Girl allegedly attacked by support dog at PDX


PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU/CNN) – A young girl was allegedly attacked by a dog while waiting for a flight at Portland International Airport. Now, that child’s family is seeking more than a million dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed this week.

The 5-year-old’s face was badly cut after an alleged attack by an “emotional service animal” at PDX. That happened in 2017. Now her family is suing the airport, Alaska Airlines, and the dog owner—Michelle Brannan—for $1.1 million.

The girl’s family didn’t want to speak with the media. But the lawsuit alleges the dog owner “went through the ticketing process at Alaska Airlines without the pit bull being in a crate, kennel orother secure container.” Those were the rules at PDX then.

The girl was attacked while waiting for a flight with her family. The injuries “required surgery to repair complex facial lacerations and a damaged tear duct.”

Alaska Airlines sent KATU a statement saying, “We haven’t received the lawsuit at this time. But considering it will be pending litigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment about the case.”

The dog owner couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wednesday, KATU found several people traveling with animals, like Alexandra Ojeda and her dog Tom. “I’m one with anxiety when I fly,” Ojeda said. “he [Tom] really seems to calm me down a lot.”

She said she’s working on getting her dog certified as an emotional support animal. “He’s never done it in his whole entire life, I have trust that he won’t ever do that,” Ojeda said about Tom.

Service animals are always allowed at PDX, but for those traveling with emotional service animals; they’re only allowed if traveling with the owner or being shipped by air. They must be kept in pet carriers, except when using the pet relief area. If an animal does not fit in the carrier, the owner must carry animal when practical or the animal must remain on a leash within three feet of the owner. All animal must be housebroken and kept under control.

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