“…What I found out is, when you check your pet, you run the exact same risk of them not showing up as you do with your luggage. That’s kind of sobering,” said Michael Jarboe, whose dog, a Neapolitan mastiff named Bam Bam, died during a late August flight.
Jarboe decided to share his story days after model Maggie Rizer blamed United for the death of her two-year-old golden retriever Bea on a flight last month.
“We have been in contact with Mr. Jarboe and are saddened by the loss of his dog, Bam Bam. The safety of the animals we transport is always considered first and foremost when making decisions regarding their routing and carriage,” United said in a statement to NBC News.
Jarboe and his partner flew from Miami to San Francisco with Bam Bam on Aug. 28, with a layover in Houston. The two-and-a-half-year-old dog had flown four times before without any problems, Jarboe said.
Jarboe, who lives in Miami Beach, Fla., said he chose United because of its “PetSafe” program, which promises compartments in the cargo hold are pressurized and climate-controlled.
He said the layover in Houston was about three hours. Temperatures that day rose to 95 degrees.
When they arrived in San Francisco, they were told the dog had died. United paid for a necropsy, which determined the cause of death was acute cardiovascular collapse.
Before his death, Bam Bam had flown four times before — twice on United — without any problems.
United said Bam Bam was transported to a holding area during the layover, but according to Jarboe, employees did not use the climate-controlled vehicle dogs are usually transported in.
The airline has refunded the dog’s fare ($650, each way), and is working with Jarboe on additional compensation.
Between January 2012 and July 2012, 17 pets died and another 17 were injured on commercial airlines, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2011, 35 pets died while flying, but only two of those were on United, which had the lowest number of animal deaths that year.
(Photos: Michael Jarboe)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, airlines, animals, bam bam, cargo, death, dog, dogs, heat, hold, houston, layover, mastiff, michael jarboe, neapolitan mastiff, necropsy, pets, travel, united, united airlines
The two-year-old dog died while in the cargo hold of a United fight from New York City to San Francisco.
According to a necropsy by her veterinarian, heat stroke was the cause.
Rizer said both Bea and her other dog, Albert, had been cleared by a veterinarian just four days before she flew home about two weeks ago to California after vacationing on the East Coast.
When Rizer and her husband, businessman Alex Mehran, landed in San Francisco, United workers told them Bea had died. One of them, she says, told her, ”This happens a lot.”
“I was completely hysterical, I’m surprised I didn’t get arrested,” Rizer told the New York Daily News.
Rizer also claims that workers lied to her, saying Bea had been taken for a necropsy when she was actually still in the cargo area.
Bea’s body was given to the family later that day, and an autopsy by a family vet showed she had died of heat stroke, said Rizer, a covergirl who modeled for Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Calvin Klein.
A United spokesperson said the airline has transported more than 550,000 pets, with less than .1% of those resulting in deaths.
“That said, I just want to make it clear this isn’t something we’re not sympathetic to, certainly when it does happen it’s devastating,” spokesperson Mary Ryan said.
United is reviewing the incident, and has returned the $1,800 Rizer paid to transport her dog.
(Photo: Maggie Rizer and Bea, via Twitter)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airlines, animals, bea, cargo, dead, death, dies, dogs, flights, golden retriever, heat, heat stroke, hold, maggie rizer, model, pets, supermodel, united airlines
Two women who were moving their rescue operation from California to Virginia were arrested after police discovered more than 100 dogs in the back of their rented U-Haul truck.
Bonnie Sheehan, 55, and Pamela A. King-McCracken, 59, both of Long Beach, Calif., were each charged with 128 counts of aggravated animal cruelty, a Class E felony, and were jailed on $100,000 bond each in Fayette County, Tennessee.
West Tennessee highway troopers found 127 dogs in all, including one who had died. Most were locked in the back of the truck — some in crates, some not.
A few dogs and one cat were in a minivan being towed behind the truck.
Sheehan is the founder of Hearts for Hounds, which describes itself on its website as a non-profit organization that has rescued and placed more than 17,000 dogs into permanent homes.
“We are a pack of humans trying to make a difference in the dog world!” says the website, which was offline yesterday. “Our goal is to find a loving home for every dog we rescue.”
A state trooper pulled the truck over Tuesday for tailgating, and inspected its cargo area after detecting a foul odor coming from it. Upon finding the animals he moved the truck to a Pilot Travel Center parking lot off Interstate 40′s exit 42 in Fayette County, where the dogs could be dealt with away from the Interstate.
Officers described seeing urine and feces all over the cargo compartment and no food or water for the animals, according to a district attorney’s office press release.
Sheehan and King-McCracken, who both showed California identification, told investigators they were en route from Long Beach, Calif., to Roanoke, Virginia.
