TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa International Airport is stepping up their enforcement of restricting non-service animals in an effort to reduce injuries and increase cleanliness at the airport, according to a press release.
The policy has been in place, but only loosely enforced, according to the release. It says that traveling non-service animals must be properly confined in a pet carrier or controlled on a leash while in the airport. Animals not traveling are not permitted.
For example, the airport says you can't bring an animal into the airport to greet someone returning on a flight.
The policy also says that non-service animals are not allowed in any restaurant in the airport, in accordance with FDA guidelines.
Beginning Monday, March 25, the airport will start enforcing the new policy.
Over the past two years airport paramedics, police and maintenance staff have responded to dozens of injured people and pets, as well as hundreds of cleanups due to the animals, the release says.
“Service animals are always welcome at TPA and we honor the policies of airlines that allow non-service animals to fly with their owners,” TPA Director of Operations Adam Bouchard said. “In order to maintain our safety and cleanliness standards, we will no longer allow non-service animals that are not traveling in our Airport, and those that are traveling will need to be in their carrier or controlled on a leash.”
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay endorsed the policy.
“The Humane Society of Tampa Bay supports Tampa International Airport’s no-pets policy in the Airport for animals that are not traveling,” said Sherry Silk, CEO of HSTB. “We have seen animals get injured and know that airports are not a safe and comfortable place for dogs and other pets that are not trained to navigate such a busy facility. We strongly encourage pet owners to leave pets at home or find alternative care when visiting TPA.”
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