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 John Woestendiek 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