Texas veteran says service dog got her kicked off flight

Houston, Tex. (KTRK/CNN) — US Army Veteran Janae Fowler says she goes everywhere with her emotional support dog named Ziggy Marley. “He relaxes me.  He calms me down.  He makes me smile. He makes me feel everything’s gonna be ok,” said Janae.

Last week, Janae and her boyfriend, Cecil Mullenweg, went to Colorado to visit some of her old army friends. Cecil said, “The flight out was you know, great. I mean, Spirit was good to us all the way out to Denver.”

But when Janae tried to board the return flight, she says a flight attendant changed things up, “Basically she said, ‘Oh, hell no.’ And I was like, ‘what’s wrong?’ She said, ‘is that a pit bull?’ And I said, ‘yes ma’am it’s a pit bull and a chocolate lab.’”

Janae says she got to the back of the plane and another flight attendant asked to see Ziggy’s paperwork. “And now she’s on the phone and she was saying, ‘Well, an emotional support animal isn’t a service animal. A service animal is for someone with real disabilities.’ And I felt insulted because there are veterans in the world that they have disabilities you can’t see.”

Janae says Spirit put them on a United Airlines flight back to Houston later that night, “But my thing is you trust me to go on another flight but not on this flight.”

A spokesperson for Spirit Airlines says they are looking into these allegations. But he says in general, the flight cannot make a decision to kick someone off of a plane. The captain would make the final decision, and there would need to be good reason, like a dog barking or growling. He says it’s a lot more work for a flight attendant or gate agent if they need to remove a passenger from a flight, so they usually do what they can to make it work.

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