“We expect airlines to follow procedures as required and verify any dogs travelling unrestrained in open cabin are trained for handling the large crowds and enclosed environments encountered on board an airplane,” Massey said in the statement.
“The dog continued to act in a strange manner as Mr. Jackson attempted to buckle his seatbelt. The growling increased and the dog lunged for Mr. Jackson’s face. The dog began biting Mr. Jackson, who could not escape due to his position against the plane’s window,” according to the firm’s account.
“The dog was pulled away but broke free from Mr. Mundy’s grasp and attacked Mr. Jackson a second time … The attacks reportedly lasted 30 seconds and resulted in profuse bleeding from severe lacerations to Mr. Jackson’s face, including a puncture through the lip and gum.”
Jackson was taken by ambulance to an emergency room for treatment, then took a later flight to San Diego, according to Delta. He plans to consult a plastic surgeon, the law firm said.
The firm is seeking information on Delta’s “compliance with policies for unrestrained larger animals within a plane’s cabin and the verification process of their emotional support animal training requirements.”
Delta declined to comment on the law firm’s statement.
The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to accommodate service or emotional support animals, within certain guidelines.
Delta’s website says, “A kennel is not required for emotional support animals if they are fully trained and meet the same requirements as a service animal.”
Efforts to reach Mundy, who was not charged, have been unsuccessful. A police report said Mundy was a military service member who "advised that the dog was issued to him for support."
The U.S. Department of Transportation said it is seeking details about the incident. The DOT says airlines cannot require that service and support animals be carried in a kennel unless there is "a safety-related reason to do so."
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