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On a US Airways flight out of Los Angeles and bound for Philadelphia a service dog relieved himself in the aisle – three times. When flight crew ran out of cleaning supplies and passengers began gagging and vomiting, the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Kansas City.
Truffles the Service Dog had already been onboard the plane for several hours due to a delay at LAX that left passengers sitting on the tarmac for two hours before taking off.
“About an hour into the flight, I started smelling this terrible smell. I look up the aisleway and there’s a dog pooping right in the middle of the aisle. It’s a big dog, 3′ to 4′ tall or long, and he was just going,” passenger Steve McCall told Inside Edition.
Another passenger, Chris Law, tweeted: “So the full-sized dog that’s on my flight, well it did what dogs do & went to the bathroom when it felt like it smack dab in the middle of aisle.”
This wasn’t just regular dog poop, poor Truffles was clearly under some gastrointestinal distress. An upset tummy combined with hours-long delays and no potty break for the working dog was a recipe for disaster.
Truffles’ handler is extremely apologetic, offering Starbucks gift cards to any passengers that gave her their address.
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Americans are so damned spoiled. I would have nothing but love and sympathy for the handler and the dog. People YOUR $&@# stinks! too!!!
I can’t believe this even made the news. Service dogs are amazingly well trained and well behaved, but there’s a limit to what can be expected of anyone. Expecting that he would wait hours on the tarmac without an opportunity to walk (and in my own experience planes are often not well ventilated and reach high temperatures during waits of that sort) is simply cruel, yet the handler could do nothing about it. The poor dog was obviously sick. They both deserve apologies from the airline.
Some people are just so suspicious of everything and everyone and have huge expectations for others but not for themselves and obviously many of the people who had an answer for everything have never owned a dog. Give the lady a break and the dog a break. When dogs have accidents like that, usually it is because the stress of having to hold too long causes diarehea. Also such incidents cause the dog to feel just as miserable as the humans around him, so please, how about some understanding here!
I don’t think the owner was to blame at all. If you are stuck on the tarmac, what are you supposed to do?
One time I was stuck on the tarmac for a couple of hours and I needed to go to the restroom badly. The flight attendants wanted me to stay seated in my seat with the seat belts on. Ridiculous. I could see the little tunnel or whatever it’s called that I would walk through from my seat.
Poor pup had to go pottie, so he did.
Agreed! They need to relieve themselves, just like we do and the poor thing held it as long as he could. And the flight delays and waiting times don’t help for sure. 🙂
The video was “unavailable for viewing” when I received this email. The certification of the dog should’ve been checked before boarding. The delay has nothing to do with the owner or the dog but the airline. Cleaning materials on board are another responsibility of the airline. How many of you can teach a dog (service dog or pet) to poop on command? Dogs poop – more so when they are nervous or excited… maybe the “accident” was due to the humans over-reacting to the situation at hand, causing the dog stress? That being said, the responsible owner/companion of this dog should have had cleaning supplies in their possession. I take care of 39 dogs at a sanctuary and have 4 of my own in my home – no two dogs have the same reaction to a stress situation. To the other passengers on the flight, I offer my sympathy.
From what I understood and could tell……. The “service dog” wasn’t wearing a vest or displaying credentials. My question is; was the pup ill before the flight and why would anybody have taken and ill pup on a flight, service or not. I wish we knew more and I think that maybe the woman should have been detained to answer some questions. Just my thought………
A service dog vest is not required by law those of us that put them on our dogs do it because we get hassled less, I have flown with my service dog you have to show proof of service training and all shot records they check this thoroughly. you cant blame the dog I am sure the dog was as upset as anybody else
Poor baby! I feel sorrier for her than I do for the passengers. She’s a WORKING dog & still looked upon as ‘JUST’ an animal, which she is not. People cannot get thru life without their service dogs as well as they can with them.
