As more people are traveling for the holidays, pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the real threat their animals face when flying.
Michael Jarboe of Miami knows this threat all too well. He actually paid extra money for his beloved dog BamBam to be taken care of by special pet handlers on a United Airlines flight while traveling across the country. Once Jarboe landed in San Francisco, however, he was horrified to discover that BamBam was dead.
That 2012 incident is not an isolated case. Opposing Views reported just last week about Janet Sinclair, the woman who was traveling across the country with her dog and cat and actually witnessed, from the plane, her pets being left out on the tarmac in the blistering Texas heat before takeoff from a layover in Houston. Upon arrival in Boston, Sinclair rushed her dog to the vet where he was put in the intensive care unit for days and almost died of his injuries. Sinclair was also flying with United.
Now, Jarboe and Sinclair's stories have inspired people to take action. A Change.org petition is being circulated on the Internet to ask United Airlines and the airline industry as a whole to change their policies regarding pet travel.
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The petition clearly states what change frustrated and terrified pet owners want to occur:
THE CHANGE WE WANT: Fully disclose the number of total animal deaths that occur to the Department of Transportation, not just pets. The airlines to be held liable for wrongful deaths of our pets as living creatures and not as “baggage." An independent third party, not the airline, be in charge of the autopsy and the investigation into cause of a pets death.
After incidents like the ones that both Jarboe and Sinclair had to deal with, people are being warned that flying with a pet should be avoided at all costs.
“Air travel can be so quick that you may think a plane is the best way to transport your pet,” says the Humane Society of the United States on its website. “Think again. Air travel isn’t safe for pets. The HSUS recommends that you do not transport your pet by air unless absolutely necessary.”