Delta Airlines has banned pit bulls from flying on their planes as emotional support animals. The decision comes on the heels of the Department of Transportation’s recommendation that all airlines ban the breed from serving as emotional support animals for passengers. Though unenforceable, the recommendation will likely make waves throughout the airline industry.
Emotional Support Animals are Often Untrained
Emotional support dogs have grown in popularity over the last decade. These animals serve an important role: assisting people with both physical and mental illnesses when traveling. Unlike seeing-eye dogs, however, the emotional support animals are largely unregulated. Though there is increasing demand for nationwide rules for the training of these dogs, no such regulations exist. For every highly trained, well-behaved emotional support animal working today, there are countless others who are no more than pets.
When ESAs Attack
Tragically, this lack of training can lead to dangerous and even life-threatening dog attacks. In May, Delta was sued after a passenger’s emotional support dog bit a man seated nearby. The victim required 28 stitches. Though the dog involved was a chocolate-lab mix, not a pit bull, the incident highlighted the need for more regulation.
Until more ESA regulation is created and enforced, companies like Delta will continue to struggle with these kinds of incidents. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries because of a violent ESA, you may be entitled to compensation. Both the owner of the dog and the company who allowed the ESA on their property can be held liable for damages you suffered in the attack.
Virginia Dog Bite Lawyer
The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC has helped victims of personal injuries for over 30 years. If you were attacked by a dog because of someone else’s negligence, contact us for a free consultation.