Liberty woman on board flight with emotional support squirrel th - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Liberty woman on board flight with emotional support squirrel that went viral

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LIBERTY TWP, Ohio -

A local woman got an up close look at the unusual emotional support animal that went viral after it's owner was forced off a plane heading to Cleveland. 

Video captured on Tuesday by Cassondra Hartsfield of Liberty Township shows the woman with an emotional pet squirrel being taken off a Frontier Airplane in Orlando after refusing to get off the plane. The situation forced everyone on the plane to get off.

"It was very chaotic, because everybody was like what's going on? Why do we have to deplane? Then once we got word of what it was and they said it was woman with a squirrel on board, I said 'oh my gosh I was with this woman the whole way up to the gate and boarding,'" said Hartsfield.

Hartsfield said she first encountered the woman and squirrel when checking in for their flight.

"Her carrier was on her lap and I saw something moving and I said, 'Oh you have a little puppy' and she said 'No, it's actually a squirrel, it's my emotional support animal.' I said 'Oh. Okay,'" explained Hartsfield.

Hartsfield said the woman and squirrel went through TSA.

"She said because it was only 11 months-old she didn't want it exposed to radiation, so they said well it has to go through for security reasons to be scanned, you have to take it out," explained Hartsfield.

When they boarded the flight, Hartsfield said that's when the airline noticed the squirrel. Frontier says emotional support animals are allowed but, that doesn't include rodents. 

"Had they checked more thoroughly at the check-in gate when they checked her in for her flight, I didn't understand how she got so far as she did to even board the flight but it happened," said Hartsfield.

A travel "tail" as some have called it, she won't soon forget.
 

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