Written by PETA
© Anthony Aneese
Totah Jr | Dreamstime.com
The last time that John
and Julia Von Achen saw their beloved dog, J, alive, they were boarding a
flight from Moscow to New York. When the Von Achens
disembarked, they discovered that their dog had apparently frozen to death in the
cargo hold during the 11-hour flight.
"He's part of our
family. I'm heartbroken, devastated, destroyed," said John Von Achen Jr. "They
killed our dog."
Freezing aside (which can happen when temperature controls fail and external
temperature at altitude can be -50 or worse), animals are in grave danger in
plane cargo holds, but boxers, bulldogs, and pugs like J are at an especially high risk since their short muzzles
make breathing difficult under any even slightly stressful or abnormal circumstances.
Putting an animal in a cargo hold is often a death sentence, as they can turn into
freezers in the air and, during delays on scorching summer days, into ovens on
the ground, causing death from heat prostration. It happens all the time.
"It seems the
airlines are not equipped and they're not really set up to handle pets, but
they take the money anyway," Van Achen said, adding, "I'll never fly
with a pet again."
was far from the first dog
to perish in a cargo hold, and
he won't be the last. If you are planning to travel with your animals over the
Thanksgiving holiday or at any time, please keep their feet safely on the
ground and travel by car or, if they are small enough, fly them in the cabin
by Michelle Sherrow
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.