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Airline Discriminates Against ‘Unfriendly’ Dog Breeds

Airline Discriminates Against ‘Unfriendly’ Dog Breeds

Fly the friendly skies, unless you are a dog breed classified as “unfriendly” by United Airlines. A recently updated pet flying policy ensures that pets can fly on United’s cargo service, which offers same day, airport-to-airport delivery with features designed to ensure an animal’s comfort and safety. However, the policy still carries the same outdated, uneducated breed restrictions as the old Continental Airlines policy. United Airlines’ PetSafeŽ program places restrictions on the following breeds, including mixed breeds of these dogs:

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Presa Canario
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Cane Corso
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
  • Ca de Bou

Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender. While I can completely understand this refusal, discriminating against a dog based on its breed, rather than it’s behavior analysis, is no different than discriminating against a person based on their color rather than their actions. Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes don’t even get to fly in the back of the plane. While United Airlines changed their recent policy so that they are no longer called “dangerous”, they are still discriminated against and are restricted from flying the “friendly” skies.

On National Pit Bull awareness day, I wrote about the negative stigma attached to the breed and the monster myths about Pit Bulls. United Airlines’s discrimination policy is only helping to creating bigger myths around this sweet natured breed. I’m not at all opposed to temperament testing, but to decide a dog’s temperament based on anything besides their behavior and history is intolerant, biased, and uneducated. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) also oppose breed-specific policies.

What do you think? Should United Airlines ban certain breeds from flying in cargo or on board? (Currently service animals are allowed on board as well as pets that fit completely under the seat forward of the customer, providing they remain in their crate during the flight.) If you think breed discrimination should be removed from United’s PetSafeŽ Program, please sign the petition.

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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10:12PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012


5:01PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

So sad bad humans are gentically handling dogs to be agresive, I don't like bans I am against them and airlines have to train their people to handle crates, but can't be so hard on them thinking on the safety, so think should be a better solution. Sadly we can't trust onwers who want to fly with dogs, they can lie, so poor dogs are paying the price of some bad horrible humans.

4:41PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Niel I feel sorry for you, how you dare to call ugly/miserable a dog because of the way it looks like? It is like to call ugly a person because have wrinkles or has a different skin color, I agree you do not have to like all dogs but that does not gives you the right to label no one (animal or person) in any way, this world is miserable sometimes because people thinking like you is making decisions over others; so aweful human been wich believes has the right to say some creatures are "better" than others just because of their looks; now I know why you don't have a pic in your profile.....

6:36AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

Neil A - How dare you put all those negative 'problems' on large dogs. the FACTS show that little dogs tend to bark more for little or no reason and they are the ones who run around pooping everywhere and the owners (some) think cuz its just a little poop, why bother to pick it up and they tend to go in the house alot more than large dogs do..FACTS show also that little dogs, aka ankle biters, are MUCH more aggressive than large just dont hear about the thousands of attacks per year...
..and some people prefer what many call a REAL DOG compared to the smaller breeds. No offense to those with little dogs but thats what Ive heard people call them.
as for your 'people owning these large dogs to boost their pathetic selves and intimidate others' about you shut up? I own Rotties because I LOVE THE BREED. I can care LESS what you think as YOU insult others to boost YOUR pathethic self and intimidate others with your ignorance and hate. My dog has PROVEN to NUMEROUS others he is just a sweet dog, minus the rap people give them. Hes just 'big boned', lol, with a heart to match his size. YES, there are those who are EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE, and that ruins it for the rest of us, but you need to at least give credit to those who are responsible. Seems the only people you are in contact with are those who are irresponsible..find some new friends

8:41PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Someone made a comment about why would anyone wanted an ugly/dangerous, miserable dog? Huh? Really? Well I do!! I love my love pit and bulldog as much as I love my daughter1

9:59AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

signed, thanks for sharing :)

8:47PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012


2:27PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

All dogs are kind, but mistreatment can make them act aggressively from fear. I have seen this personally. This dog is now very sweet, for she knows that she is in good and safe hands now. Do not discrimate against "mean" dogs, for they are rarely truly mean.

6:53PM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

Unfriendly dog breeds? What is that? I have been in rescue all of my 53 years (born to rescuers) and have worked at rescuing and training rescues from all of these breeds. These breeds have received negative press as have chows, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rotties, and other breeds who also happen to be love bugs. Why? Because many people have abused them into violence. People like Michael Vick who should have had the death penalty and would have if what he did had been done to human kids walk free but these dogs get a bad rep. Actually labradors bite more people than pits do. One woman in Florida had her face literally bitten off by a terrier. But it is pits who get demonized. Quit listening to those with an anti-Pit agenda (PETA and Dogbites come to mind) and get to know some of these dogs. That is how to destroy prejudice and bigotry.

6:05PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Also neil a. Th puppy pictured here is adorable. Bigger dogs bark less than little ones. And responsible pet parents pick up after their kids.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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