Emotional Support Pit Bull Mauls Child at Airport

An emotional support dog is at the center of a million dollar lawsuit following an attack on a child in a Portland airport. The December 18, 2017 incident occurred when a five-year-old girl asked to pet a stranger’s emotional support pit bull. When she reached out her hand to greet the dog, it mauled her. The child needed surgery on her tear duct, which left her with permanent scars. Her upper lip was also injured in the attack. The victim has developed phobias of both airports and dogs, her mother told reporters. The family is seeking compensation from the owner of the dog, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Portland. The lawsuit alleges that the airline and airport were negligent in allowing the dog to travel throughout the terminal without a crate.

One of Many Attacks

Far from the only attack of this kind, emotional support animals have been at the center of much controversy. Because regulation of these animals varies dramatically from state to state, emotional support dogs are often untrained. Unlike seeing eye dogs, which require a great deal of training and vetting before being allowed to work in public, emotional support animals do not typically receive any sort of official obedience school. Similar incidents have occurred in airports in Tampa, Baltimore and Newark.

Taking Legal Action

Irresponsible pet owners should be held liable for their dogs’ behavior. Regardless of whether or not their pet has been labeled an emotional support animal, they owe it to the public to only bring their dogs out if they are well-trained and well-behaved. Anyone who has suffered injuries because of a violent emotional support animal should take legal action. Talking with a Virginia dog bite lawyer can help clarify your options after an 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.