HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Cindy Evelo loves dogs she’s got three of her own.
So it came as no surprise when she started talking to another Southwest Airlines passenger headed to Nashville with this dog in tow.
“And I said can I sit next to you all because I love dogs,” Evelo said. “And she was like of course.”
Evelo says at no time did she see the dog in any kind of carrier.
When it comes to dogs flying in the cabin the rules vary from airline to airline.
But the Federal Aviation Administration does have some rules all must follow.
“The federal regulation is clear,” said Fox26 legal expert Chris Tritico. “It has to be small enough to stay in the carrier under the seat so it doesn’t block the aisle you’re not allowed to take it out and you’re not allowed to have it in the seat as this passenger did in this instance.”
“Prior to take off I reached under the seat in front of me to get my bag and the dog latched onto my cheek and bit me,” Evelo said. “I grabbed my cheek and looked down on my hand and there was blood all over it.”
She says the flight crew came to her aid with bandages and an ice pack.
But Evelo says she grew concerned a few days later after reading Southwest Airlines pet policies.
“I was very shocked and amazed when I read that they don’t require proof of vaccination for animals that are brought onboard,” Evelo said. “It also states animals are supposed to be in carriers 100 percent of the time.”
Evelo says she contacted the airline and asked them to get proof that the dog had been vaccinated so she wouldn’t have to seek medical attention.
“It’s a very painful procedure,” Tritico said. “That lasts over a couple of weeks.”
Evelo says Southwest Airlines first told her no, stating that was not their policy.
But after we contacted the airline they told her they would contact the dog’s owner and verify vaccination.
Southwest Airlines sent us this statement:
“We will continue working directly with the customer as we collect details about the situation onboard the flight. At Southwest taking care of our customers on every flight is our primary focus."