Gabriel Bogner took his Great Dane pet on a flight from LA to New York.
The 27-year-old’s dog called Darwin was deemed too large to fit in a crate in the cargo hold.
Bogner said he’s received an online backlash since posting a TikTok of the flight.
A man who took his 140-pound Great Dane on a flight from Los Angeles to New York said he’s faced a torrent of online backlash and harassment since he posted a TikTok showing the trip.
Gabriel Bogner paid for a row of seats for himself and his dog Darwin on an American Airlines flight after she was deemed too big to fit into a crate in the airplane’s cargo hold, he said.
“People were absolutely gobsmacked and shocked, but everyone was so excited to see her. I’ve never seen so many people smiling at an airport,” he told South West News Service, per The New York Post.
But Bogner’s TikTok post of the trip, which has received over 18 million views, also attracted controversy.
In a follow-up post, Bogner said that while he thought his video had “made most people smile,” it had apparently made others “quite angry,” adding that he had become the target of online harassment following the video.
He claims that some people had said they would report him to the government while others were leaving “mean” comments on his personal Instagram after they took issue with him calling Darwin a service animal.
In the video, Bogner gives a rundown of his relationship with Darwin to try and address some of the comments he’s received.
He explains that he registered the dog as an emotional support animal immediately after getting her as a puppy to help with his anxiety and that she now helps him manage the symptoms of his Crohn’s disease by placing her head on his stomach when he’s in pain and accompanying him to the bathroom.
He adds that his physicians told him she qualified as a service animal, which he says appeared to have “offended many people.”
“All of this BS from some of these faceless profiles online is just another form of ableism and, quite frankly, bullying,” Bogner says in the video. “I was just trying to make a light-hearted, cute video.”
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines service animals “as dogs individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”
It says dogs that only “provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”
Bogner did not reply to a request for an interview with Insider.