“…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