Passenger mauled by Marine veteran's emotional support dog on flight to San Diego

Posted at 6:41 AM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 17:36:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A passenger is recovering after being mauled by a Marine veteran's emotional support dog on a flight heading to San Diego.

The incident happened Sunday before Delta Flight 1430 took off from Atlanta, 10News learned. The passenger was sitting next to the window, while veteran Ronald Mundy sat in the middle seat with the dog.

What led to the dog attack remains unclear, but passenger Bridget Maddox-Peoples said, "There was a call for help. You could hear a dog growling and a bark, and someone screamed, 'I need help, there's a medical emergency.'"

The passenger attacked by the dog was removed from the plane to receive medical attention, and Mundy and his dog were taken off the flight. The dog was secured inside of a carrier and taken off the plane and given to Mundy. Delta said Mundy and the dog were placed on another flight in which the dog flew in a kennel.

Maddox-Peoples described the victim's injuries: "His face was covered in blood around his eyes, his nose, his cheeks, his shirt; he walked out, and he had a cloth over his face, and it was just completely bloody."

Other witnesses said they saw the veteran hugging the dog and crying, saying he feared the dog would be put down.

Passengers with disabilities are protected on flights by the Air Carrier Access Act to prevent discrimination.

Delta's website says trained service dogs and emotional support dogs are allowed in the cabin with humans, and a kennel isn't required.  However, both types of dogs must be trained to behave properly in public settings.

Read Delta's policy for service and support animals HERE.