After a week that saw United Airlines try to manage 3 separate dog-related incidents on their flights, they have decided to suspend the PetSafe program that allows dogs to ride in the cargo hold of the plane. Small dogs will still be allowed in the cabin as carry on luggage in approved carriers.
While the airline will not accept any new reservations for pets flying in cargo, they will honor reservations that were made prior to this decision.
The suspension on pets flying in cargo will remain in place while United reviews its entire pet policy. This review is expected to finish by May 1, after which pets may be allowed back in cargo with new rules in place to prevent the types of pet mix-ups that have occurred in the last week. Alternatively, United may decide to cancel their PetSafe program entirely.
This decision comes after a 10-month old French Bulldog puppy named Kokito suffocated to death last week after a flight attendant forced the family to put the dog in the overhead compartment instead of under the seat in front of them.
The very next day, United accidentally sent a dog to Japan that was supposed to be destined for Kansas.
Less than a week later, a United flight bound for St. Louis was diverted to Akron, Ohio when it was discovered that a dog had been loaded onto the wrong plane.
One day after Kokito died, the Welfare Of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF) Act was officially filed to prohibit animals from being placed in overhead bins.
On a similar note, iHeartDogs has created a petition to create a travel coalition of the top leaders in the world on pet health and safety. We will then work directly with the airlines to create safe environments for pets that travel so that there are NO MORE DEATHS. iHeartDogs.com is volunteering to start and spearhead this coalition for the well being of all our pets. Click here to sign this petition to help protect all of our pets!
(H/T: The Denver Channel)