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American Airlines flight attendant bitten by emotional support dog, requires five stitches

An American Airlines flight attendant was bitten by an emotional support dog on a flight from Dallas to North Carolina Monday, prompting union calls to further tighten rules on in-flight animals. The incident occurred on American flight 3506 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Greensboro, North Carolina, an American Eagle flight operated by Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American. The plane was an Embraer 175, a regional jet. The unnamed male flight attendant required five stitches on his left hand when he… ( More...

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lynx318 31
Doesn't anyone know what a muzzle is anymore!?!
Mike Williams 3
I agree all the dogs should have to wear a real muzzle. Then they won't have to be able to bite anyone but can get some drinking. The handler can feed them treats.
I like most animals and bark at most all dogs. I did it when a uniformed policeman at a cops and cars outside show. I told the policeman I would do it. I got the dog's life some special attention.
paul trubits 3
Some of the more civilized parts of the world allow dogs on the Metro as long as they are wearing a muzzle. It works fine.
lynx318 1
In the end it will come down to the lawyers win again, because of this one incident, rules will be put in place. Either the animals are securely restrained in cabin, or petbox in the cargo hold. Bringing a dog on a flight and I bet he was never trained for that experience, will cause it undue anxiety it has never experienced before. He will become extremely agitated in that environment, his normal demeanor no longer showing. Dogs are bred from wild animals and can easily revert to such.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

lynx318 10
Don't be thick, guide dogs or support dogs aren't inhibited by a muzzle and if they want to keep bringing them on planes (I have no problems with them doing so, it's necessary) it should be a mandatory safety requirement.
I'm not thick. My wife is blind and guide dogs are properly trained, and have to be much more vigorously than any ESA can. In fact, they get just about if not more training than police dogs as they have to know their restraint, especially when they are on duty as guides. You can't have a barking guide dog in harness going off on something and jerking their partner around, causing them to lose all concentration and situational awareness.

Again, properly trained dogs know their role and what to do when they are on duty. you're proving your own naivety here.
there's a difference between service and emotional support animals. you have the former, the comment was for the latter.
Steve Cutchen 5
I'm curious. As someone with a legitimate need for a service dog, and that has a full appreciation for what is entailed in their traing and duty, are you bothered by the fact that I could go on Amazon and buy all the formal-looking gear necessary to turn my untrained pet dog into a "service dog"?

I always wonder when I see what appears to be a pet all geared up. Maybe that pup is legit and trained. But if I had a real need for a trained specialist canine, I'd be concerned that the proliferation of "pretenders" would cause backlash against my legitimate attendant.
ken young 8
First , no one said said anything about guide dogs. Totally different issue.
I am so sick of people like you who get all spun up at even the slightest inkling of dissent against their agenda.
Simmer down.
He never made the distinction between guide dogs and ESAs. Again, he stated that dogs are bred from wild animals and can revert back to as such. Again, this comes from someone who has never been with, lived with, worked with, or supported a guide dog, who is properly trained to handle such situations, and is basing the assumption that ALL dogs are like that, regardless fo training. He's flat wrong.

I doubt he has never heard of Roselle, either.
lynx318 1
Roselle? it's a hibiscus. There are a hell of a lot of dogs rejected by the training as psychological fails, those that pass you CANNOT be certain of their stability in situations not prepared for, no human has the same psyche nor do animals. You are an example by arguing the point. Muzzled dog and it would NOT have happened! Can we move on to more pertinent aeronautical topics and not pending court action material.
lynx318 1
You forgot Salty, Braddles!
lynx318 5
Yet a dog has bitten someone, so the training and/or certification of said animals is obviously flawed. I've rode my mobility scooter passed a 'guide' dog, giving as much room as possible, only to have it growl at my scooter. No-one can guarantee a perfectly trained animal.
hornet135 3
Emotional Support animals require no training, which makes the situation worse.
Steve Cutchen 2
"No-one can guarantee a perfectly trained animal."

How can you say that? Look at our kids!!1! Perfectly trained! 😇
lynx318 1
*chuckle* Perfect!
Again, spoken like someone who has never worked with or lives with a guide dog assisting the blind. And you want to call me "thick".

