A 5-year-old dog named Lulu never saw her family again after boarding a United Airlines flight from Houston to San Francisco, on Sunday. When the Cavalier King Charles spaniel was retrieved from the cargo hold at the airport, she was dead.
The Rasmussen family said Lulu was examined by a veterinarian before the flight and was healthy. But a two-hour delay in the Texas heat may have killed her.
“When we went to pick her up, she was dead,” the Rasmussen’s posted on their Facebook page.
United has more pet deaths than any other airline and was ranked the worst in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited a report from the Department of Transportation that has since mysteriously vanished.
However, erasing important data from a government website doesn’t make the problem disappear. According to the Washington Post,
United has come under scrutiny in recent years after a series of high-profile incidents in which outraged owners have spoken out about the loss of their pets. In 2012, supermodel Maggie Rizer wrote a blog post accusing the carrier of negligence in the death of her 2-year-old golden retriever. A week later, a Florida man bemoaned the death of his mastiff due to heatstroke during a cross-country flight.
United Airlines issued a statement to the family that said they were “sorry to learn of Lulu’s passing…”
But that is little consolation for the family that trusted United to transport Lulu without such tragic results.
Back in December 2016, an investigation by NBC’s 11Alive found that trusting your pet to an airline can not only be deadly, but can also result in them being lost or stolen.
An 11Alive investigation has uncovered airline pet injuries, deaths and losses are on the rise. While the number of incidents are small in comparison to total animals transported by airlines, hundreds of pets have fallen victim over the past decade…. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, at least 529 pets died, were injured or lost on airlines since 2005. 2015 set a record with 35 deaths, 25 injuries and three pets that simply vanished while under the care of airlines.
Pet owners’ hearts go out to the Rasmussen family over the senseless death of Lulu. Their tragic loss is yet another reason to never fly United Airlines, with or without a pet.
Featured image via YouTube screenshot
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