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Woman who allegedly abandoned dog at airport and flew to resort hit with animal cruelty charges

Pittsburgh — A woman accused of intentionally abandoning her dog at a Pennsylvania airport before she boarded a flight to a resort in Mexico earlier this month has been charged with animal cruelty and related charges, authorities announced Thursday.

Allegheny County Police say Allison Lyn Gaiser, 44, tried to bring her brown-and-white male French bulldog with her on a flight departing from Pittsburgh International Airport on Aug. 4. But the dog was denied boarding by the airline because it didn’t meet the criteria for an emotional support animal and did not have a proper kennel as required.

After leaving the ticket counter, Gaiser was seen on surveillance cameras pushing the dog in the stroller back toward a moving walkway enclosure, next to glass exit doors in the airport’s short-term parking lot. She was later seen heading to an area where a county police officer found the dog unattended in the stroller about 40 minutes later, authorities said.

The dog – who was unharmed – was licensed and had an identification microchip but, reported CBS New Pittsburgh, no collar.

A county police sergeant was waiting for Gaiser when she returned to the airport about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 10. Authorities said Gaiser admitted leaving the dog behind because the airline wouldn’t allow it on the plane but said she made arrangements with her mother to pick up the animal at the airport.

Gaiser allowed police to review text messages between her and her mother, but authorities said it was apparent that no immediate arrangement was made for Gaiser’s mother to pick up the dog.

Gaiser’s mother told county 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.

CBS News Pittsburgh says county police called the state dog warden and the dog was turned over to an animal care facility, Animal Friends. It issued a statement saying it is “pleased to provide the necessary treatment and supportive care the dog needs until this case is resolved.”

Authorities said the dog is now staying in a foster home and is doing well.

A telephone number for Gaiser couldn’t be located Thursday and there was no attorney listed for her in court records. Her initial court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16.

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