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‘Extremely Dangerous’ Service Dog Went On the Attack at Denver International Airport and Bit an American Airlines Worker in the Face

‘Extremely Dangerous’ Service Dog Went On the Attack at Denver International Airport and Bit an American Airlines Worker in the Face

a plane on the runway

A service dog is being held in quarantine after it allegedly went on the attack at Denver International Airport last week, biting an American Airlines worker and a bystander while its owner was waiting to board a flight.

The dog was a Belgian Malinois named Bella, although its owner has not been identified because an investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

According to the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, the dog bit the airline worker in the face, while the bystander sustained a bite wound to their forearm on the morning of April 26.

Local officials said that the injuries individually amounted to a Level 4 wound on Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Dog Bite Scale, which categorises dog bites on a scale of 1 to 6. Level 1 is classed as obnoxious or aggressive behavior, while Level 6 is only used for dog bite injuries that result in death.

Because two people were injured in the April 26 incident at DEN, it is officially upgraded to Level 5 on the dog bite scale.

Dogs that have caused a Level 5 injury are considered ‘extremely dangerous’. Dr Dunbar says these dogs are “simply not safe around people” and recommends euthanasia.

Bella is being held in quarantine at the Denver Animal Shelter until May 6 at the earliest while the investigation continues, according to the Denver Post.

Matt’s take

Airlines are effectively compelled to grant the owners of service animals the right to bring their dogs with them onboard flights, so long as a few bureaucratic hurdles are first overcome.

The requirement was written into law in 2021 when the Department of Transportation (DOT) made sweeping changes to the Air Carrier Access Act, allowing airlines to ban emotional support animals.

Service animals are, however, still allowed, and the definition is pretty wide. service animals are dogs that have been trained to help their owners with disability. The disability could be physical or sensory, psychiatric or cognitive.

Owners must submit an official DOT form to the airline with at least 48 hours notice, attesting that their dog is a trained service animal and has never behaved aggressively, but no proof is required.

Under the most recent changes, airlines are no longer allowed to ban certain breeds of dog, forcing Delta Air Lines to reverse its prohibition of pit bull style dogs

View Comments (5)
  • Unforunate that the dog was put in a situation she obviously was not trained to deal with. Will probably be executed. Euthanasia only refers to putting a living thing out of its misery. Hope the injured people can recover fully. Very scary. Wouldn’t want to be a flight attendant right now.

  • What happened to make the dog bite them? Don’t put all the blame on the dog until the full story is put out.

  • I call BS. Show video! There is no way it was not caught on film and especially in airport with 100s of phones out. There is nowhere in this report or any other news report stating what happened “before” the incident. It’s so tiring reading one sided partial accounts of situations that villainize for the sake of clickbait news. I’m guilty on this one obviously. I still call BS especially without the full account, story, video or bystander input.

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