Cancer Patient Forced to Leave Dog Behind After Airport Incident


Bay County Animal Control officials removed a dog from a passenger on a Southwest flight after it bit a child on Saturday.

Family members for Amy Fiorella say the child pulled the dog’s ear and it snapped at her. According to a report from Bay County Animal Control an officer responded to the scene and removed the dog, Jax, for a state-mandated rabies quarantine.

Fiorella’s family say the dog is up to date on its rabies shots and should not have been taken. 

They also noted that Fiorella is fighting cancer and the dog was an emotional support animal. Ultimately, Fiorella was forced to leave the dog behind in Panama City and return to her home in Buffalo, New York.  

However, on Monday family members proved proof that the dog was up to date on rabies shots and animal control officials allowed Jax to be returned to a local family member.

Family members now working on how to get the dog back to Fiorella.  

Dan Landson from southwest airlines released the following statement to News 13, “Initial reports indicate that an emotional support animal was acting in an aggressive manner before boarding flight 1355 from Panama City to Baltimore/ Washington on Saturday morning. Our team in Panama City talked with the customer and, following our standard policies regarding emotional support animals. did not allow the animal to travel. We accommodated the customer on a later flight to their destination.”

Officials with animal control declined to comment. 

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