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paw law


A Pet Passenger Bill of Rights Has Been Introduced.


–by Dionne M. Blaesing, Esq.


Sully checks out his crate, custom-made by an Air Animal Pet Movers Inc. team member. Thanks to Air Animal Pet Movers Destination Pet Express, Sully safely traveled from Tampa, Florida and delivered to his new home in London, England. Air Animal Pet Movers is an air cargo agency endorsed and appointed by more than 225 airlines. Read more about Sully’s travels on page 66 of this issue of The New Barker.


Every pet owner alive has empathy for the family of 10-month-old French Bulldog puppy Kokito, who suffocated to death in the overhead compartment on United Airlines in March 2018. It is reported that the flight


attendant forced the passenger to stash Kokito’s crate in an overhead compartment. Was there overcrowd- ing, failure of the passenger to pay? This is not a case of a badly-behaved dog putting passengers at risk of injury. News reports stated that passengers heard the puppy barking in distress during the flight. The flight attendant says she was not told a puppy was in the crate. Kokito was a companion pet,


Sully is happy to stretch his legs during the layover in Frankfurt, Germany. This photo was taken by Deandra, an Air Animal Pet Movers team member, who oversaw Sully’s care in Frankfurt, Germany.


Dionne M. Blaesing, PA practice areas include animal law and veterinary malpractice. She has a 20-year background in veterinary sci- ence, served as an emergency technician at the SPCA Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, was Chief of Nursing for Boston Zoological Society/MDC Zoo, and served as a Board Member and President of the Suncoast SPCA for 10 years. Dionne may be reached at 727.992.9114. DionneBlaesing.com


www.TheNewBarker.com


not a service or emotional support dog. Had she been, the rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation (See 14 CFR part 382) and the policies of the airlines are structured (and evolving due to abuse by passengers) to meet the safe- ty criteria established by federal law. New York State Senator Marisol


Alcantara is concerned that Kokito’s death highlights a systemic problem with pet deaths on airlines. The U.S. Department of Transportation com- piles a yearly summary of air carrier reports on Incidents Involving the Loss, Injury or Death of Animals During Air Transportation. U.S. Carriers operating “at least one air- craft that has a designated seating capacity of 60 or more seats, are required to report the total number of animal incidents for the entire calendar year and the total number


of animals transported in the calendar year.” (See 14 CFR Part 235 of DOT Regulations.) The Report is filed with the Department of Agriculture which enforces the Animal Welfare Act. The 2017 Report shows that 13


U.S. airlines had no injuries, deaths, or losses. Those airlines transported 161,735 animals. Four airlines were responsible for the 40 incidents reported in 2017. Alaska Airlines reported two deaths and one lost pet while transporting 114,974 animals; Delta reported two deaths and one injury while carrying 57,479 animals; American reported two deaths and one injury while transporting 34,628 animals; United reported 18 deaths and 13 injuries out of 138, 178 ani- mals flown. Calculating percentage of incidents of death/ loss per 10,000 animals transported, Alaska was 0.26; Delta was 0.52; American was 0.87 and United was 2.24. The Report contains details for


each incident. In 2017, Alaska Airlines reported the strangulation death of a three-year-old Shiba Inu who had bitten through her crate, allowing her head to push through. They also reported a seven-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who presented at autopsy with “acute cardiac arrest associated with subclinical cardiac insufficiency.” There is no suggestion that the airline’s handling contributed to the Spaniel’s death. In another inci- dent, a cat escaped its kennel and the enclosed cart, even though the equip- ment conformed to the airline’s enclosure standards.


(Continued on page 80).g Spring 2018 THE NEW BARKER 71


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