A pit bull emotional support dog recently mauled a five-year-old’s face at the Portland OR airport. The little girl had moved close to pet him when the sudden bite happened.
The dog was obviously stressed by airport noise, crowds and confusion, resulting in the unexpected reaction. I was also hurt recently in a similar incident. When I stroked the head of a costumed dog during a noisy holiday street parade, he quickly bit my hand. His sharp teeth caused a large, deep bloody wound that required many stitches.
Lesson learned? Always be careful about petting dogs in airports, parades, concerts and elsewhere with large crowds, loud noises and other stressful conditions that could frighten them. Be friendly, but keep a safe distance.