September 2007 Airline Pet Travel Report

The September, 2007 Airline Pet Travel Report contains pet incidents for the month of July, 2007.

Alaska Airlines reports the death of a 9-year-old bulldog who was returning from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The dog arrived in Los Angeles, California where it was found dead during unloading of the aircraft. The dog was in Mexico as part of a film shoot and the two trainers who were traveling with it said that it was very warm in Mexico and the dog was having trouble breathing.

Continental reports the death of two dogs. A three year old English bulldog from Los Angeles, to Houston, Texas, and finally to Orlando, Florida where it was found deceased. Continental reports that the temperatures were mild during the overnight flight. A necropsy performed by the owners vet indicated "brachycephalic airway syndrome exacerbated by hyperthermia and stress is more likely to have resulted in the death of this dog."

A two year old American Staffordshire Terrier was found deceased on a Continental flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Houston. Temperatures were not reported to be an issue and a necropsy did not find any obvious cause of death.

Continental lists that they transported 11,886 animals during the month of July.

Delta is two months late with a report of a lost cat in Atlanta, Georgia. The cat was loaded into the aircraft and when the cargo hold door was opened for a final loading the cat escaped its kennel and darted past the loading agent. The kennel did meet IATA requirements. A search for the cat as been unsuccessful so far. The owner of the cat contacted PetFlight shortly after the incident. He stated that he was told that the kennel was knocked off during loading and fell to the ground and the cat escaped. Seems as though the late Delta report might be a bit more sanitized than the owner's comments.

Delta also list the loss of a cat that is really should be listed as a death. On July 28th a 8 year-old cat escaped its kennel while being transported to the aircraft at the Miami International Airport. On August 6th, the cat was spotted and several people attempted to capture the cat, but it can and was struck by a car. A Wildlife Management officer declared the cat dead.

Northwest Airlines notes that a dog in a large kennel sustained a small cut injury to its right paw when it escaped from its kennel during ground handling at Houston. The dog was quickly recovered and placed back in its kennel. Northwest lists both poor kennel design (it was too flexible) and that the gate agent did not follow procedures by securing the kennel with plastic straps.

Pet Travel Incidents by Airline during July, 2007.
Airline Losses Injuries Deaths
Alaska Airlines 0 0 1
Continental 0 0 2
Delta 1 0 1
Northwest Airlines 0 1 0
Total 1 1 4

See all incidents included in the September, 2007 report.

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Source: September 2007 Air Travel Consumer Report.