported CBS 6 News.

Not all businesses and organizations have accepted the use of emotional support animals in their facilities, however, this situation can be problematic for owners who may depend on their emotional support animals to remain calm. 

An example of this is when a 21 year old woman by the name of Belen Aldecosea, flushed her emotional support hamster, Pebbles, down a toilet. Belen claims the Spirit Airline attendant demanded her to do so. However, the flight attendant denied that she ever said so, states foxnews.com.

In another instance, CBS News reported that,A United Airlines passenger who tried to take her emotional support peacock with her on a cross-country flight had the bird turned away by the airline because of health and safety concerns.” Because of this, the peacock, Dexter, and his owner, a New York City based photographer and performance artist, had to drive themselves cross-country.  

In an effort to reduce stress among travelers waiting to board flights, the Phoenix Arizona airport has recently made available trained therapy and support dogs within their terminals. The canines of the airport wear blue harnesses that say, “Pet me.” This tells others that they can approach the dogs unlike service or police dogs that are not meant to be disturbed, reported usatoday.com.