Delta Airlines is banning “pit bull type” dogs as part of its crackdown on service and emotional support animals — prompting howls of outrage from some dog lovers.
The new rules, effective July 10, also limit fliers to just one support or service animal per flight, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pitbull owners took to Twitter to criticize Delta Airlines for what they argue is a biased and ill-informed policy.
“@Delta really? Shame! #Pitbull isn’t a breed. The problem isn’t the dogs. It’s people using the term ‘service animal’ for dogs that aren’t. A real service animal, is trained to be exceptionally well behaved & provide an actual valuable service,” tweeted TV host and model Daisy Fuentes.
“@Delta your new policy banning any ‘pit bull type’ service dogs is insulting. It’s based on misinformation and irrational fear. You continue to perpetuate a myth that furthers the suffering of the most tortured breed. My rescue pitbull Leo is disappointed in you” wrote animal lover Annie Brag.
“@Delta your ban on a species that is based on a handful of bad dogs is like banning a race based on a handful of a-holes. My #pitbull saves my life something your airline attendants wont do,” said Nikol G.
Delta said the tighter rules “are the direct result of growing safety concerns following recent incidents in which several employees were bitten.” They cited an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016.
Delta carries 700 service or support animals daily — roughly 25,000 a year.
Last June, a Marine combat veteran’s 70-pound support dog mauled a passenger on a Delta flight boarding in Atlanta, the company said. The victim suffered severe facial injuries as a result of the attack.
Delta said passengers continue to abuse rules surrounding the transport of support animals.
“Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders and more,” the company said. “Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs.”