Yet another animal, treated like a piece of luggage, has died in the cargo hold on a United Airlines flight.
Lulu—a 5-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel—was loaded onto a plane in Houston heading for San Francisco. The plane was delayed on the tarmac for two hours before takeoff. Lulu’s family believes that she died sometime during the delay.
United Airlines has been responsible for one-third of all animal deaths on U.S. flights in the last five years. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airline had the worst record of animal deaths and injuries among all U.S. airlines in 2016.
Earlier this year, United made headlines after a rabbit named Simon died while being transported by the airline.
Over 300 animals have died in cargo holds on U.S. airlines since 2005.
Every one of these deaths was preventable, and unless people change their habits, these tragic outcomes will continue.
Lulu’s guardians claim that a veterinarian signed off on her health, but regardless, she died alone inside a plane. Despite all the rhetoric about safety from airlines that transport animals in cargo holds, there’s no safe way to treat a living being like a suitcase.
Putting an animal in a cargo hold is often a death sentence—temperatures can drop below minus 50 degrees at certain flight altitudes or soar to oven-like temperatures during ground delays.
Even in temperature-controlled, pressurized cabins, many human travelers suffer from ear pain, sinus pressure, and other discomfort, so you can imagine what a frightened animal endures all alone in a noisy cargo hold that can be extremely cold or hot and sometimes not properly pressurized.
PETA urges United to join JetBlue and Southwest in prohibiting companion animals from being transported as checked baggage.
Animals Are Not Cargo
Every week, over a billion live animals are transported worldwide over long distances, through blazing heat and freezing cold, often without food, water, or veterinary care—as if they were nothing more than freight.
Take action today to help stop these inhumane practices.