SARASOTA- Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport is enforcing new rules for animals traveling through the airport.

The regulations do not affect trained service animals which are welcome at any time. According to the new rules:

  1. Non-service animals will not be allowed in the terminal building unless traveling with their owner.
  2. Non-service animals must be kept in an animal carrier while inside the terminal. If no carrier is available, the animal must be carried. If the animal is too large to fit in a carrier or be carried, the animal must be kept on a non-retractable leash extending no longer than

3 ft. from the owner. 3. All animals must be housebroken. The owner is responsible for cleaning up and reporting any mess left by the animal.

  1. All animals must be under the control of the owner. If an animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, the owner will be required to remove the animal from the premises.

 Airport President and CEO Rick Piccolo says as the number of passengers coming through the airport has grown so has the number of animals.

 “A lot of them are not service animals,” Piccolo said. “A lot of them are more your emotional support or comfort animals which under ADA don’t qualify for those special rules, and one of those things we are having a problem with is both when a service animal is highly trained especially for a person with a disability, where a comfort animal is just there for a person’s emotional support, and what we’re ending up with is more and more sanitation issues and aggressive animal behavior.”

The rules will begin to be gently enforced with warnings by Airport Police before ramping up to full enforcement.