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FYI: animal deaths while flying


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What bothers me about this article is the headline: United accounted for a third of all animal deaths. It doesn't say *what share* of all animal transportation this airline represents. Later in the article are a few statistics comparing United's death rate with a couple of other airlines - they're lower in each case.

 

Two of the animals died of heart failure - at least one issue was a congenital heart problem. And then someone from PETA goes on record to say that they object to shipping animals by air. (Of course, they also object to keeping animals as companions).

 

Not to say if I'm getting a puppy I wouldn't prefer to fly out for it myself as opposed to having it shipped if at all possible. And I'd definitely be wary of having a puppy shipped in the winter (too cold) or summer (too hot; this might represent much of a year in the mid-Atlantic region, with temps in the 80s this past February!). Nor would I share a brachycephalic dog (or own one, but that's another matter). Nonetheless - there are just too many aspects of this article that struck me as unduly sensationalist.

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This is exactly why my dogs will never fly in the cargo hold. Cal is a certified therapy dog so she's allowed to board a plane with me and sit between my legs/under the seat. And Panda will just never fly (because she's not capable of sitting still) because there's NO way I'm risking their lives.

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People in need of animal transport should contact groups like Highway Heros! <3

 

What bothers me about this article is the headline: United accounted for a third of all animal deaths. It doesn't say *what share* of all animal transportation this airline represents. Later in the article are a few statistics comparing United's death rate with a couple of other airlines - they're lower in each case.

 

Two of the animals died of heart failure - at least one issue was a congenital heart problem. And then someone from PETA goes on record to say that they object to shipping animals by air. (Of course, they also object to keeping animals as companions).

 

Not to say if I'm getting a puppy I wouldn't prefer to fly out for it myself as opposed to having it shipped if at all possible. And I'd definitely be wary of having a puppy shipped in the winter (too cold) or summer (too hot; this might represent much of a year in the mid-Atlantic region, with temps in the 80s this past February!). Nor would I share a brachycephalic dog (or own one, but that's another matter). Nonetheless - there are just too many aspects of this article that struck me as unduly sensationalist.

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I noticed that also, Lynn.

Dan flew as a pup but I don't remember if it was Delta or United. There was a delay en route but he was fine. I've also flown with him twice to San Diego via Seattle on Alaska, and felt he got the best of care.

I know a number of people who have flown with dogs or shipped dogs as cargo. None of them have had adverse experiences.

I think the article is poorly written and/or written to be biased. Of course PETA would pick up and run with anything that furthers their extremist cause.

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This is exactly why my dogs will never fly in the cargo hold. Cal is a certified therapy dog so she's allowed to board a plane with me and sit between my legs/under the seat. And Panda will just never fly (because she's not capable of sitting still) because there's NO way I'm risking their lives.

I have never heard of an airline recognizing therapy dogs as non-pets when it comes to in-cabin travel. Service dogs yes of course but therapy dogs are not the same.

 

Can I ask, do you tell them she is a service dog or do you say she is a therapy dog? We are flying United next week and I know they do not recognize therapy dogs as being allowed to fly in-cabin as service/support animals.

 

I know almost all airlines ask for documented proof from your doctor stating the need for the emotional support animal.

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Not arguing the merit of the article, but I drove from Delaware to Mississippi to pick up my pup and drive her home as opposed to having her air shipped. I just couldn't bear the thought of her potentially being handled by someone with low regard for pets/animals, or someone who just hates their job, is having a bad day, etc.

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Sometimes dogs have to fly, we moved to Europe so the only option was to fly. Since moving to Spain we have had a few foster border collies who have all flown to Germany, getting a good loving home is certainly worth the small risk.

If you look at the numbers the risk of anything happening to a healthy dog is extremely small.

My main grumble is why does PETA get asked their opinion on everything ... At least chose a reputable animal humane society.

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I doubt that being a therapy dog gets a dog onto an airplane.

 

I have heard of a person getting a letter from a doctor stating that the animal is an emotional support animal, and thereby being permitted to take the animal (dog, cat, rabbit, whatever) into the airplane cabin. One person I knew did this with a small dog successfully. I am sure this depends on the airline, and may have changed since I heard of this a few years ago.

 

And of course a person can always just buy a vest and say it is a service dog and get on that way if they want to. There's no formal registration or ID for service animals, so it is easy for people to fake that.

 

I don't think I would ever be able to ship one of my animals or put into cargo on a flight I was on. The stress for me, if not for them, would be too great. There may be a low percentage of deaths, but it only takes one percent if that one happens to be your animal. I will just drive, or not go. Of course, if I were to move overseas that would be another matter. Maybe I would take a boat.

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Waffles, I can't seem to reply directly to you on my phone!

 

I've never flown with her but I'm told that she has the credentials (United confirmed, I was recently going to take her with me on the flight but canceled the trip). I always always always tell people she is a therapy dog and remind nervous employees (at stores and such) that they are not obligated to allow her. I don't know why but our official team color is red and her vest makes her look super official and very service dog like, so she has a pink PET ME leash sleeve and I like to show off her tricks and talk to people about the difference between therapy and service animals.

 

She is trained to curl up between my legs on the floor (we practice on public transportation). She rests her chin on my foot and I use my other foot to pull her tail in so she doesn't get stepped on.

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I'm going to check our paperwork since we're renewing our insurance and certification next month and give United another call out of curiosity. Now I'm wondering if they're confused about allowing her!

I would guess the person confused therapy with service dogs. Many people not involved with dogs don't know the difference. I know for sure on their site United and most other airlines (I would guess all) state that they've do not allow therapy dogs in cabin.

Nothing stops you from deceiving them/not correcting them, though I wasn't implying that about you. I was genuinely curious if there was an airline that allowed therapy dogs.

 

I sometimes think it would be nice to have a tiny dog someday in my old age since small animals that fit in carriers under your seat are allowed as a carry on item.

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My guess is that the person you talked to didn't know the difference between service dogs and therapy dogs.

 

I doubt your therapy dog certification will tell you anything. I've belonged to three different animal assisted therapy organizations over the years (including being current in one now) and none of them have ever mentioned anything about this in their certification materials.

 

Please let us know what you find out, Moosikins.

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I always always always tell people she is a therapy dog and remind nervous employees (at stores and such) that they are not obligated to allow her.

 

I've been thinking about his bit more, and IMO it's a misuse of therapy dog status to attempt to apply it as a justification for your dog to go places that dogs aren't generally permitted to go.

 

Unlike service dogs who are guaranteed access anywhere, therapy dogs should be invited into facilities, events, etc. for the specific purpose of providing comfort or support for other people.

 

Therapy dog certifications were never intended to allow access to places, including businesses, where pets aren't generally welcomed just because you want to take them with you when the dog is serving no other purpose, and IMO it's wrong to put employees in the awkward position of having to make that call when they may not be sure how to handle the situation.

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What she said. Therapy dogs have ZERO access rights. Not even for housing purposes. The only time they should be wearing their vest is during visits to facilities where they are doing their job (nursing homes, schools, hospitals, etc).

 

Emotional support animals have access to housing (landlord can't deny it). Some airlines allow for them so they can travel with owners. The do NOT have access to restaurants and stores. They are supposed to be left at home with the exception of pet friendly stores.

 

Service dogs perform critical tasks for owners with a disability. They have full access to housing, airlines, stores, restaurants, etc.

 

In order to get your dog on an airplane, you need to qualify as having a disability. If that isn't case, she needs to go in cargo or you need to drive. Taking advantage of the system and lying puts the hard won rights of the disabled in danger.

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