“I have seen animals like this when we raided a puppy mill a few years ago,” Fayette County Animal Rescue agent Gina Thweatt told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “But as far as transporting them like this? No… not where they literally could not get any air or circulation.”
The dogs had been locked in the truck and van since Saturday without food or water, police said.
Animal shelter officials said the dogs and cat would be taken to shelters in the Memphis area.
(Top photo by Kyle Kurlick / Memphis Commercial Appeal)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, bonnie sheehan, california, cargo, charges, dead, death, dogs, fayette county, feces, food, hearts for hounds, lack, long beach, neglect, pamela king-mccracken, pets, rescue, rescue organization, roanoke, shelby county, shelter, tennessee, truck, u-haul, virginia, water
When she persisted, insisting the pointer needed help and would likely die in flight, she was fired.
Yesterday, her employer, Airport Terminal Services Inc., based in St. Louis, said she would be reinstated, with back pay.
Sally Leible, president of the firm, said Jones actions were courageous and the reaction of some management employees was regrettable. She told the Reno Gazette Journal the incident will be used as “teachable moment” for employees.
On Nov. 15, Jones raised enough of a stink about the suffering dog to get airport police to call Washoe County Regional Animal Services, which took custody of the pointer and provided it with veterinary care. The dog apparently was later shipped to its Texas owner, a hunter who keeps it in a kennel and has it shipped to the places he hunts.
The listless and sore-covered dog was lying in a pet carrier in the cargo area of the airport when Jones first saw it.
“The dog was so weak and torn up. It didn’t look like it could survive the flight,” she told the Gazette Journal.
Jones said her supervisor told her to load the dog on the plane because the animal’s paperwork was in order and its condition wasn’t her concern.
“I was crying,” she said. “I kept saying that dog could not be put on a plane.” She said she was fired on the spot by the supervisor, who yelled “‘That’s it, you’re done, you are out of here, go home.”
Jones is a former blackjack dealer, has three dogs of her own, and once owned a dog grooming service. Even before getting her job back, she said she didn’t regret having taken a stand.
“I loved my job at the airport,” she said. ” … But I just couldn’t turn my back on that dog … My supervisor said it wasn’t my concern, but animal abuse is everyone’s concern who sees it.”
(Photo: Lynn Jones with her three dogs, Junior, Manny and Jewel, from left; by Marilyn Newton / Reno Gazette Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airport, airport police, airport terminal services, baggage handler, cargo, condition, dog, fired, flight, hunter, hunting dog, injured, job, lynn jones, pointer, reinstatated, reno, suffering, tahoe, washoe county regional animal services
As we reported last summer, short-snouted dogs run a far higher risk of death when it comes to air travel, with bulldogs heading the list of cargo hold fatalities, according to federal government statistics.
Bulldogs, pugs and other snub-nosed breeds for whom its harder to take in oxygen accounted for about half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years, the data showed.
Since then two air lines have stop accepting bulldogs as passengers, most recently Delta, which based on its review of animal incidents last year, has opted to no longer carry American, English and French bulldogs.
Of the 16 pets that died on Delta flights in 2010, six were bulldogs.
Animal advocates are praising the decision, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“We’re pleased that Delta is being attentive and responsive to the particular animal welfare concerns with bulldogs,” said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States. Shipping pets in cargo holds “really should only be a last resort, when absolutely necessary,” he said.
Other major carriers have restrictions on bulldogs and some other breeds, or decline to carry any pets in their cargo holds. AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines only accept pets that fit in under-seat carriers. American Airlines stopped carrying snub-nosed dogs and cats last November.
Delta had already restricted a wide range of snub-nosed breeds from flying in hot weather, including pit bulls, pugs and Persian cats.
U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that 122 dogs died on airlines from May 2005 to May 2010. Of those, 25 were English bulldogs and six were French bulldogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air lines, air travel, airlines, american bulldogs, animals, bans, breeds, bulldogs, cargo, cargo hold, deaths, delta, dogs, english bulldogs, flying, french bulldogs, health, pets, pugs, restrictions, safety, short, snout, snub-nosed, travel
Snickers died last week, shortly after arrival at the Hartford airport aboard Delta Flight 738.
Airline officials had promised Heather Lombardi, who had purchased the cat from a breeder in Utah and was having her delivered, that the cargo hold the cat would travel in was climate controlled.
If you can’t guess what happened next, here’s some additional information:
Snickers was 11 weeks old.
Snickers was a Sphynx, or hairless cat.
It is winter, and a particularly cold one.
Once a plane lands, the cargo area is depressurized, and that climate control stuff doesn’t apply anymore.
