A death of a beloved pet is always a sad event but when the question of whether or not it could have been prevented arises, it’s even harder. Nothing can bring back a pet that died, but we can try to prevent unnecessary deaths from happening in the future.
Pets have recently died in flight and while waiting in the cargo chambers. Whether or not these are natural deaths or caused by airline delays as they wait in not ideal conditions is up for debate. Also, we need to keep in mind that some types of dogs with shorter nasal passages may have a hard time with the whole flight experience.
Under question right now is the death of a 5-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named LuLu owned by the Rasmussen family from Houston. Their pet died while waiting in the plane’s storage area while in San Francisco awaiting the next flight out.
A Rasmussen family member posted this statement on Facebook, “We are still waiting for answers, but what we do know is that our flight was delayed on the runway in Houston for almost two hours.”
United Airlines have reached out to extend condolences to the family with this statement, “We are so sorry to learn of Lulu’s passing and have reached out to our customer to offer our condolences and assistance. We are deeply upset any time an animal suffers an injury while traveling with us and especially grieved in the rare instance that one passes away. We are conducting a thorough review of this incident.”
While these are very sad events and a thorough investigation needs to be made, it’s also important to keep in mind that flying can be extremely stressful for some if not most pets. Being separated from their owners and put in strange conditions can bring on a lot of issues including heavy panting.
Hopefully, the airlines will take all precautions possible to make air travel as safe as it can be for pets.