More Pets Died on Delta Flights in 2011, but Why?

Feb 18, 2012 | Views: 626
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By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Pets

 

 

Are pets really safe when they fly?More pets died on Delta flights last year than on any other airline, a government report reveals. But a closer look at the records shows that the pets’ owners may have been as much to blame as the airline.

The report, issued each year by the U.S. Department of Transportation, shows that 19 of the 35 air-travel-related pet deaths in 2011 took place in the baggage holds of Delta planes, up from 16 in 2010. Five pets were also injured on Delta last year, more than on any other airline.

“The loss of any pet is unacceptable to us,” Delta spokesman Anthony Black told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We are working to improve the processes and procedures to ensure that every pet arrives safely at its destination.” Delta pointed out that it transports more pets than many other airlines (some, like Southwest and AirTran, don’t allow pets to travel in the cargo hold at all), and that less than 0.2 percent of pets that fly Delta have been injured or killed.

Delta representatives denied that the pets had been mishandled, and detailed accounts of each incident seem to confirm that. Several of the pets had medical problems that were disclosed during check-in; other pets were found to have congenital defects, and a few had to be euthanized after self-inflicted injuries in their carriers. Age may have been a factor in some of the deaths, such as those of 17-year-old and 14-year-old cats, and the length of the trips may also have been an issue (13 out of the 19 deaths were on overseas flights). One dog, a mini pincher, died without even making it onto the plane — handlers refused to load him because he was having trouble breathing. Three of the victims were English or French bulldogs, which Delta usually refuses to transport because of the snub-nosed breeds’ respiratory problems.

According to Delta’s guidelines, the airline “does not accept animals which exhibit signs of injury, distress, or are demonstrating efforts to escape and that Delta reserves the right to refuse pets as checked baggage if the health of the animal is in question and/or if the animal’s health may be jeopardized by the extreme conditions.” But a few of the pets that died were over the allowable weight limit, had been sedated, or had recent and obvious injuries, yet had been accepted for transport anyway. Delta also does not allow pets checked as baggage from May 15 through September 15, in order to avoid exposing them to extreme heat in the cargo hold, but eight of the 19 deaths occurred during that time frame last year.

Delta is not the only airline having a problem transporting pets. Last year, five pets died on American Airlines, four on Alaska Airlines, three on continental, and two each on Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines, according to the report. In 2010, seven out of 14 puppies died on an American Airlines flight from Tusla, Oklahoma, to Chicago after it was delayed in hot weather.

This week, United Airlines announced that, starting in March, the carrier and its subsidiaries will transport pets only as cargo rather than checked luggage. The third-party fees are astronomical, they admit, but spokeswoman Mary Ryan told ABC News that pets “will now have a dedicated staff and temperature-controlled vans instead of the inhospitable baggage compartment,” which will “lead to a better experience for pets.”

The Humane Society recommends not transporting pets by air unless absolutely necessary, and suggests bringing small pets with you into the passenger section whenever possible.

If you are planning to travel with pets, take them to the vet for a complete physical first (airlines may require health certificates in order to allow your pet on board, and other countries may have quarantine and vaccination requirements to meet upon arrival). Check with your airline to make sure your pet’s carrier meets their standards, and take the time to familiarize your pet with the carrier before his or her first flight, suggests the experts at WebVet.com. Booking a direct flight will minimize the chances of a missed baggage connection and exposure to extreme temperatures.

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16 Responses to More Pets Died on Delta Flights in 2011, but Why?

  1. mayy on Feb 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Sorry to say that I do not trust airlines/cargo in transporting our pets. Even baggages are treated the way without much care and responsibilities. What more of care from them for pets? In addition, I would be worried about my pets if they were being caged and placed in cargo space..what a distress to them.

  2. Girlie Ooi on Feb 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    @mayy : my sentiments exactly – would not know what happens to our pets when they are in the cargo hold. What if they get treated like luggage, hurled all over the place?

  3. Springflower on Feb 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

    I once transported my darling dog on flight overseas, as I couldnt bear to leave her alone in my home country and I needed to be away for 1 year plus. Although unfortunately later on, my pet needed to fly back after abt a week as the environment was not conducive for her to be there. (To cut the story short).

    A wasteful trip, as my dog needed to go through a lot of tests and paper work and it was costly.

    She was on KLM flight twice within a week. :p

    Sometimes when I see people leaving messages on forum or notice board saying that they are looking for ppl to adopt their dog(s) because ‘the owners are leaving the country’, or, ‘the owner is moving to another housing estate that cannot accept dogs.’. Sometimes it can be true, sometimes it can well be make-up reasons.

    Dogs miss the owners alot when they are abandoned. They cannot speak, but they are loyal and they have feeling.

    I really hope that ppl who wish to have dogs will take good care of them until their last days.

  4. Natalie on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    our family dog used to find it stressful just travelling a few hours in our car to a caravan. It would take him hours to settle afterwards so these poor animals must find it terrifying.