Lombardi sent out an email blast to tell the world about “the worst tragedy I have ever personally experienced” — not to gain pity, or money, or, we’d hope, bolster her odds in a lawsuit. Instead, she says, she wanted to inform the world of the dangers of shipping a cat, by air, in winter.
With her two children, Lombardi arrived at the airport and was told to wait in the baggage area. Fifty minutes passed after the flight landed, the delay in unloading baggage being caused at least partly by a cargo hold latch that was stuck, she was told.
“I wasn’t incredibly alarmed … I figured she would be fine as long as she wasn’t outdoors,” wrote Lombardi, who paid $290 to transport Snickers. Outdoors, it was 7 degrees.
Upon being handed the crate, Lombardi opened it and pulled Snickers out:
“The kitten was ICE cold, limp, and unresponsive. I IMMEDIATELY put her into my coat, grabbed my kids by the hands & ran out of the airport to get her into my car & cranked up the heat putting all vents on her as I rubbed her trying to warm her up. She couldn’t lift or control any limbs, her breathing was labored, she had a blank stare in her eyes, and she let out a meow. As if to say help me — please. We rushed her to the emergency vet clinic, but to my utter devastation, on the drive, she let out a blood curdling cry & went completely limp …”
Ten minutes after handing the apparently lifeless cat to the vet, Lombardi was informed that Snickers was indeed dead.
“Her last hour of life was spent frozen & unable to escape. I am so utterly devastated — I cannot express to anyone how this feels. I am so sad for her, her little 11 week life lost for no reason. A tragedy that could have been prevented if the airline had valued her little promising life.”
Delta told her it is investigating, but, she said, “the bottom line is that they can’t bring her back to me or my family, there is nothing they can say or do to make this whole. We don’t want a new kitten; we fell in love with HER. She was our new child & there is nothing that can be done to bring her home to us. Snickers lost her life unnecessarily … Value life everyone, I have just experienced something I pray no one else has too. Don’t let Snickers lost life be in vain, I pray you guys read this & maybe another animals life won’t be lost to the cold & lonely Delta Cargo holds.”
Reading over her summary of events, what stuns me most is that a customer would even consider having an 11-week-old hairless cat transported by air in the dead of winter. That the breeder would permit it is surprising as well. That Delta signed off on it is equally shocking.
So, much as we regret Snickers’ passing, we, unlike Lombardi, wouldn’t aim our anger solely at Delta. There appear to be plenty of humans to share the blame, including the one who — though her subsequent warning not to ship animals when it’s below 30 degrees is valid — probably should have done a little more research and used a little more common sense before having her new hairless cat placed on a plane.
And we have to wonder a little bit, too — coldhearted as it may be at her time of clearly anguishing loss — why, any allergies aside, someone would opt for a pricey, high-maintenance novelty pet from the other side of the country when hundreds of cats are in the Hartford area’s animal shelters, waiting for homes.
Heather Lombardi responds:
“… I first wanted to thank you for bringing attention to what happened to Snickers. Knowledge is power & even if you don’t agree with my actions & poor decision, not everyone knows or understands the risks of placing your pets in a climate controlled cargo hold. I myself was guilty of that. I do not place blame solely on Delta, my lack of knowledge & belief that travel was safe for animals in this weather was the obvious reason she was on the flight. It’s why I decided to share her story. She died due to my lack of knowledge & an obvious service failure on Delta’s behalf. I can’t control Delta, their practices or policies, what I can control is how I handle the situation. I choose to raise awareness, and I thank you for helping with that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: age, air travel, airplanes, airport, animals, blast, breeders, cargo, cargo hold, cat, cold, death, delta, email, exposure, grief, hair, hairless, hartford, heather lombardi, kitten, loss, mourning, novelty, pets, shipping, snickers, sphynx, transporting, travel, traveling with pets, winter, young
A shipper last week checked 14 puppies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a flight to Chicago, according to SmartTravel.com. Despite the airline’s policy against carrying pets when outside temperatures are expected to exceed 85 degrees, the puppies were in the cargo hold as temperatures on the tarmac rose to 87 degrees by the time the delayed flight departed.
When the flight arrived in Chicago, the puppies were lethargic and in visible distress. They were taken to a vet’s office, but five died initially and two others died later, according to the Associated Press.
The airline declined to identify the shipper, or the breed of the puppies. Animals traveling as cargo on American must be at least eight weeks old, and the airline doesn’t allow dogs or cats that have been sedated.
An airline spokesperson said cargo holds carrying animals are routinely kept between 50 and 70 degrees.
But experts — and statistics – say we shouldn’t count on that.
The deaths come a month after the U.S. Department of Transportation warned that short-snouted dogs such as pugs and bulldogs accounted for about half of the 122 dogs that died during U.S. flights in the last five years.
