Delta’s enforcement of its service dog rules is hounding the airline.
Two-year-old Mila Lhautara of California was born with hydrocephalus — a buildup of fluid in brain cavities. And not long ago, she was diagnosed with epilepsy.
“She doesn’t have seizures where she shakes and it’s noticeable,” Mila’s mom, Christin Lhautara told Fox 10. “Her seizures are silent. Her seizures don’t break unless she’s given medication. There [sic] no telling what can happen.”
That sounds terrifying.
Enter Mesa, Arizona’s Help A Dog Out Rescue, who says they teamed up with two other rescues to find Daisy, a seizure alert trained dog.
“(Daisy) is going to provide an extra layer of protection for my daughter,” Christin Lhautara said to Fox 10.
You’ll notice that Help a Dog Out Rescue added “Pittie” and “Pitty” — a nickname for the pit bull dog breed. That’ll come into play in a few minutes.
No Delta for Daisy
Last week, rescue agency rep Kim Biggerstaff contacted Delta to arrange a flight for Daisy (presumably with Ms. Biggerstaff) to California.
Delta said no, enforcing their rules about flying with service or support animals:
“(W)e are do not [sic] accept pit bull type dogs as service or support animals.”
The rule was announced last year, “on the heels of a number of incidents regarding defecation and urination by animals on Delta planes, and complaints by Delta flight attendants of being bitten by pit bulls,” wrote Business Insider’s Brian Pascus.
Ms. Biggerstaff told Fox 10:
“I said that’s discrimination, that’s illegal. They said no, we have lawyers on standby. We wouldn’t do this if there were any legal issues that could arouse. I said that’s unfair. This is an actual, trained service dog. Thousands of dollars went into this dog in training and time and energy, and this dog has been working in her field for three years, (n)ever had an issue.”
Christin Lhautara said on Facebook:
Fox 5 reports Help a Dog Out Rescue — who originally posted the dog is a “pittie” — says Daisy is a Boxer/bulldog mix.
So — which breed is Daisy? A pit bull? Or a Boxer/bulldog mix?
Here’s What the Rescue Told Me
I chatted on Facebook last night with a rep from Help A Dog Out Rescue.
The organization is primarily a pit bull rescue. It seems the “Daisy (Pittie)” and “Pitty” wording was a force of habit. The dog’s transporter purportedly also made the same mistake — accidentally telling the Delta rep Daisy is a pit bull before correcting herself.
And “(Delta) wouldn’t allow the correction, despite supporting documents,” the Help A Dog rep told me and stated, “she happens to be a bulldog/boxer.”
Daisy WILL Fly to California On…
Mila will finally get her dog later this month — when Daisy arrives on a Southwest Airlines flight.
Should Delta Allow Certified Service Pit Bulls On Board?
What do you think about this situation?
And should Delta allow pit bulls who are actual, certified service animals on board with their handlers? I’m not talking about the dogs whose owners spend five bucks on a fake “service dog” vest off Ebay just to sneak their pet on board. (You’ve seen ’em and know exactly what I’m saying.)
I mean trained service dogs who are vital to their handler’s lives and help them function.
Please share your thoughts in the Comment section below.