Airlines Release Data on Animal Incidents

Reports from the DOT track pet-related injuries, deaths and losses on U.S. airlines.

Posted: November 9 2007 2 a.m. EDT

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No cat-related incidents were reported, but two dogs died in unrelated air travel incidents in September 2007 on U.S. flights, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s monthly air travel report that was released Nov. 5.

Last May, a Cornish Rex cat named Mr. Baby suffered a scratched nose and broken nails when his carrier was placed on a baggage conveyor belt instead of being hand-carried into the baggage claim terminal, Scripps Howard News Service reports. Frontier Airlines paid for Mr. Baby’s medical expenses and took steps to reprimand the responsible employee.

The incident was also reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation in compliance with a law that requires airlines to account all animal-related incidents. Mr. Baby’s experience was one of 10 incidents reported by six airlines during the month of May. Two deaths were reported in September. The DOT compiles the incidents into a monthly report, providing airline travelers with information to help them determine which airlines to fly with their pets. The DOT posts the reports online.

“The reports essentially give pet owners information they can use to decide how to and whether to travel with animals,” Bill Mosely, DOT spokesman, told Scripps Howard News Service.

May’s report revealed that 10 animals were injured, killed or lost on U.S. airlines during that month. Two injuries were blamed on actions by the airlines, while four other injuries, four deaths and one loss were blamed on inadequate kennels, natural causes and in one case, an attack by another animal. Mr. Baby’s injuries were caused by poor judgment by a Frontier Airlines employee.

More than two million pets and live animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the DOT.

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Reader Comments

Susan    Norman, OK

3/16/2009 4:43:41 AM

Oh, this is sad. I've never had reason to fly with my pets, but if I did they would HAVE to let me sit in the animal area with them. NO WAY would I leave them in the hands of a stranger, and all alone, on an airplane. I just couldn't do it. I guess if i HAD to, I could, so it's good that there is information about there to keep us informed.

jessica    louisville, KY

12/1/2007 9:29:58 PM

i would never fly with my pet. people are so careless with your bags and not to mention how stressed out my pet would get being put in a area that they dont know and then being in there for a long period of time.

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

11/9/2007 4:50:55 AM

I am glad to see DOT gives out names of responsible airlines to put your pet on. These other airlines are ready to take your money to transport your pet. They should be treated as well as the passengers.

Michael    Dallas, TX

11/9/2007 3:41:26 AM

Interesting article and interesting source of information. I was unaware that DOT published a monthly report on animal incidents. As a cat breeder this is a good way to monitor how well the various airlines are performing with pet transport.

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