Pot. Kettle. Black.
William Brown 1
Please! Go online and look at the ads for no questions asked certificates for hucksters. It is an epidemic. You are being abused and your legitimate rights and needs are being threatened. Maybe you should be concerned?
Keep it positive name calling is so immature
lynx318 2
'thick' is not a name it's a trait.
ken young 4
Oh ,here we go.
You're one of those people who allow their emotional crutch to crap on the floor of a retail store and just leave the mess for someone else to clean.
If that is how you think we are, that is fine. I'll submit this to you then: We'll revert our dog to being just an emotional crutch, if you give my wife your eyes. I mean, after all, if you're willing to demean and take away what is her eyesight, it would be only fair that she have yours in return.

Or perhaps the hundreds of thousands of people the organization we go though has helped through their training of "emotional crutches".

Lots of people flying with esa that really are just using the system so they don't have to pay for their animals to travel
mdburd 5
Completely accurate.

If you can't afford to pay for the dog's fare, perhaps the dog will have to stay at home.
mdburd 12
And for full disclosure....

I do fly with my dog. No; he's not a service dog or an emotional support animal. I'm just a single guy who takes his dog to the same places I go.

I pay between $50 and $200 each way for him to nap under the seat in front of me in his carrier. But the dog never leaves his carrier while on the aircraft.

On Delta in particular--where the cost is $200 each way, my dog's fare is higher than some of the human passengers in coach.
You are right!
Bob Keeping 37
ONLY trained seeing-eye dogs should be allowed in a cabin. If you need to be 10 feet from a dog stay at home. All this started with false information and made-up science
Steve Cutchen 4
Amazon sells "service dog" gear, so anyone can convert their Fido into a service dog.

A lot of this started because dogs were found to be helpful to folks suffering PTSD. Which I get. Maybe the person should have to carry some kind of ID saying they need the service animal? Probably a HIPPAA violation.
Not a HIPAA violation at all. In fact what you are asking for is REQUIRED, per the Air Carrier Access Act. The airlines have the ability to ask for that paperwork at their discretion. Again, they simply need to exercise that right and enforce the law.

Trust me, as the husband of a blind woman who travels with a guide dog, I am more than well versed on the ADA and the ACAA.
Annie Campbell 13
As a person who is severely allergic to dogs and takes long international flights back home to see family it is getting harder and harder to be on a flight where some dog is sitting on someones lap. I joke with my husband that if I die on a flight, (a possibility since it causes severe asthma attacks) it will be his retirement fund since he will sue the hell out of the airlines. Seriously they need to tighten the restrictions on emotional support dogs, the dogs have more rights than paying passengers these days!
hornet135 -2
Your fight is with the government and not the airlines.
Steve Cutchen 3
Was it the government that pulled peanuts?
Owners should be required to have liability insurance on pet/ not long ago a toddler got mauled by one of these "emotional animals"
ken young 9
The idea of emotional support animal was has been abused and now ruined by people gaming the system.
And why? Because they "I just couldn't leave my doggie home."
The air carriers were spot on when they enacted more stringent pet policies.
linbb 20
About time these dogs and others need a certified letter about there need and behavior hope that the attendant sues the shit right out of the entitled person. Have seen others do the same. My wifes friend had a mutt that bit someone in a bar I went to. Terrable thing to have happen.
They already do. The ACAA allows for the airliens to ask for that documentation for any ESA, the passenger's justification for an ESA, and all of it to be on official letterhead and signed by the doctor prescribing it.

Guide dogs are exempt from that, because they are guide dogs, but any emotional support animal is privy to that law.

