LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A family is claiming the service dog, Cookie, attacked their service dog in November. Cookie is the dog that U-L officials banned from campus earlier this year after it allegedly attacked a professor.
Dondeville, who says she self-trained her dog, Cookie, said she has ADHD and Dyslexia and that is why she has Cookie.
Former U-L student, Bryce Hancock told KLFY News that should not be allowed. He has a professionally trained service, named Elsa. Hancock has Asperger’s Syndrome and that is why he has a service dog. He said his dog, Elsa, was attacked by Cookie in November.
Hancock said the attack happened when he was on campus, “Just doing my same routine, my same pathway. Out of nowhere, this giant dog came out and just straight up attacked my dog”. Hancock says he had to remove Cookie off his dog. He said the injuries were so bad, his dog had to be treated at a vet.
Dondeville’s mother, Suzanne Gainer told us, Cookie “couldn’t tell if this dog was coming at her or to play or was trying to be aggressive, and Cookie bit the other dog.” Dondeville said they took Cookie to multiple trainers afterwards to get her evaluated. She said said Cookie has shown no signs of aggression. She said Cookie was “just fearful because she was intimidated by the approaching of the other dog.”.
Bryce’s mother, Peggy Frey, says she and Cookies owner, Alexandra Dondeville have exchanged emails since the incident. Frey said “She told me that her dog Cookie had been attacked by other dogs before and I’m sorry to hear that, but that does not give her a right for her dog to attack anybody.”
Frey and Hancock said they are concern for the safety of other service animals and people if Cookie is allowed back on campus.
UL Lafayette Public Information Officer Eric Maron told us earlier this week:
“The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is dedicated to creating a campus culture that is safe and accessible for all students, faculty and staff members. The University allows trained service and emotional support animals on campus to assist individuals who may need them. The University’s Animal Policy, which was adopted in 2019, and applicable laws provide guidelines that both the animals and their handlers must follow.
The policy requires that:
• service and emotional support animals be personally supervised by the handler, and the handler must retain full control of the animal at all times while on University property;
• no service or emotional support animals disrupt or interfere with University activities, including teaching, research or service; and
• if improper behavior happens more than once, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal onto University property.
If a service or emotional support animal is prohibited from campus, the University encourages students to contact the Office of Disability Services to determine alternative reasonable accommodations.”
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are allowed to enter all public spaces that a human would be allowed to enter, and it’s illegal for a business to deny them access. Interfering with the work of a service animal is a class A misdemeanor and requesting that the service animal leave the premises is legal only if the animal is not behaving well.
A petition aimed at bringing Dondeville and Cookie back on campus and back to class has gained over one thousand signatures.