Selasa, 25 September 2012

Airline Pet Safety

There was a recent story that hit the news about two to three weeks ago. Fourteen puppies were loaded safely onto an American Airlines flight from Tulsa to Chicago. The plane arrived at Chicago O'Hare at about 9 o'clock in the morning on Wednesday August 3rd. When the animals arrived a morbid truth had to be realized. Seven of the puppies are now dead.

Five of the canines died shortly after arrival and two more would die later at a veterinarian's office. An investigation has been ongoing for the past few weeks. The autopsies are scheduled to come in any day. Speculation and criticism are currently the only things being embraced. An American Airlines spokesperson has said that the cargo hold is kept between 50 and 70 degrees.

"More than half of the 122 dogs that have died in the last five years according to the Department of Transportation were short-faced or pug-nosed dogs, like an English Bulldog or a pug. Don't ever travel with those in the cargo hold," Peter S. Greenberg, a CBS News Travel Editor, said.

Aside from these breeds, how do you make sure your canine is going to arrive safe on the other end? Granted there are only so many things you the traveler can do, but all the same, doing them may make all the difference. It should also be noted that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service requires your dog or cat to be at least eight weeks old and done weaning before they can travel by air.

First, take your pooch into the vet prior to any long trips in the air. A simple kennel cough or minor health issue could turn south very quickly if hours in a cargo hold are required. The next thing becomes selecting an airline approved pet carrier that is also the correct fit. These carriers come in both hard-sided and soft-sided models. Please realize that soft-sided carriers are more suitable for carry-on travel. The use of these models in luggage holds is just negligent, especially when they can fit directly under your seat most of the time. Please follow the manufacturer's recommendations when it comes to selecting the size of the carrier. A properly size carrier will allow your pet to Lie down comfortably, stand up and turn around. Ventilation and comfort are also key factors in traveling with your pet.

Follow these guidelines from the Air Transport Association:

    Clearly display your name and address
    Use arrows or other marking to indicate the top of the kennel
    Include food and water dishes (both empty), which are secured inside the kennel and accessible from outside
    Show a food and water schedule and, if any food is necessary, include an ample supply in a bag attached to the outside of the kennel
    Contain no more than one adult dog (or puppy between eight weeks and six months old that weighs more than 20 lbs.) or one cat per kennel. (Two puppies or kittens that are between the ages of eight weeks and six months old and under 20 lbs. each may share the same kennel if they are personal pets of comparable size and are socially compatible with one another)
    A general rule of thumb is that your pet must be able to stand comfortably in the kennel and be able to turn around while standing in the kennel
    Contain absorbent material or bedding, such as newspaper
    Display labels on top and on at least one side with the words LIVE ANIMALS printed in 1-inch-high letters

For more information on pet carriers and airline travel visit