The airlines just need to ENFORCE THE LAW.
weecosse 4
Airline employees are not police therefore, the can not enforce the law. They have to rely on the honesty and ethics of the passengers who bring 'support" animals on board. I have a relative who boasted that his doctor gave him a note stating that he needed a support dog - he was just too cheap to pay the full fare for the dog. How would the airlines know that?. Do you suppose that all of these dog owners care about the effect of their animal on others?
mdburd 1
Exactly correct.
Agree with you 100%
WeatherWise 7
Oh don't leave us hanging! "A woman walks into a bar with a dog..."
n9341c 2
Roy Hunte 11
That dog needed it's own emotional support flea.
Jim Heslop 3
It did! But the flea bit the dog which caused mental distress so the dog, in its delirious state, thought the flight attendant was a monster bit him back!
Duane Osman 5
I'd bring my emotional support parrot, but he has a potty mouth.
David Seider 2
Oh, hell. Go for it. Life's short.
No animals in the cabin! Unless it’s a seeing eye dog and muzzled for the flight. I’ve sponen to the health dept about dogs in grocery stores as “ comfort” animals. I was told the laws were so loose a guy had a boa ( yes, a snake ) around d his neck and was allowed in a store!
David Seider 2
"No animals in the cabin!" I completely agree. This would cut down on the number of unruly pax.
"Unless it’s... muzzled for the flight." I suppose that this would work also.
Well at least it wasn't an emotional support rattlesnake.
mike bednar 4
Whatever happened to popping a Valium or two before takeoff?!
Jerry Minor 4
The problem is that most anything qualifies as an "Emotional Support Animal". Where did my ESA cockroach go, it is in your seat pocket?
lynx318 2
Imagine convincing an airline you have an ESA cow? "I'll let you milk it for inflight coffees."
Frank Austin 4
Enough is enough. People are getting their support animal licenses when they buy a $5.00 harness for $30.00. Support animals are useful, but calling a pet a support animal should be a crime.
You can never predict what can any circumstances even when yout think you control everything. Accidents are the proof. Be careful and hope you're not the accident.
MrTommy 7
I have to say, I'm sick of this bogus emotional support dog stuff. They're everywhere these days. Wally World, Home Depot, grocery stores, you name it. How come it's only fairly recently that this stuff got started. How did all these emotionally upset people make it for decades before you could buy a "service dog" sign on the web? Seeing-eye dogs are the only "service dogs" I recognize.
lynx318 2
I have a cat for emotional support, but don't drag him everywhere with me, unless it's vet time. It's enough to return home and find him waiting.
Harry Venison 3
I'd be willing to bet it was a pit bull. People keep protecting these dogs, but they were bred for a specific reason.

Today's pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other
lynx318 1
If it had been one of those the breeds, e.g. pit bull, staffie, bull terrier, etc it may not have got on board in the first place. Simple 'first time on a plane' anxiety is enough of an explanation.
Perhaps the introduction of a standard rate fare for ESA's would help, if folks with kids over the age of 2 have to pay for a seat so should those traveling with a pet (ESA or not). Those that are simply taking advantage of the situation might be less inclined to bring untrained animals onboard.
hornet135 1
That would be impossible to charge fares for ESAs. That would open up the airlines to huge fines from the DOT under the ACAA. As long as people have the proper documents the airlines have to allow ESAs providing it fits in the aircraft and doesn’t endanger anyone. The real problem is bogus paperwork and doctors who give recommendation letters for ESAs at the drop of a hat.
Linda Allman 5
Many highly trained service dogs are of small stature - seizure alert dogs, diabetic alert dogs, hearing dogs, etc. The size does not provide the benefit. The training does. As much as I love my tiny dog, I would never put her through the stress of situations beyond her ability to deal with them. I have to agree that, if you can't leave home without toting an animal with you, perhaps, you should rethink your trip.
Craig Weis 2
Well, bad dog. Bad dogowner~!~!
That dog would find duct tape around its muzzle and tossed into a 'holding' area for the duration of the flight.
Either that or good by dog, out the door without a parachute. Ohhh just kidding.

Emotional support~? What the heck is wrong with people~?
greg presley 2
That sounds like a quote from a Will Ferrell's movie.
ESA's do not qualify as Service Animals under the American with Disabilities Act and as such can be denied boarding by airlines, presumably even in states where ESA's have more protection than the ADA requires since airlines are federally regulated.

Service animals cannot be required to have a fee paid to allow them access. The animal must be "under control" at all times and if the animal exhibits actions that put a person at a safety risk then it can be requested that the animal be removed from the premises. The handler must be given the option to remain on the premises after removing the animal.

