No living thing in flight should die like this: Family dog ‘fried’ to death on United Airlines flight

The incident was more horrifying than it sounds. It grabbed headlines and incited the ire of dog lovers around the world. A Florida family has claimed that their beloved dog ‘literally fried’ to death while flying inside a United Airlines cargo hold. And in the aftermath, animal advocates glommed on to a shocking piece of data revealing that the canine died from heatstroke after being put in the hot cargo hold that caused him to collapse in agony before his organs shut down.

Family dog ‘fried’ to death on United Airlines flight

Just days after United apologized for the death of a French bulldog puppy on one of its flights, the airline is dealing with another unfortunate dog-related snafu. John Paul Ciancimino’s family dog, Rock, a Belgian Malinois was en route from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, traveling in a United Airlines cargo hold when it suffered an ’emergency situation.’ During a stopover at New Jersey’s Newark Airport, the airline discovered that there had been an ‘an emergency’ situation involving the pet traveler. As the cargo hold was too hot, Rock died of heatstroke. It seemed as if the canine was ‘literally fried’ to death inside the cargo hold. The canine must have been in agony when it collapsed, prior to his organs shutting down. Also, he was completely blind by the time the workers found him. However, the workers discovered that the dog had injured itself while chewing through and escaping his kennel during the flight. Rock was taken straight to a local animal hospital for treatment, but he died anyway. According to the necropsy report, the family pet had heatstroke, which lead to his death. His antemortem body temperature was 106 degrees

Alysse with Rock

Florida family heartbroken, United reimburses fees

According to John, the pet owner, Rock was a member of the family and very loving and affectionate. He was a protection canine trained in Boston and the death of the “one-in-a-million” Belgian Malinois had left his kids Jon, 9, and Alysse, 5, devastated. While the airline had expressed its regret on Rock’s passing, it has denied that the cargo hold was excessively hot, noting that Rock had been traveling in a temperature-controlled cargo hold at the time of the incident. However, United has announced that it will refund the travel costs as well as cover all related veterinary bills.

Jon with Rocky

United accounts for highest pet deaths

Out of 506,994 animals that flew on U.S. commercial air carriers in 2017, 24 died in transit. And 18 of those deaths occurred on United Airlines, accounting for the highest pet deaths. Also, according to DOT, United leads in transporting more animals in the United States than any other airline. In 2017, the airline transported about 27 percent of all animals flown as air cargo. But United has a history of mistreating animals, and that the airline is inherently less safe for transporting animals than any other major U.S. carrier.

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