Frightening moments out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after a Delta spokesperson said a passenger was bitten by an emotional support dog aboard a Delta flight.
Delta said the passenger had to be taken off the flight to receive medical attention. Passenger, Bridget Maddox-Peoples said it appeared the man was mauled by the dog and was badly injured. “The gentleman’s face was completely bloody, blood in his eyes, cheeks, nose, his mouth, his shirt was covered in blood,” said Maddox-Peoples.
Maddox-Peoples said the dog was possibly a LAB MIX weighing about 50 pounds. She also said the victim was sitting by the window and the dog's owner was in the middle seat with his dog. Another passenger said he saw the dog sitting in his owner's lap.
Maddox-Peoples said Delta’s flight crew immediately got help and paramedics walked the man off the plane. She said the man was noticeably shaken up.
Delta issued the following statement to FOX 5:
"Prior to pushback of flight 1430, ATL-SAN, a passenger sustained a bite from another passenger's emotional support dog. The customer who was bitten was removed from the flight to receive medical attention. 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 tells FOX 5's Nathalie Pozo that the dog's owner was described by the flight crew as a "combat veteran" and that the man was cradling the dog in his arms in the gate area and the crew saw him weeping, repeatedly saying, "I know they're going to put him down."
The condition of the man who was injured was not immediately known.
A Delta Air Lines passenger was left bloody and badly injured after being attacked by an emotional support dog aboard a flight at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
A Delta spokesperson told Fox 5 Atlanta that the victim was removed from the flight so that he could receive medical attention.
"The gentleman’s face was completely bloody, blood in his eyes, cheeks, nose, his mouth, his shirt was covered in blood," passenger Bridget Maddox-Peoples told Fox 5.
She described the dog as a possible lab mix weighing an estimated 50 pounds.
According to Maddox-Peoples, the victim was sitting by the window while the dog's owner was in the middle seat. She said the flight crew reacted immediately and paramedics boarded the plane to render medical attention.
The man's status is unknown, but Maddox-Peoples said he appeared shaken up. Delta confirmed the incident in a statement to Fox 5 and said the dog and its owner eventually departed Atlanta on a later flight.
"Prior to pushback of flight 1430, ATL-SAN, a passenger sustained a bite from another passenger's emotional support dog. The customer who was bitten was removed from the flight to receive medical attention. Local law enforcement cleared the dog, and the dog and its owner were re-accommodated on a later flight; the dog will fly in a kennel."
Another passenger told Fox 5 that the crew saw the dog's owner crying after the incident fearing that the dog would be put down as a result.
The incident highlights what appears to be a growing trend that has bred some skepticism.
Veteran Atlanta-based flight attendant Jen Williams told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year that she has seen a noticeable increase in support animals of late.
While it's not clear which travelers are flouting the rules, Williams believes there are more than a few bad apples.
"It’s definitely gotten carried away to the point where people are taking advantage of the system," Williams told the publication. "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."