I agree everyone has to know that she felt bad, but if the dog has to go he has to go nothing that can be done about it. Just hold youre breath and smile it makes a great story to tell everyone. Just makes me smile thinking how many people couldn’t stand the smell if that was the worst thing they had to deal with don’t go near a working cattle ranch.
Kudos, William Whitler!
@Linda.. Once you’re on a plane, you can’t leave, not even to relieve your Service Dog. And also… has anyone seen the size of the restrooms in the planes?
The diapers, I could put my Shepherd in a diaper, but hours in a plane once I take that off it’s still going to smell…if there’s a delay.
I too have a service dog and she is just like people sometimes shit happens. She has good control while working but just like us sometimes you just can’t wait.
There are doggy diapers available…the soiled diapers could have been placed in a poopy-bag and tightly sealed ’til arrival at the final destination…then properly disposed of in a proper manner.
No excuses for this dog owner at all!
You must not have a dog or you are a very one-sided dog owner who thinks his/her way is the only way. Doggie diapers are rarely the answer and any valuable trainer would tell you they can actually be detrimental when “house-breaking” a dog, just like pee pads (another HORRIBLE idea). No self-respecting dog owner wants to put their dog in doggie diapers. Give me a break! PS) Most people use doggie diapers on a bitch while she’s menstruating. They’re very rarely used as a method to “contain poop.”
Why didn’t someone walk him in those several hours to let him relieve himself.???
Did you miss the part where that several hours was “on the tarmac”? They were already boarded and most likely pulled away from the gate.
With service dogs being incorporated into more and more people’s lives trainers and handlers are going to plan for these kinds of circumstances. Carry a potty pad, take the dog to a restroom and teach the dog a potty command. The pad can either be shook off into the toilet if solid or placed in a zip lock bag and disposed.
That’s a great idea!
“IF” the dog “IS” a service dog.
I totally agree with you. Too many people are attention seekers and want to be able to take their dogs everywhere. They purchase the certificate/license online with no evaluation. Many doctors write letters for their patients for any reason so they can do this. People are also doing this to take advantage of the ADA ruling on pet rent. They cannot discriminate and charge rent or deposit for their dogs. I think this is very sad for those who truly need a Service/Therapy/Companion Dog.
I have a certified Therapy Dog who I certified not for myself, (even though she has helped me by not taking anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds [in four days]) to visit patients in hospitals, hospice and homes. I don’t like when people take advantage of the system.
As for this instance, they need to rules when the plane is on the ground to allow the owner to take their pet off the plane for a walk and to relieve themselves. I do understand the plane was on the tarmac in this situation, but this is something they FAA needs to consider because many more people are traveling with their pets today.
That’s total BS and your stupidity or ignorance or whatever you want to call it is shining through. As I mentioned in a previous post, people who use pee pads should probably just be shot. Ok, maybe not that extreme, lol. But (again, as stated before)dog trainers are typically VERY against pee pads. They do more harm than good when trying to train a dog. A dog that has gone through all the necessary training to be a service dog would never stoop to a level of using pee pads. At the end of the day, this was a horrible ACCIDENT and no one is to blame so I wish all of you would stop pointing fingers at the owner and/or dog. This dog does a valuable service. It is ignorant people like you who claim this is about people wanting attention that make the human species look so ridiculous. I hope you know you speak for the minority and should probably keep your big (ignorant) trap shut! Also, I fly regularly and if this story were about a crying baby on a plane with a very stinky, dirty diaper, you’d probably sing a different tune. Give it a rest!
I have a dog that has been used as a service dog. He is housebroken and uses bells on the door to alert when he needs to go outside. When traveling he would go outside before entering the airport, but I also carried pee pads in case of a delay. Lay it on the floor of the bathroom and ask him to go. He didn’t use them at home or on a regular basis, but they were perfect when there was a delay and no way to get outside.
Nonsense, you don’t have a dog
Poor truffles! If he is anything like my dogs, when they are sick and have to go, they are so ashamed and look pitiful even if it is not their fault.