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Kitten Freezes to Death In Cargo Hold of Delta Plane

Animals  (tags: AnimalWelfare, AnimalCruelty, death, suffering, cats )

- 2700 days ago -
Snickers , a darling 11-week old blue-eyed , Sphynx ,froze to death this week - while waiting over an hour in 10 degree weather to be moved from the freezing tarmac to Delta Airlines terminal.

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Henri P. (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:32 am
what a sad in peace Snickers

Dany S (123)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:33 am
poor kitty :(

Cher C (1429)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:36 am

Thnx hun!


Rachel B (18)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:38 am
Noted. Sad. I would never let a pet with no fur or fat covering fly in cargo, most veterinarians do explain to owners that the cargo area is NOT climate controlled. But Delta also should have made clear to the owners this was the case.

EcoWorrier M (947)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:57 am
The Department of Transportation keeps tabs on the number of animal deaths in transit, but no one tracks how many die of cold or heat elsewhere as a result of temperature extremes on the flight, said veterinarian Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City.


EcoWorrier M (947)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:00 am
The cat was cold and bleeding from the mouth and nose, all symptoms of extreme hypothermia.

According to the Department of Transportation, more than 2 million pets and other live animals are transported by air annually in the United States, .

Between November of 2009 and October of 2010, 33 animals died, 11 were injured and five were lost while being transported, according to the DOT. Of those, Delta reported 12 deaths, four injuries and one loss. American Airlines reported eight animal deaths, while Continental Airlines and United Airlines each reported four and Alaska Airlines three. Hawaiian Airlines and American Eagle had one each.

“We carry hundreds of thousands of animals a year,” Elliott said. “Among the different animals we carry, we have zoological institutions that entrust us with some rare species and we transport all sorts of unique animals. It is unusual to have this happen.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will also investigate Snickers’ death, according to spokesman Dave Sacks.

“We ensure the humane treatment and transport of animals. Our sole focus is to ensure airline personnel humanely cared for those animals while they had them,” Sacks said. “We look into each and every death and hold the airlines accountable.”

Penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act range from a letter of warning to revocation of an airline’s license to transport animals, but Sacks said he didn’t know of any airline operating with a revoked animal transport license.

According to the USDA, Delta is one of several carriers that refuse to accept pets as checked bags during the summer when temperatures go over 85 degrees because the heat may threaten the lives of the animals.
Heat deaths can happen very quickly, while hypothermia takes much more prolonged exposure to the cold, Murray said. But she said pets being shipped in cold weather are at risk, not only on the plane, but on the runway. Even if cargo holds are climate controlled, runways are not.


Monique P (236)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:05 am
One more against Delta, in february we start a legal action in Mexico.

Ramona T (210)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:10 am
This is so sad. Delta once again kills another animal entrusted in its care.

EcoWorrier M (947)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:27 am
Hi Krista

Thank you for this valuable news & animal information. I know some people who were planning to do a rescue, and will let them know about this vital animal information.


Charla D (67)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:29 am
Very sad. I don't even trust the airlines with my luggage and I would never, ever trust them with a beloved pet.

EcoWorrier M (947)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:38 am
If you had not posted this to us, those rescuers who are planning to rescue some animals are more alert to this type of dangers.

Also personally speaking, I think people who are breeding are like farmers, except they farm cats, dogs, other species except the usual farm animals for food/leather etc etc consumption. These people messing with genetics to the extent the animal has to live without its natural fur and so on, should be banned. It is cruel that animals suffer as a result of animals being 'farmed,' in such a way.

This lady, should have rescued a cat from the killing lists. All that money she spent could have been spent on saving many lives.

The air line and in fact all the people in charge and also the owner should have known better. The cat has NO fur! Its cold!

Now the cats dead, and how many others have died? WHAT IS THE TRUE NUMBER?

There really should be a specially designed plain, and other modes of transport for safe, comfortable transport of the animals off all species that are being transport. