A Delta passenger flying from Atlanta was bitten by another passenger’s service dog and had to be removed from the flight to get medical attention for his injuries.
The incident occurred prior to takeoff at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and the victim, dog, and owner all were removed from the flight.
"The gentleman's face was completely bloody, blood in his eyes, cheeks, nose, his mouth, his shirt was covered with blood," said fellow passenger Bridget Maddox-Peoples, Fox 5 reported.
The dog was reported to be a lab mix weighing about 50 pounds. His owner may have been a combat veteran.
Delta said in a statement to Fox 5, “Local law enforcement cleared the dog, and the dog and its owner were re-accomodated on a later flight; the dog will fly in a kennel.”
Another passenger said the dog's owner was crying and feared the dog would have to be euthanized over the incident, Fox 5 reported.
The condition of the injured man is unknown, Fox 5 said.
Flight attendants, including Atlanta-based Jen Williams, said they have noticed a significant increase in support animals recently and fear that some passengers may be dishonest about the animal’s status so they can have the animal with them when they fly.
“It’s definitely gotten carried away to the point where people are taking advantage of the system,” Williams told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year. “It’s hard when someone is following protocol and they’re not allowed to take the animal out of the cage, but others use the loophole to have an animal sit on their lap.”
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