• Petitioned United Airlines

This petition was delivered to:

United Airlines

Stop United Airlines employee's abuse of travelers with service dogs

    1. Sue Kindred
    2. Petition by

      Sue Kindred

      Richmond, VA

On June 13, Jim Stanek, co-founder of Paws and Stripes, and a veteran of 3 tours in Iraq began a journey at Washington D.C.’s Dulles Airport on his way home to New Mexico. Little did he know that it would take him 3 days and cost him untold agony by the unconscionable actions of multiple United Airlines employees. Jim has PTSD and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is mitigated by his service dog, Sarge.

During his ordeal, Sarge was KICKED twice by two separate United Airlines employees, the second time hard enough to lift her off the ground and into his lap. Additionally, shortly after explaining to a gate agent that he had a traumatic brain injury and was unable to – at that moment- read the information on his cell phone screen, Jim was asked if he was retarded. As you might imagine, the abuse escalated Jim’s discomfort and the symptoms of his disability. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine anyone experiencing this behavior without becoming increasingly agitated and angry.

Sadly, this is not the only incidence of United Airlines employees acting badly around disabled travelers. Dozens of people have shared on social media sites their own experiences with name calling, anger, and inappropriate actions towards their service dogs. In one instance, gate agents yelled at a passenger that they hoped she would never travel on their airline again.

Jim and Lindsey Stanek want to educate and raise awareness about the role of service dogs for individuals whose disabilities are not readily apparent to others. They have given us permission to share their story and through this petition, seek the public support and pressure that will capture United Airlines attention and effect change in their staff training policies.

I’m Sue Kindred, President of Service Dog 411, and together with my colleagues Dee Bogetti, service dog trainer, and Terry Griffith, founder of Dogs for Veterans, we are committed to ensuring that this story does not become yesterday’s news. It is imperative that we come together as a collective voice for reason, education, understanding and fair treatment of people with service dogs.

We seek the following actions from United Airlines:

1)       Acknowledge the inappropriate and insensitive behavior of United personnel as experienced by disabled travelers, particularly those traveling with a service dog.

2)       Issue a public apology to Jim Stanek, co-founder of Paws and Stripes, for his experience in traveling on United Airlines through Dulles Airport on June 13-17.

3)       Change the corporate training policy for all United Airlines employees to include mandated sensitivity and cultural diversity training.  Additionally, United should include training specific to the role of service dogs for individuals with invisible disabilities such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, and seizure disorders.  

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures
    2. Thanks everyone for helping us reach 1,550 signatures!!

      Sue Kindred
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for all your support! Our signers represent all corners of the globe and we are working diligently to capture the attention of United Airlines. But we can't do it without your continued help and support! Won't you take a moment to share this link with your families and friends?

      Also, Paws and Stripes tell us that United has reached out and they are "researching" the matter. That's not enough... we need them to commit to changing their staff education policies.

      Thanks again for signing ... let's reach our goal and effect some positive change!!!!

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Gina Forestier PERTH AMBOY, NJ
      • 3 months ago

      I'm disabled with a service dog & I have also experienced the inappropriate behavior of others. No one should be treated in this manner.

    • Ashley Milner SILVER SPRING, MD
      • 3 months ago

      I would sue the employees for animal abuse!

      • 3 months ago

      Disgusting action by an employee of ANY AIRLINE!!! Anyone guilty of such prejudicial action toward an injured vet should be immediately terminated. End of discussion.

    • Scott Mahoney PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • 3 months ago

      travelling's bad enough without some heartless jerk heads being, well...jerks.

    • Karie Kennard MOUNT VERNON, OH
      • 3 months ago

      My daughter has an alert dog and I would hate to be there if him or my kid were mistreated


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