  5. PhillisChin on Feb 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Oh boy!!This is so sad =( But i’m sure we, the owner have the responsibility to familiarize and send them to a vet for a complete check up before sending them. To be frank, if possible i dare not take risk of that.
    Thank you so much Rinpoche for such a important info, you always care so much, thank you *with fold handed*

  6. Wah Ying on Feb 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

    That will be good to have pets on a special cabin with proper seat as passengers instead of “sitting” in baggage compartment. Here are links provide some advices for pet owner to fly their pet: by Humane Society(http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/why_pets_shouldnt_travel_by_air.html), Law for All website – http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/flying-with-pet-faq-29106.html or Info on US airlines-http://www.squidoo.com/petsonaplane

  7. Sharon Saw on Feb 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    When i came back from UK to Malaysia, i brought my dog with me.. he managed the 15 hour flight without problems and fortunately from UK, dogs don’t have to be quarantined so i just checked him in at Heathrow and checked him out at the Malaysian end. We were told that there was a special compartment for pets so he wasn’t in the main baggage compartment. Being a small dog – a chihuahua – i was a bit worried but when i saw him at arrivals, he was bright eyed and bushy tailed so i presume he had a good flight!

  8. Uncle Eddie on Feb 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    A pretty high ratio of death rate at 19 out of 35 air-travel pets to die in 2011 in the baggage holds of Delta Airline – up from 16 in 2010. Delta claims more pets transported by Delta cargo than other Airlines. Though Delta confirmed no mishandling of pets, but suspected that “age” could have been the factor, coupled with the distance travelled that could have been the cause. Apart from Delta, American Airlines, Alaska Airline, and Hawaiian Airlines had experienced Death of pets too while in transit, which could be due to overheating on flights delay as a contributory factor. Last but not least, overweght exceeding allowable limits for the animals and over-sedation were also being suspected. Nevertheless, the newly announced method could serve as a better improvement in the avoidance of pet-deaths in future air travels!

  9. Wan Wai Meng on Mar 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I really hope people always think it is so fun to bring their pets here and there and resulting if not in death, severe amounts of stress for the pets and so on.

  10. Wah Ying on Mar 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi all, just now I came across an article on some necessary steps for safe pet travel, I think you might love to read when you travel with your pet, here’s the link: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/features/article/top-10-tips-flying-with-pets/

  11. Sharon Beavers on Apr 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    This is why when I travel with my little Shih Tzu, she stays with me; I don’t fly with her after May because of the cabin pressure and she’s a short nosed dog, I get her checked out with her vet before hand and have all her papers and I’ve never had a problem; I travel from Florida to Chicago so she can see her grandma!

  12. Wan on Jun 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

    i don’t think i will send my pet to airplane as it take such long hours apart from the submission of related documents. And i won’t know what is going to happen with my pets when i’m sitting comfortably in the same airplane with them.

    I heard many cases of dogs died in the flight so instead of i will be with my pets happily it can turn to be i never be with them again, not even have chance to see them during they depart. How lonely and suffer it can be.

    i wish i will never move to stay in different country or place which i have to take my pets on flight with me. I don’t want to put my pets life in the risk.

  13. Monteiro Neto on Jul 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    In addition to the recommendations in the article, pet owners should choose the shortest flight or most convenient connections. Always plan for a stopover if the flight is too long. For instance, I brought my Great Dane and two cats from the USA to Malaysia. The flights were organized so that there was a long stop over in Europe, so that they could be taken out of the cage, be walked, fed, and have the cage cleaned. Yes, the fees are astronomical. It cost me to bring the pets almost the same as to bring my my furniture. However, they are really worth the effort. make sure that the cages are large enough for them to stand up and turn around. Never ship your pets if they have any health issues. Never sedate them since it inhibits their breathing. Two easy tricks – put a piece of clothe that you wore in their cage. They will feel your smell and therefore will feel less alone and abandoned. It is a kind of connection with you. Also, rub their paws with a soothing oil such as lavender. That will calm them down. Finally, I will NEVER ship anything with DELTA, much less a defenseless sentient being.

  14. Julien Roth on Oct 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    This is terrible, people should not put their pets on airlines anymore, since the people working on the Delta airline are not responsible enough to manage and take good care of the pets on board the plane, they should not transport pets or any animals to begin with.

    If i found out that pets have been dying on board these planes, i would never put my pet into the hands of these people. I wont be able to stand knowing that my pet had died on board a plane where the staff did not have given responsibility towards my pet.

  15. bk on Oct 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    It took weeks for my dog to get used to sitting in her carrier in the car. Even then, journeys of more than an hour take a toll on her, and she gets sick after awhile. I’m sure the experience is much much worse in the plane, as the dogs will be stuffed amongst luggage without an owner present to give them some comfort.

