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Delta Bans "Pit Bull Type" Support Animals Causing A Heated Debate

The Mercury News / Travel + Leisure

If someone told you that your family member is banned from a flight, how would you feel?

You'd probably throw a fit and criticize the airline for being discriminatory.

Everyone who is a dog owner knows that their beloved pup is a member of their family. And an important one too!

We give them endearing names and the same love and affection our human children get.

But you know who needs their beloved doggo more than us? People who have dogs as service or support animals.

Delta Air Lines recently announced that pit bulls will be banned after "growing safety concerns." Breeds that are related to pit bulls, like terriers and bulldogs, are also banned, along with "pit bull mixes."

The updated policy is set to take effect on July 10, limiting passengers to only one emotional support animal. But if it's a pit bull, forget about it.

The reason for the ban is because two workers were recently bitten by a pit bull.

"These updates, which come as the peak summer travel season is underway, are the direct result of growing safety concerns following recent incidents in which several employees were bitten," the airline said.

Negative reactions to the ban

The CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tweeted that by banning pit bulls the airline "does not achieve its stated public safety aim and spread false and life-threatening stereotypes."

Matt Bershadker continued, "Every dog is unique, even dogs within the same breed, and their behavior is influenced by many factors, including socialization, development experiences, training, environment, and genetics. In fact, pit bull type dogs have long been popular family pets, and noted for their affection and loyalty."

Here's what another Twitter user had to say:

"The problem isn't the dogs. It's the people using the term 'service animal' for dogs that aren't. A real service animal is trained to be exceptionally well behaved and provide an actual valuable service."

Others are for this policy

Here's what one person had to say:

Delta has been in hot water before

This news comes weeks after a Pomeranian died in a Delta plane's cargo area.

"We know pets are an important member of the family and we are focused on the well-being of all animals we transport," Delta's statement read. "As part of that review, we want to find out more about why this may have occurred to ensure it doesn't happen again."

So they do know that pets are an important part of the family...

All things considered, I think there has to be a way we can find the middle ground, where service or support animals can aboard flights and not compromise the safety of others.

Perhaps there should be more checks on whether an animal is providing a special service?

What do you think of Delta's updated policy? Can we find a middle ground?

Here's why you should never touch a service dog. It could risk someone's life. Read more here!

And here are 20 heartwarming photos that show how therapy dogs change lives for the better!