Delta bans pit bull service dogs - CBS46 News

Delta bans pit bull service dogs

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

As people were boarding a Delta flight, two employees were bitten by a passenger's emotional support pit bull.

Delta says one employee needed medical treatment, and now the air line wants to make sure it never happens again.

"I didn't even know people could use that breed as a service animal," said one passenger.

In an announcement Delta says pit bulls type service dogs will not be allowed on flights.

Passengers like Tavon Ferguson understand the new pet policy.

"If I was on a flight and then I saw a dog of that breed next to me, I would probably freak out and then ask to change my seat," he said. "I do agree with the pit bulls and stuff like that, bigger large animals there's really no need for them on there."

Others think it's a bit harsh.

For pit bull advocate Teresa Chiofalo it's beyond disappointing.

"I was definitely surprised of course bummed out because it's an Atlanta company."

She says the travel ban isn't so much a matter of safety as it is perpetuating a stereotype.

"To target one breed, kind of puts ideas in people's heads that maybe there is something wrong with the breed. I don't think that they have been portrayed very evenly in the media so I think that a lot of people have a misconception of the breed itself."

Delta previously reported an 84 percent increase in incidents involving service and support animals since 2016.

A spokesperson for Delta sent CBS46 the following statement:

We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals, knowing that some customers have legitimate needs, but we have determined that untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk. We will always err on the side of safety for out customers and crew members.

Last year a man was mauled by a 70 pound emotional support dog.

The major airline says it carries about 700 service animals every day, that's a quarter of a million each year.

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