Feds Release Flight-Related Animal Incident Data for Month

Cat is believed to have escaped kennel after being frightened by airport bustle.

Posted: November 06, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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There was one cat-related incident on a U.S. domestic flight in September, when a pet escaped its kennel while being prepared for a flight, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation report released this week.

In the Sept. 1 incident, a passenger aboard an ATA Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu transported her pet, a gray and white tabby, in-cabin during the flight. Then, after the aircraft arrived in Honolulu, an airline gate agent received the cat and kennel.

The soft-sided kennel was then left unattended for several minutes, according to the report, during which time the cat is believed to have pawed its way out of a Velcro-attached door.

“In an event that the pet then escaped, it would have been easier to capture in a confined area. Because the pet was taken to the ramp and left unattended, it was probably frightened by all the activities and loud engines and therefore escaped the vicinity,” the report reads in part.

Although flyers were posted around the Honolulu airport, to date, the cat has yet to be found.

From January through September of this year, there have been a total of seven pets lost at airports before, during or after air transport, according to Department of Transportation statistics.

There were also 21 animal fatalities -- mostly dogs -- and eight animals injured, according to the data.

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