Airport Security Dog Bites Woman in Baggage Claim

While waiting with her husband for her sister to arrive at the baggage claim area of the international airport in Atlanta on the afternoon of Thursday, May 2, 2013, Susan Dubitsky was allegedly bitten by a dog who is owned by the Transportation Security Administration but was being handled by an officer of the Atlanta Police Department at the time.

The Atlanta police officer and the dog were passing by Dubitsky when it reportedly bit her suddenly in the area of her abdomen — supposedly without warning and unprovoked.

The dog allegedly attempted to attack Dubitsky again when the police officer returned with the dog a little later to check on the condition of Dubitsky, who was reportedly treated by emergency medical technicians.

The incident — which has supposedly caused Dubitsky to be wary of returning to the airport terminal baggage claim area — is currently under investigation.

The following is a video report by WSB-TV Channel 2 News in Atlanta, in conjunction with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper:

FlyerTalk members are unclear about certain aspects of this incident and have been asking questions as well as debating the issues pertaining to this situation.

First, why would the dog attack if it was not provoked? After watching the above video report, at least one FlyerTalk member speculates that the security dog may have sensed the scent of the dog owned by Dubitsky, shown in the video holding her dog approximately near the area of her body where she was bitten. Another FlyerTalk member would not be surprised if the dog was simply going after food or a “reward” of some type.

Also, FlyerTalk members want to know why would a dog — trained to sniff for explosives — be checking the baggage of passengers after they have already completed their flight and will leave the airport with their luggage once they retrieve it?

The dog was placed back into service at the airport — although some FlyerTalk members have been calling for the dog to be muzzled; while others believe that the dog should be euthanized. Other FlyerTalk members counter and debate that the attack was not the fault of the dog, but rather either its trainer or Dubitsky. Still other FlyerTalk members are calling for the handler of the dog to be removed from service.

Should the dog have been euthanized regardless of fault? If not, should the dog be forced to wear a muzzle while on duty? Should Dubitsky sue the Transportation Security Administration?

What are your thoughts as to how the incident happened and who was at fault?

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Comments (Showing 7 of 7)

  • wbl-mn-flyer at 3:20pm May 13, 2013

    The only place for a dog at the airport is inside the checked baggage screening and transport area – if the concern is to sniff for explosives or narcotics/whatever, these dogs should not be wandering around the flying public or general workers at the airport.

  • Cymbo at 7:54pm May 13, 2013

    Second that!

  • Dianne47 at 9:53pm May 13, 2013

    Outrageous. Of course the dog should be muzzled. Better yet, retire the dog since it is clearly unsuited to airport or anything remotely resembling detection work of any kind.

  • Cathay Boy at 10:49pm May 13, 2013

    I have been owning dogs and training dogs since my youth. This is a clear case when a dog is not trained properly. People needs to realized the reason dogs are “man’s best friend” because they can be trained to do exactly as it should and should not do if they are trained properly. Only dogs poorly trained will bite unprovoked, if properly trained, you can put the best food in front of them, put them in a state of hunger, and they will still not move an inch if not told to do so. The real culprit is not the dog, but the trainers of the dog. It’s a TSA-trained dog, what a surprised, they can’t even train a dog right…

  • callum9999 at 3:07am May 14, 2013

    wbl-mn-flyer – Those aren’t the only reasons for using dogs though. I know in Australia at least they are trained to sniff out fruit/vegetables etc. Though I don’t see why narcotics dogs should never be around the public – they could be easily be smuggling drugs on their person instead of in their bags.

  • Renaldo at 7:56am May 14, 2013

    An animal, albeit trained, is on a leash being controlled by a highly trained (one believes) human police officer. The animal bites a person and its the fault of the animal??? The leash, verbal command, observation of the animals behavior prior to the attack all failed for the intelligent human. Yep folks lets muzzle or euthanize the dog!! Lets not evaluate the performance of the human controllers. Maybe the police officer did not hear the dog say: “I’m going to bite that lady now” : )

  • UNIVBFan at 4:46pm May 14, 2013

    And the result of the request for the video from the baggage area was? Oh, why would we want to actually get to the bottom of this? Sorry, but I wonder why a highly trained security dog would suddenly lash out for no reason whatsoever, just seems strange. Euthanize, really people, that seems a bit extreme, obviously not pet owners.

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