Mirna Gonzalez had just moved away from Gate C7 at Portland International Airport (Oregon) when he heard the screams.
She left for just a moment to buy a coffee while she and her children awaited Alaska Airlines flight to Texas shortly before Christmas on December 18, 2017. Her 5 year old daughter, Gabriella, should be sitting by the door with his older brother.
But when Gonzalez returned, Gabriella's face was covered with blood.
While her mother was absent, Gabriella asked if she could masquerade a dog, a pit bull, which was supposed to be an emotional supportive animal.
* Delta prohibited all animals of emotional support in long flights
* So you want a letter saying you need a support dog on that flight?
* A girl saw a dog of emotional support on an airplane. It was by his face
Hardly reached his hand, he bit his face.
This is in accordance with a $ 1.1 million judicial claim that Gonzalez filed on behalf of his daughter this week against the owner of the dog, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Portland municipal agency, accusing them of negligence since the dog was authorized through from the airport without being in a box. The incident is one of numerous high profile accusations of bad behavior of support animals in airports, as airlines and the federal government have tried to respond to an increasing number of complaints, ranging from poor potty training to unpleasant bites.
The episodes have proliferated in the last two years, feeding a debate on the regulation of the animals during the trip. In June 2017, a dog of emotional support bit a man in the face as he sat in his window seat on a flight of Delta Air Lines that started off of Atlanta, leaving it with 28 points. In February 2018, a dog of emotional support hit a girl in front of a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix, leaving her with just a scrape but causing panic.
In the case of Gabriella, he had to undergo tear canal surgery, leaving it with permanent scars, his lawyer, Chad Stavley, said The Washington Post. Pit Bull cut off his tear-like channel and disfigured his upper lip, leaving a missing piece, according to a graphic photo of his injuries caused by Stavley.
Stavley said he hopes the trial, which was presented Monday in the Circuit Court of Multnomah County, will prompt airports and airlines to rigorously enforce the policies on emotional support animals that most created in response to dog bites 2017 and 2018. The new rules are intended to abolish fraudulent emotional service animals or pet animals. The pets in the house are disguised as helper and, at the same time, ensure that the animals that people really need move away from as many travelers as possible.
Stavley said he planned to investigate if the little dog Gabriella was a legitimate dog of emotional support. The owner of the dog, Michelle Brannan, affirms that it was, in agreement with the demand. He did not immediately respond to a comment request on Wednesday night. It is not clear if you still have the dog. According to a report of 2017 of December KATU News 2, the dog was jailed in a pet shelter for 10 days after the attack, and the owner was quoted by the police for not packing the dog.
"There are many abuses of this situation of emotional support for animals," said Stavley, "and people who have legitimate service animals – people who are blind and need guide dogs and the like – are a type of throwing the same boat [as emotional support animals]. It shines a poor light to these people. "
The port of Portland and Alaska Airlines, that Brannan and the González family were flying that day, both declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
Alaska Airlines was among airlines that changed their pet emotional support policy in 2018. The new airline rule, which came into effect in October, requires owners to keep their dog or cat, the only animals allowed on board , in a carrier or in a leash at all times and provide a 48 hour notice and adequate documentation before your flights.
Animal support incidents were not limited to dog bites. A service dog, a golden retriever named Eleanor Rigby, gave birth to puppies in a terminal in Tampa in June, although people do not complain much about it. In some sad news, the emotional hamster called Pebbles was knocked down by the owner's bathroom in February 2018 after Spirit Airlines informed the student that he could not take the pet with her on the Baltimore flight. Another man was angry with United Airlines for denying Dexter, his famous turkey of emotional support from Instagram, a seat on Newark's plane, although he bought a ticket for the bird.
"We explained to the customer three times before arriving at the airport," said a spokeswoman for The Post.
When United announced its policy change in February 2018, the airline said it had attended a 75% increase in customers bringing emotional support animals on board. When Delta announced changes to its policy in January 2018, the airline reported a 84 percent increase in "animal incidents" since 2016, including urination and defecation and "acts of aggression" of animals, "no behavior usually seen in these animals when properly trained and worked. "
Concerns by airlines also led the Department of Transportation to revise its own rules for service and support animals last year. The agency intends to destroy the "fraudulent use" of animals that are not really service animals and to make sure that the measures are available to prevent bad pets from being boarding flights. It has not yet issued a change of final rule.
Meanwhile, said Stavley, Gabriella Gonzalez will not be embarking on any flight at any time. The girl developed the fear of the airports, she said, as well as the fear of caressing dogs.