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Dog Lost at Atlanta Airport Found Dead

Written by PETA | January 3, 2011

Alisa Miller’s worst nightmare came true last week when her dog Nala, who was flying to Germany with Miller, broke free of her crate and escaped from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Nala was missing for three days before she was found dead along Interstate 75 in Atlanta. She had apparently been struck by a vehicle and killed instantly. When Nala escaped, she and Miller were en route to Frankfurt, where Miller’s husband, a soldier, is stationed. PETA’s heartfelt sympathy goes out to Nala’s family.

Nala’s death serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers of allowing animals to fly in airplane cargo holds, which are normally unventilated and where engine noise can be deafening. Workers wear earplugs to protect their ears, but dogs, whose hearing is even more sensitive than humans’, don’t have this option. Terrified by the noise, they may frantically try to escape, injuring or killing themselves in the process. Dogs have been known to force carriers open by chewing on and throwing their bodies against the bars.

mike schmid/CC by 2.0
                                  Animals are not “baggage”.

If you’re going on vacation, letting your companion animals stay at home with trusted friends or family is always the best option. If they must fly, consider booking a flight on the new animals-only airline, PetAirways. It offers coast-to-coast flights in which Pawsengers fly in the cabin and are cared for throughout the flight.

If you are traveling to a destination that is not yet served by PetAirways, ask the airline if your animal can ride in the cabin. If you have no choice but to place your animal in the cargo hold, book a nonstop flight and avoid traveling in extreme temperatures. Insist on seeing your companion loaded safely onto the plane, and don’t board until you know that you are on the same flight as your animal. It is your job to protect your companion animal while flying. For more potentially lifesaving tips, see PETA’s animal-friendly travel factsheet.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Angela Oueslati says:

    When you are moving abroad it’s very sad to leave your pet behind. I am moving next week and I am terrified of traveling with my beloved adopted dog Xavi. But it’s either that or abandoning him in USA since I don’t have family in USA. =(

  • Atlanta Honda says:

    I guess the best solution would be to hire a doggy sitter. It’s much better to not see your pet while you go on vacation instead of putting your pet through the trauma of flying (noise etc).

  • Dawn says:

    I can unsterstand wanting to bring your companion on vacation with you, but if you need to take a flight i’d much prefer my doggie to stay at home with my parents or grandparents whare i know they’ll be safe and happy, instead of having my poor dog locked up in a small crate in a defening room, in my opinion that is a form of animal abuse. Still no one deserves to lose a loved one, R.I.P. Nala.

  • Aneliese says:

    “She had apparently been struck by a vehicle and killed instantly.” So someone hit Nala, and left her there.

  • Lacey Matthews says:

    What a sad, sad story. I don’t think the dangers of flying animals in the cargo hold can be overstated. I have been on a plane, sitting on the runway and ready for takeoff, when workers boarded and asked a dog’s owner to come and help them try to catch the dog, who had escaped from her carrier and was running loose on the tarmac. You have to wonder how often this happens and how many dogs are killed tragically like poor Nala.

  • Gala says:

    This is just a tragic event. I would be crushed if this were to happen to an animal I had (I currently don’t by the way due to living arrangements). It is good to hear that there is a better way for them to fly, by way of PetAirways. I hope all airports implement this in their travelling arrangements

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