Add in the tales of dogs getting lost at airports and the best advice is to, whenever possible, avoid shipping a pet as air cargo. There are other alternatives — from using Pet Airways, where pets ride in crates in the cabin, to driving, as Ed Perkins of SmartTravel.com notes in a recent column.
The ASPCA recommends that owners avoid shipping pets in the cargo hold, and offers these tips for those who can’t.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, american, american airlines, animals, cargo, cargo hold, chicago, deaths, died, dogs, fly, flying, heat, pets, puppies, pups, short, snouts, temperatures, transportation, travel, warning
Bulldogs, pugs, and other short-of-snout breeds accounted for about half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years, the data shows.
Overall, 122 dog deaths — 108 of them purebreds — were reported between May 2005, when U.S. airlines were required to start disclosing them, and May 2010, the Transportation Department says.
All the dogs died while being shipped as cargo, as opposed to flying in the cabin.
English bulldogs accounted for the highest number, with 25 deaths. Second highest were pugs, 11 of which died. Seven golden retrievers, six French bulldogs and four American Staffordshire terriers died while flying as cargo in that period. And boxers, cockapoos, Pekingese and Pomeranians accounted for two deaths each.
You can see the full list here.
The Department of Transportation says dog owners should consult with veterinarians before putting their dogs on planes. It believes that the deaths represent a tiny percentage of the pets shipped on airlines.
Short-nose breeds — known as “brachycephalic” — in addition to being less tolerant of heat, have a skull formation that affects their airways, Dan Bandy, chairman of the Bulldog Club of America’s health committee, told the Associated Press.
“The way all dogs cool themselves is basically through respiration, either just panting or the action of breathing in or out, is a method of heat exchange for them,” Bandy said. “A dog that has a long snout or a long muzzle has more surface area within its nasal cavity for that heat exchange to take place. So breeds like labradors or collies or those types of dogs with the long muzzles have a more efficient cooling system.”
Bandy said that in addition to trying to cool themselves, dogs may also pant excessively in the cargo hold because of stress or excitement. But he believes dogs shouldn’t be given tranquilizers before flying because that makes them less able to manage their own cooling process. In addition, airlines generally do not want pets tranquilized, he added.
In all, 144 pet deaths were reported by airlines over the past five years, along with 55 injuries and 33 lost pets.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airline, animals, boxers, bulldogs, cargo, deaths, dog, dogs, federal, flight, flights, flying, government, health, length, news, nose, pekingese, pets, pugs, purebred, risk, safety, short, snout, transportation, travel
Due to the allergy risks they pose, pets should be banned from airline passenger cabins, some Canadian doctors say.
In an editorial in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, the physicians called for restricting pets from airplane passenger cabins, warning that exposure to animals can lead to discomfort, asthma attacks or even life-threatening reactions in some.
The editorial was in response to Air Canada’s decision last summer to start allowing small pets, including cats, dogs and birds, to travel in the passenger cabin, the New York Times reports.
One in 10 people have allergies to animals, and for some, exposure to dogs and cats can set off an asthma attack or a life-threatening reaction like anaphylaxis, said Dr. Matthew B. Stanbrook, the journal’s deputy scientific editor and an asthma specialist.
“Pets can be accommodated comfortably and safely in airplane cargo holds, which is where they belong,” the doctors wrote.
I know all the airlines say that, but, in addition to the cases in which that has proved not to be the case, I have one more reason to doubt it: If it were true, I’m sure they would be squeezing us human passengers in there as well.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, airlines, allergies, allergy, animals, cabin, canada, canadian, canadian medical association, cargo, cats, doctors, dogs, editorial, journal, passengers, pets, risk, travel
Pet Airways, of Delray Beach, said Thursday it will begin operating weekly flights July 14 between New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.
The airline will use commuter planes operated by Suburban Airlines and the average fare will be about $250 each way, said Alysa Binder, founder and executive vice president.
There are tentative plans to expand to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and other major cities by the end of the year, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The start-up of Pet Airways comes as major commercial airlines have increased their pet travel fees and tightened restrictions to discourage pets flying in cabins. Pets flying Pet Airways will not travel in the cargo hold.
“For us, it’s all about the safety and the comfort of the pets,” Binder said.
Pet Airways “pawsengers” – as Binder calls them – will fly in a 19-seat turbo-prop passenger plane, the Beech 1900. The seats will be removed and planes will be fully-lit and climate-controlled. The airline will have pet check-in lounges and a Web site where customers can book reservations and track their pet’s travel progress.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, airlines, airplane, alysa binder, cabin, cargo, cat, cats, chicago, delray beach, denver, dog, dogs, fares, fees, flights, fly, los angeles, new york, passenger, pet airways, pets, plane, suburban airlines, washington