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Service Dog Bites Passenger on Airline

SPOKANE, Wash. (CN) - A service dog on an Alaska Airlines flight - a "100-pound Rottweiler" - bit a passenger as she tried to get off the plane, the woman claims in court.

Shannon Marie Sullivan sued Alaska Airlines, its Horizon Air subsidiary and the dog's owner, Robert Wenzel, on Jan. 21 in Spokane County Court.

Sullivan says she was a passenger on a Horizon Air flight from Seattle to Spokane on Jan. 22, 2012 Wenzel's dog bit her on the hand. Wenzel claims the Rottweiler is a service dog.

Alaska Airlines allows service dogs on its flights and does not charge for them, according to the airline's "Service and Emotional Support Animals" policy on its website.

Owners of service animals need to provide "credible verbal assurance that the animal is providing a service," but service animals that being transported to their new owner need "documentation on official letterhead that the service animal has completed training," according to the company website.

Alaska Airlines spokesman Brian Zidar said the airline does not comment on pending litigation.

Sullivan seeks more than $75,000 for negligence and gross negligence.

She is represented by Paul Daugharty, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

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