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This Service Dog Got a Special Shout-Out From the Pilot on Her Final Flight

by Matador Creators Feb 21, 2023

It’s not every day a passenger gets a personal shout-out from a pilot aboard their flight. This service dog, however, was one of the rare exceptions, receiving an honorary announcement from the pilot on a Southwest flight, thanking the dog — as well as her handler, Cole Lyle — for flying on over 320 flights and helping to pass the PAWS Act.

Kaya, who has been with Lyle since 2014, was trained specifically to help veterans cope with mental health issues. She was also the inspiration for the 2021 PAWS Act, and flew all around the country with Lyle to lobby for the act’s passage. Unfortunately, Kaya was recently diagnosed with untreatable cancer, and the shout out marks her the final flight of her career.

@matadornetwork A pilot on a Southwest flight thanked Kaya, a service dog, and her handler Cole Lyle for their service. Kaya played a big role in passing the PAWS act, which has helped provide veterans with service dogs. Share this with someone who needs to see this 🐾❤️🥺 🎥 @southwestair #southwestairlines #servicedog #pawsact #dogoftiktok #dogtok ♬ original sound – Matador Network

The PAWS Act requires the VA to conduct a five-year pilot program to offer canine training to veterans diagnosed with PTSD. It also increases access to public transportation for those requiring a service dog, which was a game-changer for air travelers looking to bring emotional support and psychiatric service animals onboard.

The law also requires airlines to provide accommodations for passengers traveling with service animals, such as allowing them access to pre-board, extra time during boarding, or even providing water bowls during flight delays. These accommodations are designed to help make flying more comfortable and accessible for all passengers, especially those with a disability or medical condition.

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