Even though most dog bites occur near someone’s house in a neighborhood, some owners do make the mistake of bringing violent pets into public areas. If an incident where the dog attacks someone else within the premises occurs, both the pet owner and property owner can be held liable.
Airports in particular have seen a number of animal-related incidents in the past. In December 2017, a five-year old girl in Portland made national headlines when she was attacked by an emotional support dog while waiting for her flight. Her family is now suing the dog’s owner for not taking better control of the canine as well as the airline for not enforcing any prior restrictions for the pet.
If a dog owner doesn’t take the proper precautions before entering the airport, they could be endangering their pet as well as other passengers surrounding them.
Why are dogs hard to control at airports?
Even those with well-trained dogs can struggle to keep them in check at an airport. Typically, the only canines allowed to walk normally throughout the premises are trained service dogs that help owners with disabilities. Emotional support animals are allowed to accompany their owners on flights, but they must be placed in a kennel or have a short leash attached to them if they are too big for the carrier.
While kennels and short leashes are necessary to keep dogs close to the owner and safely away from potential victims, these conditions can easily agitate pets. It doesn’t help that flights last for hours and they don’t have room to walk or go to the bathroom. More airports in Illinois are also relying on security dogs, which can be bad news if the pet reacts negatively to other animals.
How can owners prepare?
Traveling with a dog on a plane isn’t a straightforward process, but the owners need to be thorough in their preparation to ensure that their pets won’t attack other passengers at the airport. Here’s how they can should get their furry friends ready:
- They can look up federal regulations on air travel with animals and see how it applies to their pets.
- They can reserve the pet’s spot on the plane, inform the airline about their dog and ask if the airport has any specific rules about taking the dog on a plane.
- They can get their dog accustomed to their kennel in the weeks leading up to the flight.
- They can look up if the airport has any animal relief areas near the gates that they can walk their dog around and allow them to use the bathroom.
It might feel like a tedious process, but one wrong move can result in serious consequences at the airport. Dog bite victims should consult a personal injury attorney to determine who is liable for these easily preventable attacks.