Written by PETA
When Heather Lombardi considered transporting her kitten, Snickers, by airplane, she was assured that the cargo hold was climate-controlled. What she wasn't told was that the climate in the cargo hold was only controlled in flight. After the plane landed and Snickers was left in the hold for 50 minutes without heat, Heather found the kitten cold and unresponsive. At the time, the temperature outside was just 7 degrees. Snickers died as Heather rushed her to the vet. Our condolences to Heather on the loss of her companion.
Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. Even the biggest hearts and the best intentions can't protect animals from the dangers of a cargo hold. Please, if you're traveling with your animal companions, take the extra time and effort to do it right—they're worth it.
Written by Jeff Mackey
On Monday, we blogged about the risks posed to animals who are stowed away like luggage in the cargo holds of planes. On Tuesday, those warnings became a heartbreaking reality for seven puppies who died after being shipped from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Chicago in the hold of a commercial airline.
Shipping animals as if they were duffel bags or cosmetics cases is wrong for many reasons, one being that the cargo holds of airplanes are often not temperature-controlled. During the summer months, the temperature in this area of a plane can be deadly. Investigators are considering heatstroke as one possible cause of death for the puppies. It's believed that temperatures in Tulsa were already 86 degrees before 7 a.m., and the puppies were loaded into the cargo hold and left there as the flight was delayed on the tarmac for more than an hour. If this is the case, the puppies may have been baked alive in temperatures well above 100 degrees. A dog can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes, and it's not a pleasant way to go.
We have set up a memorial page for the animals over on our True Friends Memorials site. Please take a minute to leave some kind words and consider donating to help other animals in need. And the next time you travel with your animal companions, only fly if they can fly in the cabin with you—or make it a road trip, and let Fido ride shotgun.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Very scary new stats released by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that dogs with short muzzles (such as pugs, bulldogs, and boxers) make up about half of all dogs who have died in airplane cargo holds during the past five years. Veterinarians surmise that "respiratory issues" are to blame for these dogs' higher death rates. Many dogs and cats who have been purposely bred for pushed-in faces have difficulty breathing and exercising even under normal circumstances.
No dog, cat, or any living being should have to endure the terror and trauma of being wedged among the baggage in a loud, dark, strange place in which they experience the unfathomable sensation of being borne aloft, far from their guardians. In order to help prevent fires, most cargo compartments are unventilated, and when systems fail, as they sometimes do, temperatures inside can quickly reach extremes of cold when the plane is in the air and extremes of heat when it's on the tarmac. Let's promise never to treat our animal companions like luggage and always to drive them to our destination or leave them safe at home with a trusted caretaker if they can't fit under the cabin seat.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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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.