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Dog Dies on Flight: Safe Pet Travel Tips

Dog Dies on Flight: Safe Pet Travel Tips

A pug traveling in the pet cargo area was found dead on arrival after a flight from Moscow to New York on November 1st. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is investigating how the dog died, but the dog’s owners believe their adored pet froze to death, reports Orlando’s WKMG-TV.

John Von Achen Jr. and his wife, Julia, boarded the New York bound flight before returning home to Orlando. The pub named “J” was fine in Moscow, where a vet had cleared him for travel, but “like a popsicle,” when the dog was taken off the plane, John Von Achen told the news station.

“He’s part of our family. I’m heartbroken, devastated, destroyed,” Von Achen said this week. “They killed our dog.”

Julia Von Achen told WKMG that passengers became so cold during the flight they asked for blankets, and that she asked about the dog’s safety and was told the temperature is adjusted in the pet area.

A Delta spokesman told WKMG each pet cargo area is pressurized and temperature controlled, but added the airline has had “challenges” with flying pets safely. ”With those past challenges, we take the transport of pets very seriously and safely transport many hundreds of pets every year. Again, we regret this episode and will work with the customer to make it right.”

Delta has the second-highest rate of pet injuries during airline travel, according to statistics from the Department of Transportation. Between 2005 and 2009, 224 dogs were reported as killed, injured or lost by airlines. Continental had the worst record, with 58 incidents. Delta had 43, while Alaska Airlines had 36 incidents.

Are you planning on traveling with your pet during the holidays? Read on for tips on making your pet’s holidays as safe as possible.



Read more: Cats, Dogs, Holidays, Pets, Safety, Travel

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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1:29AM PDT on May 6, 2013

so sorry for the angel,thank you for sharing

8:28PM PDT on May 3, 2013

How horrible, I'd be devasted if any of my 4 legged kids died on a flight. Simply don't fly your pets on these airlines...find another option! Where's the compensation/justice for these deaths??

9:41AM PDT on May 3, 2013

NEVER fly you pet on Delta or Continental!!!

7:47AM PDT on May 3, 2013

how awful. I hope the flight gets in trouble for this. I couldn't imagine how devastated the owner[s] of the pug was. =[[ Poor thing

10:40AM PDT on May 2, 2013

poor dog

11:45AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

How do you make right killing a family member?

Also, this is why you should drive if at all possible, and don't do international travel with pets.

1:23PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Never fly with a pet in the hold. They are just baggage to the airlines.

12:17AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012


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