LONDON A bus company has apologised to a girl who is led around on a leash by her boyfriend and describes herself as a human pet after one of its drivers threw her off a bus.
Tasha Maltby, 19, told British newspapers she was the "pet" of her 25-year-old fiance Dani Graves.
Pictures showed her dressed in black Gothic-style clothing with silver buckles on a silver chain -- which the driver of a bus from the firm Arriva took exception to.
She told the Daily Mail on Wednesday she was thrown off and told: "We don't let freaks and dogs like you on."
Arriva would not comment on specifics but said it apologised if the couple felt they had been discriminated against. It added, however, that the driver was worried about safety and the company told Maltby to take the leash off in the future.
"We have spoken to the driver who has talked about health and safety," a spokesman said. "Should she be attached to a chain and something happens on the bus, that could be dangerous. All we are saying is that she is very welcome to use the buses but not when she is on her lead."
Maltby -- who lives on state benefits and got engaged in November -- said her choice of lifestyle might seem unusual but was harmless.
"I am a pet," she told the Daily Mail. "I generally act animal-like and I lead a really easy life. I don't cook or clean and I don't go anywhere without Dani. It might seem strange but it makes us both happy. It's my culture and my choice. It isn't hurting anyone."
(Editing by Michael Winfrey)