    And as for the air pressure, even some humans find it difficult to adjust the pressure in their ears. We see babies crying during take-off and landing because of the air pressure problem. So what of dogs? If we were able to see into the cabin, I’m sure we would see the dogs and cats crying too.

    Airlines should not transport animals unless they can provide the correct care for them. Imagine what would happen if humans regularly died on board? The airline would be grounded for investigation, and maybe even banned! So why dont they extend the same concern to the animals, who are paying passengers?

  16. Sean Wang on Nov 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I do not trust airlines in transporting our pets. Even baggages are treated the way without much care and responsibilities. Why should I trust them with my best friend, my pets. Hmm….. I would rather buy a seat for my pet and just make sure it stays quiet.

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    Dato' Ruby won the Bella Awards!
    1 years ago
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    This is a wonderful video for Moh Mei because she is sleeping in the KECHARA FOREST RETREAT CONTAINERS all alone...ehehehhehe...this is a new friend to keep her company....tsem rinpoche
    1 years ago
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    Answer to Jo
    1 years ago
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    The 2 tortoises in Tsem Ladrang, Kadro and Menlha are enjoying their fresh veggie meal.
    2 yearss ago
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    Organic vegetables at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss ago
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    This is Dorje our friendly fish that lives with us. He captured my attention the first time because he was exceptionally friendly. TR
    2 yearss ago
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    Mumus go bye bye!!!
    2 yearss ago
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    SP's mom said that she is from Penang. This is her first trip to bodhgaya, and she truly finds bodhgaya is very holy and spiritual.
    2 yearss ago
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    Very touching video...Buddha said it was very important to visit the four holy places associated with Him before our deaths. Remembering this, I had instructed Paul to take this senior group to Bodhgaya and make sure they are able to plant imprints. When this life of 'fun', money, parties and socials are over, we cannot leave empty handed. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    Our two rescued tortoises who live at Tsem Ladrang happily and will be transferred to Kechara Forest Retreat where they will have much more space to roam and run. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    Aki is the old African Grey that was abandoned by his owner. Because he is old, no one wanted him. Well we wanted him and we took him and in and love him. He is in a big aviary and he likes his cage. We leave his cage open at all times so he can go in and out as he likes. His cage is his security blanket. Cute. He gets nice food and sunshine daily and also we play monks chanting for him to be blessed. We love you Aki. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    Meal time for all the cute mumus!
    2 yearss ago
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    Dear james, very nice video of Kechara outlet and the activity led by Kien. You must always make more videos. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    This little birdie was at a pet shop. He has maimed leg, permanent damage to his wing and cannot fly and also one eye blind. I don't think anyone would want the poor thing, so I adopted him and keep him safe, fed and with lots of fresh air. He's also in a large aviary so he can be with other birds and not be alone. He is alert, active, and has a good appetite. I like him very much and will make sure he is safe, happy and has a good life. I name him Lucky. Lucky will always be safe now. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago

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Related Links To Myself

My Blog in Chinese:
zhandugu.blog.163.com
My website:
www.tsemtulku.com
My organisation's website:
www.kechara.com





CHAT PICTURES

心造世界,由你做起_Hee TS
2 hours ago
Appreciating what we have and to not find excuses to fail is so important.~Tsem Rinpoche_Hee TS
2 hours ago
World’s Most Expensive Dog _Hee TS
2 hours ago
2014-07-23 16:29:10 Kechara goes to Giant Supermarket!! | Tsem =?GB2312?B?oa0=?=
3 hours ago
The power of our thoughts! We are definitely the creator, a powerful one! Pastor Adeline
4 hours ago
Andy, my classmate from DDBC, visited Kechara Forest Retreat and did wonderful light offerings in front of Lama Tsongkhapa to dedicate the merits to everyone in the family. Very nice to see him again. Pastor Adeline
4 hours ago
Kechara Puja Team ~Cynthia Ng
7 hours ago
Life is so #fragile and it is #impermanent. Everyday I received many #news that people sick, dealth, facing difficulties etc etc. We must appreciated what we have now and STOP complaint. ~ Cynthia Ng
7 hours ago
Daily recite Manjushri's Gangloma prayer and three rosaries of mantra minimum. Will be very blessed. #tsemtulku ~Cynthia Ng
7 hours ago
Friends social network - be active to win
7 hours ago
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." ~ Henry David Thoreau ~ Cynthia Ng
7 hours ago
"If I can just be the way I am & you the way you are & we accept each other, world peace is near." ~ @TsemTulku Rinpoche ~ Cynthia Ng
7 hours ago
"If you love someone, show it by being honest, respectful & honorable with them." ~ @TsemTulku Rinpoche ~ Cynthia Ng
7 hours ago
"If I can just be the way I am & you the way you are & we accept each other, world peace is near." ~ @TsemTulku Rinpoche
7 hours ago
White Tara puja at Kechara House main prayer hall was led by KH Ng and assisted by Tat Ming.May our beloved Guru be healthy to benefit many. Lucy Yap
19 hours ago

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