Monthly Report Shows One Cat Died, One Escaped During U.S. Air Transport

The Department of Transportation reported that one cat escaped and one cat died on U.S. flights in its air travel report released Dec. 3.

Posted: December 5 2007 2 a.m. EDT

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Monthly Report Shows One Cat Died One Escaped During U.S. Air Transport
U.S. airlines are required to prepare a monthly report of incidents involving cats and other animals.
One cat died and one cat escaped in unrelated air travel incidents in late October and early November 2007 on U.S. flights, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) monthly air travel report.

On Oct. 22, Comair reported that a domestic cat was traveling on flight 4989 leaving from Harrisburg, Penn., when the cat escaped. The incident report states that as an agent carried the kenneled cat toward the airplane, the cat became extremely agitated and began jumping around in the kennel, eventually breaking through the kennel door. The report states that the kennel and its locking pins met standard requirements and were properly secured. However, the cat was able to push through the bottom of the door. The cat was not found. After the incident, a review of kennel policies and procedures was sent to all Comair stations.

Delta Airlines reported that a domestic cat was traveling on Nov. 2 from Syracuse, N.Y., to Tampa, Fla., with a stop at New York’s JFK Airport on flights 6174 and 1287. The cat was found deceased upon arrival in Tampa. The report states that a necropsy was performed, but airline officials say they are awaiting the results. Aircraft maintenance workers inspected the cargo-hold fans and reported that they were operational. Delta’s report says employees will wait for the results of the necropsy before pursuing the investigation.

In addition to cat-related incidents, SkyWest Airlines reported one dog injury and American Airlines reported one dog death during air transportation in October 2007.

The Department of Agriculture reviews airlines’ incident reports for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), such as kennel size or temperature breaches. Incidents are investigated further if the department questions whether the AWA was violated, according to the department’s animal care staff.

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

-Heidi Hatch, Associate News Editor for

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Monthly Report Shows One Cat Died, One Escaped During U.S. Air Transport

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Reader Comments

Ellen    Attleboro, MA

12/6/2007 12:56:15 AM

I would never fly with a pet unless it were in the cabin with me........I feel sad for the folks who lost their pets

Samantha    Edmonton, AL

12/5/2007 9:58:54 PM

i feel sad for the owners of the cats that did not make ther flights.

Connie    Chillicothe, OH

12/5/2007 4:30:57 PM

I don't like the thought of confining any of my cats for an extended period, especially in the cargo hold of an airplane. There are too many negatives to make this an acceptable option.

Stacy    Port Angeles, WA

12/5/2007 12:44:27 PM

I am really unsure about transporting my cat on a plane, or any size. I think just to keep my cat calm if it were a long trip, I would just drive. But thankfully that happening is slim.

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