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Dogs on a train: Amtrak conductor claims she was ‘suddenly’ bitten onboard

Amtrak conductors are facing a ruff time on the rails, a railroad employee claims in a lawsuit.

Loretta Lacy was collecting tickets just after 9 p.m. on an Albany-bound train as it approached Yonkers when she “suddenly and without warning . . . felt a sharp, excruciating pain on her ankle,” she said in court papers.

Lacy, 52, turned around to see the source of her agony: a passenger’s pooch had sunk its teeth into her.

It’s one of “numerous attacks” by pooches onboard Amtrak trains, Lacy contends in her Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit against the railroad.

Dogs brought on the trains by riders “had bitten both passengers and crew members; and Amtrak was aware of these prior incidents and the unsafe conditions,” according to court papers.

The owner of the toothy pup allegedly refused to restrain their dog or cooperate, and was escorted off the train by police, Lacy said in the litigation.

An Amtrak conductor has filed a lawsuit after she was allegedly bitten by a dog on a train.
Michael McWeeney

Lacy said the painful September 2022 incident left her needing a tetanus shot, medication, and treatment by a psychologist and is seeking unspecified damages from Amtrak for allegedly failing to prevent “a hazardous and dangerous condition.”

The conductor also accuses the railroad of “failing to require” written verification that dogs onboard trains are service animals.

Dogs and cats in carriers are allowed on Amtrak trains, as long as the combined weight of the pet and crate is under 20 pounds, according to the railroad.

Amtrak has allegedly had numerous incidents of dog bites on board trains, according to a lawsuit.

Federal law requires service animals be under an owner’s control and “be harnessed, leashed or tethered,” unless a person’s disabilities prevent the use of such devices.

Lawyers for Lacy didn’t return messages.

Amtrak, which said it didn’t keep statistics on dog bites on its trains, declined comment on the litigation.