By Shawna Flavell
On Monday, we blogged about the risks posed to animals who are stowed away like luggage in the cargo holds of planes. Those warnings became a heartbreaking reality for seven puppies who died after being shipped from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Chicago in the hold of a commercial airline.
Shipping animals as if they were duffel bags or cosmetics cases is wrong for many reasons, one being that the cargo holds of airplanes are often not temperature-controlled. During the summer months, the temperature in this area of a plane can be deadly. Investigators are considering heatstroke as one possible cause of death for the puppies. It's believed that temperatures in Tulsa were already 86 degrees before 7 a.m., and the puppies were loaded into the cargo hold and left there as the flight was delayed on the tarmac for more than an hour. If this is the case, the puppies may have been baked alive in temperatures well above 100 degrees. A dog can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes, and it's not a pleasant way to go.
We have set up a memorial page for the animals over on our True Friends Memorials site. Please take a minute to leave some kind words and consider donating to help other animals in need. And the next time you travel with your animal companions, only fly if they can fly in the cabin with you—or make it a road trip, and let Fido ride shotgun.
Here's an Associated Press report on the story: