Air Canada has apologized to a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder for not recognizing Snoopy, her pug-schnauzer-terrier, as a service dog. Sergeant Shirley Jew said Air Canada was going to charge her $50 to bring Snoopy aboard because the airline didn’t recognize PTSD as a disability.
But the 48-year-old soldier, who is based in Cold Lake, Alta., says her dog is more than just a pet. Her four-legged friend helps her function in society since her 2012 PTSD diagnosis. She served three tours abroad. “She’s always got my back,” Jew told The Canadian Press. “She’s my angel.”
She was shocked by Air Canada’s treatment, especially since she sent information from her doctor and had previously flown without problems with her pooch in tow on the airline.
“I never thought I would be treated like a third-class citizen like I was with them. It was a slap in the face,” Jew told CP after flying WestJet between Edmonton and Toronto instead.
She said WestJet let Snoopy fly for free. Meanwhile, Air Canada offered a refund, called the matter a “misunderstanding” and apologized.
“Air Canada does have a policy in place to accept service animals of passengers with disabilities. These disabilities are not limited to physical disabilities,” the airline said in a statement.
It’s been a bad run of luck for Air Canada and dogs. Last year, the airline lost Larry, an Italian greyhound, which later turned up dead, and then mocked a reporter for inquiring about the missing dog.
h/t CBC Photos Canadian Armed Forces