No documentation can be required to "prove" an animal is a trained service animal. A handler can be asked two questions: 1) Is the animal a service animal trained to perform a task? 2) What task(s) is/are the animal trained to perform? The animal does not have to be wearing anything to indicate it is a service animal.
The airlines are the folks who allow these dogs on board. They need to stiffen their requirements. Its a sad state of affairs when you have the flight attendant being bitten by a dog and people rush to defend the dogs. We humans have been reduced to $$$ . Seats are smaller , squeezed together, lines are endless, food is crap if you even get any. We have fewer rights than the dogs.
matt jensen 2
To Ken Young:
If it was that SERIOUS he should have it taken care of on landing in Greensboro. The dog would have been taken by Animal Control - as it bit someone - for the REQUIRED rabies detainment.

Yep, I'm the GENIUS who got bit by a little yappy dog 35 yrs ago - and had to undergo 14 painful shots!
dcmeigs 3
Me thinks the owner will soon need a thinking-brain dog to walk him/her through the civil courts.
dardav 3
man bites dog -this was bound to happen.
Justthefacs 3
The increase in the number of "service dogs" that are emotional support dogs is astounding. If a person is that emotionally unstable then stay home. Reminds me of all the handicapped parking places. Only America with the ridiculous open ended ADA do we see this abuse. There are very few accommodations for fraudulent "handicappers" in Europe. As for the dogs, most just want a free ride for pup or the avoidance of boarding costs.
WeatherWise 3
Sounds like a "ruff" flight for that attendant.....
matt jensen -2
Couldn't have been too serious, if the f/a waited until he returned to DFW to have it stitched.
ken young 3
What effing difference does that make?
Genius , that little yappy dog did enough damage to require sutures.
matt jensen 1
If it was that SERIOUS he should have it taken care of on landing in Greensboro. The dog would have been taken by Animal Control - as it bit someone - for the REQUIRED rabies detainment.

Yep, I'm the GENIUS who got bit by a little yappy dog 35 yrs ago - and had to undergo 14 painful shots!
Doug Parker 2
Let the regulation games begin.
lynx318 2
The lawyers are rolling the dice.
crk112 1
REAL emotional support or "service" dogs do not bite. They are properly trained.

Going online and buying a piece of paper and a bib for your dog does not make them a service animal.
Connie D Cook 1
People..... An “Emotional Support Dog “ does not require training..... that is the loop hole that needs to be changed.
They can get papers over the Internet..... and there is no perfectionist who even knows the animal. It has not been evaluated any form of trainer or behavior specialist.

Remember the lady who wanted to take her Peacock on the plane.....

People are doing it all over not just planes, stores and restaurants too.
William Brown 1
A quick check on the internet will surprise you with the fact that there is a thriving business in supplying phony "Comfort Pet" certificates, fraudulent service dog wear, and for a few dollars more, (I saw $50 in one listing) shockingly, you can buy a letter from an actual "Doctor", from who knows what country, and who knows what state of professional accreditation, certifying the "unfortunate condition" that makes it OK for your untrained and unnecessary co-flyer to bite passengers and staff. There is presently no legally recognized agency to sort this out, like every state now has for handicapped parking, so these hucksters and self diagnosed "stressed vets" are having a field day, much to the detriment of those who have an honest and credible Doctor who would actually certify them.
It has been fascinating to read through this entire chain of discussion on Saturday morning.

Where America/California leads...…..
Light blue touch-paper and retire.
Dogs for impaired vision and hearing owners fine - well trained and of breeds noted for stability
Emotional support dogs very dubious. Mostly unstable snappy rats usually stowed in a handbag.
Hopefully the dog was put down and the attendant wins substantial damages.
Mark Henley 0
emotional support "anything" ?? REALLY? If ou can't just get on the plane, ride, and get off, then please take a train.
Connie D Cook 0
Pets should be permitted to fly in cabin with owner......
That being said ......
As a professional trainer ........
They need to have a “CGC” Certification !
That is “Canine Good Citizen” Certification.
It is certification by the AKC .......
American Kennel Club ......
Dog must pass obedience, good manners, and be safe in public.
Teaches owner and pet how to act as a team in public....


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