Allison Gaiser, 44, allegedly ditched her brown-and-white male French bulldog at Pittsburgh International Airport on 4 August after she was denied boarding by the airline because it did not meet the criteria for an emotional support animal, the Allegheny county police said on Thursday.
She also did not have a proper kennel required to bring the animal onto a flight, the authorities said.
After leaving the ticket counter, Ms 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 later moved to an area where a county police officer found the dog unattended in the stroller about 40 minutes later at around 5.03am, authorities said.
The dog, which was licensed and had an identification microchip, was found unharmed and turned over to an animal care facility. He was later sent to a foster home and is doing well, the police said.
Authorities were waiting for Ms Gaiser when she returned to the airport about 12.30am on 10 August.
She admitted leaving the dog behind because the airline wouldn’t allow it on the plane but claimed to have made arrangements with her mother to pick up the animal at the airport, according to the Associated Press.
She allowed the police to review text messages between her and her mother, but authorities said it was apparent that no immediate arrangement was made for Ms Gaiser’s mother to pick up the dog.
The mother said she only found out about the incident when Ms Gaiser’s ex-husband shared a news story about the dog being left at the airport.
Ms Gaiser has been charged with one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, summary violations of animal cruelty, animal neglect and abandonment of animals by owner.
Her initial court hearing is scheduled for 16 October.
“There are many pets still looking for a home, and we would encourage anyone interested in adoption to reach out to Animal Friends at 412-847-7000,” the police department said on Facebook.