Recently there was a story about a person trying to bring a python on a bus, stating it was their "service animal".

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride: "You keep using that phrase. I don't think it means what you think it means."

To be sure, there are other animals besides dogs that bring us some peace of mind and comfort, but these are not service animals. Not according to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Since 2011. only dogs are considered service animals, and the actual definition of a service animal is: " A service animal is a dog (italics mine)that is individually trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability".

Examples of service animals are dogs who help the blind, or deaf, or unable to do some tasks that the dog can help with. I am reasonably certain there are no seeing-eye snakes, nor will a bird help move a wheelchair.

I can understand the comfort we get from our animals, no matter what kind of animal it is, but to call it a service animal does a great disservice to the animals that are trained. Call it a comfort animal or whatever you like, but service animals (dogs) had to be recognized as such in order to perform the duties for which they have been trained.

There are stories of people bringing their "service bird" on public transportation that defecate. Of course they do, they're birds. The idea of a service snake or bird or spider is ludicrous.

Leave your animal home unless it's a verified and trained service dog.