(128) Veterans and Service Animals in the News

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Golly, Miss Molly

A Blog about a Service Dog and her Veteran with PTSD

(Supporting the Veteran and the Family Caregiver)

Miss Molly fumed and fretted with the latest news reports. Normally, she does not care about the news but today she could not resist with headlines of stolen service dogs and a Veteran with his service dog being denied access to fly on American Airlines. Today, the Molly Blog shares the story about public access being denied to a Marine Veteran and his service animal, who “saved my life.”

Top Service Dog Gets the Boot 

Marine Corps Veteran Jason Haag intended to return home with his wife and service dog, Axel, on an American Airline flight this week. When questioned by the airline, Haag produced an ID card for his service dog, which is not required by law, and answered questions about the tasks the dog performs to assist him. His dog also wore a harness and service vest. Still, the airline representative told him he could not board with his dog. The representative asked numerous questions in violation of federal law (ADA) and accused Captain Haag of having a fraudulent ID in front of nearly 200 people, including five airline managers and supervisors.

The curious part of the story is that Mr. Haag made arrangements with American Airlines in advance of his flight, registering the dog with the airline’s disability office. He had flown with his service animal on the same airline eight days earlier.

The ironic part of the story is that American Airlines booted Haag and Axel on their way home from attending the American Humane Association’s Fifth Annual Hero Dog Awards 2015 where Axel won the award in the Service Dog Category.

After legal help from the attorney for the American Humane Society, American Airlines allowed Haag, his wife, and service animal to fly home the followingMolly's sniffer face day. The airline apologized after an earlier statement, claiming that Mr. Haag was not denied the flight but chose not to take the flight.

Molly’s response to the airline’s initial position: It doesn’t pass the sniff test.


Good News Coming

In Tuesday’s blog, Molly will share the story of a service dog reunited with his Afghanistan Veteran after eight months of separation.

Post your Comments: 

Have you ever tried to fly with your service dog? How would you describe that experience and what advice would you offer a Veteran when flying with his/her service animal? Please reply below. 

Photo credits: pculbrethgraft

Source cited:

  • Shapiro, Emily. “Veteran accuses American Airlines stopping service dog boarding.” ABC News on September 22, 2015, as retrieved on September 22, 2015, at http://abcnews.go.com/US/veteran-accuses-american-airlines-stopping-service-dog-boarding/story?id=33943749

About the blogger 

Dr. Penelope “Penny” Culbreth-Graft is a retired city manager and graduate professor. She lives with her disabled Vietnam Veteran husband, William, and his service dog, Molly, on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. She writes, paints, cares for her husband, and spends time with her granddaughter.