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  1. #1
    MisterK's Avatar
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    Pet Owner Suing Airline Over Traveling Dog's Death

    SAN FRANCISCO A pet owner sued American Airlines on Wednesday after his English bulldog died following a cross-country flight.

    Terrence Ing, 29, claims airline employees refused to provide a veterinarian and other care after the dog became sick. He is seeking unspecified damages.

    Tim Smith, a spokesman for American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp. (AMR), declined to comment on the allegations but defended the company's pet transport practices.

    According to the suit, Ing flew 2-year-old Willie from New York to San Francisco on Aug. 2. When Ing went to retrieve him, the dog did not come when he was called, said Ing's attorney, Corey Evans.

    Employees said a veterinarian would arrive in five minutes, but one was never called, the suit alleges.

    Workers then took Willie to a hangar off limits to Ing, who did not see the dog for another five hours, the suit says. By then the dog was dead.

    It was unclear why Willie died, Evans said. Animal paramedics said the dog may have survived had employees provided adequate care, the suit said.

    This irks me as I'm a travel agent. Anyone who doesn't realize that there is a danger to flying your pet is deluding themselves.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,189643,00.html
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  2. #2
    Indy Guest
    In addition to what you said, any pet owner (of these breeds) who doesn't know it's even more dangerous to fly snub nosed breeds like bulldogs, pugs, etc...is an idiot.

    All airline regulations I've read specify that those breeds have a particularly difficult time breathing when stressed, though I suppose it's possible this particular one didn't.

    The reality of the situation is that the dog likely would have died whether a vet arrived in 5 minutes or not. Sad loss for the owner though.

  3. #3
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Why did they take the dog to an area off limits to the owner for 5 hours though? Why didn't they at least let him take the dog to a vet? Why did they tell him that a vet would be there when none was called? If the dog died from not being able to breathe because of stress, taking him from the owner to some unk location sure isn't going to help. If the dog was alive when he arrived and stress was the problem, being with the owner might have saved the dog.

    Even if that particular breed has trouble flying, it appears the airline didn't do much to help.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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  4. #4
    Indy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt
    Why did they take the dog to an area off limits to the owner for 5 hours though?

    5 hours, not 5 minutes. That'll teach me to read the article closer.

    That does change things. While the owner should be held somewhat accountable for attempting to fly the dog in the first place, no way in hell would I let any dog of mine in bad shape be removed from my sight for 5 hours. And if someone took them and told me a vet had been called, thereby causing me to not call one for assistance, I'd likely sue as well.

  5. #5
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy
    That does change things. While the owner should be held somewhat accountable for attempting to fly the dog in the first place, no way in hell would I let any dog of mine in bad shape be removed from my sight for 5 hours.
    I wouldn't have let them take my dog again, period. Especially if he was sick.

    But I wonder if the airline told him about the danger? If the dog was a pet, the owner may not have read up on everything about the breed. I didn't read much about my dog until she developed some allergies and I needed to. She's just a pet and a friend of mine. I didn't know that it was unsafe to put a dog on a plane, although I wouldn't do it anyway. I see what happens to my baggage, I don't want to put my dog through that.

    But back to topic, the danger of flying pets isn't publicized by the airlines, or at least I've never seen it. I've watched people ahead of me in line check a dog or cat in a kennel and never heard any warning from the airline clerk.

    I don't know how someone could be deluding themselves if no one tells them. The airlines and such give the impression it's perfectly safe.
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  6. #6
    MisterK's Avatar
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    Maybe that is just me then. Every pet I fly I let the person know about the dangers and that there is no guarantee.

    If possible I try to talk them out of it. Many airlines won't fly pets for a multitude of reasons either because of routings (London) or heat or departure.

    Usually I try and steer them towards Pet Air even though it costs as much as a regular ticket.
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  7. #7
    Daynathepayna is offline bad to the bone
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    OK so what exactly are the dangers of letting your pet fly? Is it the conditions of the area that they put the animals in or their inability to withstand altitude? I have often wondered about these things as I have taken short flights with my cats.

  8. #8
    Indy Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Daynathepayna
    OK so what exactly are the dangers of letting your pet fly? Is it the conditions of the area that they put the animals in or their inability to withstand altitude? I have often wondered about these things as I have taken short flights with my cats.
    It is the handling of the carrier to get into the plane, the temperatures in the cargo area, the danger of improperly secured luggage damaging your pets crate, and thus, your pet...

    In addition, I can not tell you how many breeders I know that have had issues with puppies getting shipped from point A to point B and arriving at the correct time in the correct place. They ALL ship direct non stop flights now and stand there and watch the dog get loaded onto the plane.

    The one time I had to fly a dog with me cargo style (from FL here to IN), they checked in his carrier and my luggage, then let me sit with him in the hallway seating area between the main airport and outside. Otherwise he would have been sitting in a crate god knows where. They kept him inside the airport in his crate while we passengers boarded the plane. I had a window seat and could see him driven out, seperately, from the luggage. He was loaded last and I watched the crate go up the belt and into the plane. So I knew that at least at that point, he was ON the plane. You'd be surprised how often even THAT doesn't go right!

    As far as the snub nosed breeds go, here's some reading for you:
    http://www.khojhyd.com/pets/dogs/travelling.htm

    Specifically regarding the short nosed breeds, bulldog included:
    "Pug-nosed dogs shouldn't be flown in the cargo area. These dogs have short nasal passages, which limit their intake of oxygen. The noxious fumes of the cargo hold can severely limit their supply of oxygen, leaving them highly susceptible to injury."

    ETA: if the animal is flying cargo, I don't see any problem with it. So if your cats are in carriers in the actual passenger section with you, they should be fine.
    Last edited by Indy; 03-30-06 at 11:20 PM.

  9. #9
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    I generally leave my guys at home if at ALL possible. Yes, they'll be mad that I left them with a sitter, but they'd be PISSED if I made them go through all that instead of letting them stay home and abuse the house and sitter in my absence.
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