West Hollywood Moves To Ban Commercial Displays Of Exotic Animals

The Air Hollywood class is billed as the first in a real fuselage on a sound stage with a simulator that mimics takeoff, turbulence and landing. Hollywood extras create crowds and chaos that come with terminals, luggage carts and the blare announcing arrivals, delays and departures. The idea was the brainchild of Talaat Captan, president and CEO of Air Hollywood, the worlds largest aviation-themed film studio, who noticed a dog owner having a rough go getting a pooch through airport security. The owner was stressed out, and the dog was freaking out, Captan said. I figured, Why dont I train those people? He hired his friend Megan Blake to write a program and teach the class with three other instructors and her dog Super Smiley. An actress, animal trainer and lifestyle coach, Blake also has a psychology degree from Georgia Tech. With more dogs racking up air miles these days, it makes sense to take obedience school to a new level, said Heidi Heubner, who directs volunteers, including airport therapy dogs, at Los Angeles World Airport. There are no numbers on how many pets are taking to the skies, but they have become essential parts of a growing number of families and traveling with them for work and play is becoming more common, said Kim Cunningham, a spokesman for the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association in Texas. It will vary by airline, but theres always a fee for cabin pets those under 20 pounds that have to stay in carriers under the seat during a flight. Working dogs or trained service animals (most airlines also allow psychiatric and emotional support animals, too) fly free, but owners must give the airline documentation and advance notice. The animals sit at their owners feet during flights. The class doesnt address cargo pets. The class is using the same studio where parts of Bridesmaids, Kill Bill and 500 other movies were made.

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(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) Also By Hailey Branson-Potts September 12, 2013, 7:48 p.m. A city where pets are formally recognized as “companions” and their owners as “guardians,” West Hollywood has long been known for its animal-friendly laws. In its latest effort, the City Council on Monday will consider an ordinance that would ban commercial displays and performances involving wild and exotic animals. The proposed ordinance, initiated by council members Jeffrey Prang and John Duran, is “intended to protect wild and exotic animals from cruel and inhumane treatment,” according to city documents. Circus acts, carnival performances, trade shows and parades involving such animals would be included under the ban, as would any event requiring wild animals to do tricks, fight or perform “for the entertainment, amusement or benefit of an audience,” the proposed ordinance states. The ban would not include the display of wild or exotic animals for educational purposes or to groups of 20 or fewer people. A small audience, the documents state, would limit “the potential risk or danger to the public.” The ban also would not apply to film productions with permits because the American Humane Assn. monitors animal welfare in productions, the proposed ordinance says. In a lengthy letter to Prang, Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, applauded the ordinance and thanked the city for considering it. “We fully support creative entertainment using human performers, but this should not include the use of animals,” Creamer wrote. The measure contains a list of more than two dozen animals that would be considered wild or exotic. Bears and badgers are included. So are kangaroos, giraffes and tapirs.