Update: Jack the cat has passed away because of injuries that he suffered while lost inside JFK airport. After spending two months in the American Airlines baggage-claim area, Jack was finally found when he fell through the ceiling. Airline employees took him to a veterinarian, but the severe wounds covering half his body, a raging infection, and starvation were too much for Jack to surmount. His Facebook page, flooded with condolences, will, we hope, prevent similar tragedies from occurring by serving as a reminder that animals should travel in the cabin with their guardians.
Originally posted September 2, 2011
With thousands of us hitting the road for the long Labor Day weekend, it bears repeating that animals should never be transported in the cargo hold of an airplane. In another hideous example of what can happen when airlines treat animals like luggage, a cat named Jack is currently lost inside JFK Airport after he escaped from his carrier before he could be loaded into the plane’s cargo hold. Jack has been lost in JFK’s baggage claim area for a week, and attempts to catch the terrified cat have all failed.
When vacationing, it’s safest to leave animals at home with a trusted adult friend or relative or a bonded, recommended professional sitter. Don’t cut corners or be casual—too much rides on your careful selection. If you must bring your animals, drive to your destination, or if you fly, the animals must ride in the cabin of the plane with you, under the seat. See PETA’s “Traveling With Companion Animals” factsheet for more information.
And if you’re traveling by car this weekend, remember to keep an eye out for animals in distress. If you see an animal near the road, stop to help, and please, if you pass an animal who looks dead, don’t assume that he or she actually is.
Safely pull over and make sure that the animal is dead by gently touching the outer corner of the eye and pinching one of the animal’s toes. If the eye blinks or the animal pulls back, the animal is still alive, and you will need to take him or her to the nearest veterinary clinic and/or call the local humane society or the police (call 911 if you have to—do not give up). And be sure to stay with the animal until help arrives. For more information on braking for animals, see our list of tips.
Written by Michelle Sherrow