NATIONAL NEWS

A woman abandoned her dog at a Pennsylvania airport before flying to a resort, officials say

Aug 24, 2023, 1:36 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A woman accused of intentionally abandoning her dog at a Pennsylvania airport before she boarded a flight to a resort in Mexico earlier this month has been charged with animal cruelty and related charges, authorities announced Thursday.

Allegheny County Police say Allison Lyn Gaiser, 44, tried to bring her brown-and-white male French bulldog with her on a flight departing from Pittsburgh International Airport on Aug. 4. But the dog was denied boarding by the airline because it did not meet the criteria for an emotional support animal and did not have a proper kennel as required.

After leaving the ticket counter, Gaiser was seen on surveillance cameras pushing the dog in the stroller back toward a moving walkway enclosure, next to glass exit doors in the airport’s short-term parking lot. She was later seen heading to an area where a county police officer found the dog unattended in the stroller about 40 minutes later, authorities said.

The dog — who was unharmed — was licensed and had an identification microchip. It was turned over to an animal care facility and is now staying in a foster home, where authorities said the dog is doing well.

A county police sergeant was waiting for Gaiser when she returned to the airport about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 10. Authorities said Gaiser admitted leaving the dog behind because the airline wouldn’t allow it on the plane but said she made arrangements with her mother to pick up the animal at the airport.

Gaiser allowed police to review text messages between her and her mother, but authorities said it was apparent that no immediate arrangement was made for Gaiser’s mother to pick up the dog.

Gaiser’s mother told county police that she only found out about the incident when Gaiser’s ex-husband shared a news story about the dog being left at the airport.

A telephone number for Gaiser could not be located Thursday, and there was no attorney listed for her in court records. Her initial court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

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