Todd Rice, a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight1904 from Phoenix to Portland, Oregon shared a tweet on twitter reporting a scary incident- where an emotional support dog that was allowed on the plane bit a child passenger.
He also stated in his tweet that paramedics arrived at the plane to give the little girl medical assistance. Todd Rice didn’t stop there but also expressed his anger saying ‘’ Never Again will fly SWA’’.
The weird thing is that the tweet was later on deleted! The question that is being asked now is whether Todd Rice chose to delete the tweet or a powerful part forced him to do so!
While you are trying to find a logical explanation to this question, let’s find out more about what happened to the little girl on the plane and how she was attacked by the emotional support dog?
In an interview with the Business Insider, Southwest said that the incident occurred when the little 6 years old girl approached the emotional support dog while on board of the flight. And then the dog attacked the little girl and scraped her forehead.
Luckily, it was only a minor injury and the girl was soon assisted by the emergency medical personnel before even the flight took off, added Southwest!
Southwest also said during the interview that both the dog and the owner were forced to leave the plane and took another flight to their travel destination, Portland.
No doubt that such incident provoked a very surprising reaction on social media, especially on Twitter. While some Twitter users were felt very sad for the little girl, others were blaming the child and her parents and accusing them of failing to act responsibly.
One Twitter user shared a tweet saying that the dog owner has all the right to be angry as the only one to blame in this whole story is the girl and her parents.
The user also added saying that the girl is no longer a baby and should have been taught personal responsibility as she was told to stay away but she refused to listen and her parents did not care either!
However, a southwest’s “assistance animal” policy said that the girl and her parents are not to be blamed because all passengers who wish to board the plane with their emotional support animal must provide certain papers and documentation from a mental health professional.
That’s not everything because the plane’s policy also puts certain conditions that are supposed to be taken seriously! This means that both service and emotional support dog must be very trained, especially when it comes to a public setting. Otherwise, they won’t even be allowed to board the flight.
Now that the airlines choose to leave the question of what qualifies an emotional support dog to board a flight to medical professionals and animal assistants, the real trouble lies in the fact that how could it even be possible that emotional support animals, which often don’t receive a proper training as service animals, are allowed to fit in their flights !
Some airlines on the other hand,such as Delta and United Airlines , tried to fight this issue and avoid potential troubles by updating their policies concerning this matter and put certain conditions that require signing a paperwork by passengers who like to fly with their emotional support animals in which they approve that their animals are fit to behave in public.
Southwest Airlines are also bringing changes, updating, and evaluating their policies concerning emotional support animals and service animals in order to keep other passengers safe and the Air trips much more comfortable and enjoyable!