PITTSBURGH (AP) — A woman accused of intentionally abandoning her dog at a Pennsylvania airport before she boarded a flight to a resort in Mexico has been charged with animal cruelty and related charges, authorities announced Thursday.
Allison Lyn Gaiser, 44, tried to bring her French bulldog with her on a flight departing Aug. 4 from Pittsburgh International Airport, Allegheny County police said. She claimed the dog was an emotional support animal.
Airline employees told her she could not bring the dog aboard because it did not meet the criteria for an emotional support animal and did not have a proper kennel.
Gaiser was then seen on surveillance video pushing the dog in a stroller toward the airport’s short-term parking lot. A county police officer found the dog unattended in the stroller about 40 minutes later, authorities said.
The dog — who was unharmed — was turned over to an animal care facility and is now staying in a foster home.
A county police sergeant was waiting for Gaiser when her return flight landed on Aug. 10.
Authorities said Gaiser admitted leaving the dog behind but said she made arrangements with her mother to pick up the pet. But the text messages between her and her mother that day indicated no such discussion, police said.
Gaiser’s mother told 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.
The initial court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16.