The incident happened on Delta Air Lines Flight 1430 out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, heading to San Diego on Sunday. According to Anthony Black – a spokesman for Delta – it was while passengers were boarding the flight that a man was suddenly attacked in the face by a fellow passenger’s emotional support dog, described by police as a “chocolate lab pointer mix.”

Passenger covered in blood after being attacked by emotional support dog

Fox 5 first reported on the incident, quoting another Delta passenger who said the man’s face and shirt were covered in blood following the attack.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes police as saying the victim was Marlin Termaine Jackson from Daphne, Alabama, and that he was taken to hospital in a stable condition. However Jackson had reportedly suffered severe injuries to his face from several dog bites.

According to the police report, the emotional support dog is owned by Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr., from Mills River, North Carolina. Mundy is reportedly a military service member with the U.S. Marine Corps, to whom the dog was issued as an emotional support animal. The Delta Air Lines flight was delayed as Jackson, Mundy and the support dog were removed from the plane.

Combat veteran weeps, thinking his support dog will be put down

A witness on the plane told Fox 5 that the flight crew had described Mundy as a “combat veteran.” That witness reportedly saw Mundy hugging the dog at the gate area and openly weeping, as he said he knows his dog will be put down.

However, shortly afterwards the emotional support dog was placed in a dog crate and handed over to Mundy, who has reportedly not been charged by police.

Delta Air Lines said in a statement that Mundy was allowed to travel on a later flight with the dog secured in the crate.

Support animals allowed on Delta Air Lines if they meet certain conditions

According to Delta Air Lines’ website, the airline complies with the Air Carrier Access Act which allows passengers with psychiatric service or emotional support animals to travel free of charge, as long as certain conditions are met, along with the correct documentation.

The website states the animals must be trained correctly to behave in a proper manner, as service animals do. As long as the animal is properly trained, no kennel is required.

Fox 5 reportedly asked Black if the latest incident might lead the airline to make a change in their policies, to which he replied that they are investigating the incident but have no updates at this time.