August 2005 Airline Pet Travel Report

The August, 2005 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of June, 2005.

Detail of the Incidents

Alaska Airlines, Loss - Domestic short hair cat: Information provided indicated that a cat escaped from its kennel once, was returned to the kennel and the kennel was reinforced. While in a holding area at another airport it escaped again and was not found after 2 weeks of keeping traps out. The cause was listed as insufficient kennel.

American Airlines, Death - Persian Male Cat: The cat was found deceased as it was removed from the aircraft. A Necropsy was performed and was inconclusive on the cause of death, but revealed cat had preexisting heart condition. The report stated the clinical effects of the heart disease could have been exacerbated by the stress of transportation.

Continental , Death - Chow/Lab mix: A dog on a Washington, DC to Houston flight was able to bend the post on the kennel and force her way out. She was free in the cargo hold and when the door was opened in Houston jumped from the plane, injuring a Continental employee and began to run loose of the tarmac. It was captured after about an hour an transported to an emergency clinic where it died the next morning from heat exhaustion as diagnosed by the veterinarian. The report notes that Continental requires cable ties on kennel door and it intends to enforce this policy. Continental, Injury - Calico Female cat: When the cat arrived in Huston employees noticed a small amount of blood on the cat and was transported to a local veterinarian. It is surmised that the cat injured itself trying to unsuccessfully escape from its kennel.

Hawaiian Airlines, Injury - Pomeranian: A passenger picked up his dog and noticed that the kennel was damaged and that there was blood in the kennel. Hawaiian Airlines, Injury - Cat: A passenger picked up his pets and noticed blood on his cat's mouth and kennel.

Midwest Airlines, Death - Pug Type Dog: When a flight from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Phoenix, Arizona a dog in one of the four kennels was found to be motionless. The dog was transported to an emergency veterinarian clinic where it was declared deceased.

Northwest Airlines, Injury - Golden Retriever: Airline employee noticed that the kennel was damaged and the latch was broken. The dog was removed from the kennel and found that it had an injured tooth and toenails. Northwest made contact with a veterinarian and arraignments were made to treat the injuries.

United Airlines, Death - English Bulldog: When the flight arrived in Denver from Pittsburgh, the dog was found deceased. The necropsy stated that death was due to congestion in the lungs and edema. United Airlines, Death - Blue Doberman: When the flight arrived in Chicago, from Hartford the dog was found deceased. A necropsy could not determine a definitive cause of death. No external trauma was noted.

Discussion

I'm a little disappointed in the Hawaiian Airlines report. The reports were very thin on detail in comparison to the other reports. It is also a little disconcerting that the injuries were found by the owners, and not by the airline as seems to be the case with injuries from other airlines.

The death of the pug on the Midwest Airlines flight to Phoenix is disconcerting as well. Midwest Airlines states that they have temperature restrictions above 85F (75F for the short nosed pug). The temperature on Phoenix on June, 11th 2005 was 97F (low was 76F). It is unclear if the Midwest Airline policy is new or if the policy was not followed.

Animals that are not comfortable in their kennels continues to play a major role in the loss, death, and injury of pets during air transport. Though we don't know how well adjusted these animals were to their kennel, or if the trauma of the flight was just too much and they felt they had to flee.

Pet Travel Incidents by Airline during June, 2005.
Airline Losses Injuries Deaths
Alaska Airlines 1 0 0
American Airlines 0 0 1
Continental 0 1 1
Hawaiian Air 0 2 0
Midwest Airlines 0 0 1
Northwest Airlines 0 1 0
United Airlines 0 0 2
Total 1 4 5

See all incidents included in the August, 2005 report.

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Source: August 2005 Air Travel Consumer Report.

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