The Des Moines airport has been officially compelled to provide some sort of indoor relief area for traveling service dogs. Thanks to the update of the state’s Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the airport — which averages about 190,000 travelers a month — has been required to offer a spot inside the terminal where service animals can relieve themselves either before or after boarding a plane.
The benefits of the decision are pretty plain to see; the move allows both working police dogs and traveling relief and therapy animals to empty their bladders and bowels before continuing with their day. In addition to a happier pup or cat, owners can also rest comfortably knowing they can help their animal without traveling through security again.
Of course, the move wasn’t greeted with universal support. Some people on the board at the Des Moines airport were concerned about the space the area will take up as implementation of the area will remove about 10 seats from the terminal’s boarding area. (And that’s to say nothing of the inevitable smell.)
The bathroom area must be in full effect by August 4. The current plan is to install some sort of easily washable turf alongside a sink for owners to wash their hands.