Friday, July 20, 2012

Disabled veteran says airline kicked his service dog, insulted him


United Airlines Employees Abuse Disabled Veteran and His Service Dog


One New Mexico disabled veteran said his service dog was kicked twice by airline employees this week and he was called a slur.

Jim Staneck said he reached his breaking point earlier this week. He's the founder of Paws and Stripes, which pairs disabled vets with service dogs.

In the course of 48 hours at Dulles Airport, he said his service dog, Sarge, was kicked twice by United Airlines works -- once at the ticket counter and then on a shuttle.

"(He) kicked her so hard on the rib cage, that she flew into my lap… He said he was afraid of dogs," Staneck said.

Staneck was dealing with a canceled flight and delays. He served three combat tours in Iraq and has PTSD and a brain injury. He said the stress was overwhelming, and asked a customer service representative for help because he had trouble reading a reservation email.

"He said, 'Just read it' and I said, 'Sir I can't read it,' and he said, 'What are you retarded?'" Staneck recalls. "Prior to this I told him I have a brain injury and PTSD, I'm a disabled vet, this is my second night here; I need help."

Staneck and Sarge eventually sought refuge in a corner.

"Honestly I thought I was done. I thought I would have to get another training dog," Staneck said.

Staneck said he has a challenge for the CEO of United Airlines.

"Call me. I'd be glad to talk to you. This is all about education," Staneck said.

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