The October, 2005 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of August, 2005.
Detail of the Incidents
American Airlines, Death - Cockapoo Dog: Three dogs were transported on American Airlines flight 2282. Upon arrival one of the dogs was found deceased. The necropsy found that the dog died of natural causes and transport on American Airlines was not at fault. The other two dogs arrived safely.
American Airlines, Death - English Bulldog: Two dogs arrived in San Francisco from JFK. One of the dogs was found to be breathing heavily and to have vomited. The dog died shortly after arrival. The owner would not release the results of the necropsy, so no further information is known.
Continental Airlines, Injury - Dalmatian, Blue Heeler Mix: The dog escaped from its kennel upon arrival to Houston. While running lose, it injured a paw. It was treated at Continental's expense and finished its trip the next day. The kennel was not secured with cable ties, which is Continental's policy.
Continental Airlines, Injury - German Pointer: The dog received slight injuries to her mouth while trying to escape from the kennel. The Owner took the dog to the vet at their own expense.
Continental Airlines, Death - Labrador Retriever: The dog arrived at Newark deceased. A necropsy was performed and the examining veterinary stated that the dog likely died from a preexisting cardiovascular problem causing acute cardiovascular collapse. No correction action was taken by Continental.
Continental Airlines, Death - Golden Retriever: Two dogs were flown non-stop from Newark, NJ to San Francisco, CA. Upon arrival one of the dogs was deceased. The other dog arrived safe. A Necropsy was performed and the results indicated that the dog died from pre-existing cardiac disease that resulted in acute shock and cardiac failure.
Horizon Airlines, Injury - Bichon Frise: The pet owner called after the flight to report that the dog was limping and would be taken to the vet. No further information is available at this time.
US Airways, Injury - Small Dog: The dog was loaded into the incorrect compartment of the aircraft that did not have heat. In addition the incorrect code was entered that would have alerted the crew to this problem. The dog arrived very cold and shivering at its destination.
US Airways, Loss - Cat: Two cats were checked in one kennel (against policies). The cats were loaded on the wrong flight. Upon arrival to the incorrect destination, the crate failed and one of the cats escaped.
None of the deaths this month seem to have been the direct result of any mis-action on the part of the airlines, though the number of "natural cause" deaths are beginning to indicate that the stress of air travel can push some pets past the limits that might be found in a normal home environment.
Two of the injuries seem to be the result of pets not being correctly acclimatized to their kennels and hurting themselves trying to escape, though the Continental injury might have been avoided if they had followed their policy of securing the kennel door with cable ties. The incident with the dog being put in the incorrect hold is clearly the fault of the airlines, and is even more disappointing as it seems that several opportunities were missed to correct the problem before the plane left the ground.
The airline report on the lost cat indicated that the kennel was a snap together kind and it fell apart. It is not clear if rough handling was involved, but it does point to the need to have a air worthy shipping crate. Some airlines will not allow snap together kennels. It would also appear that the shipper might have some responsibility in placing two cats in a carrier when the airline rules only allow for one, and the airline for not catching this mistake.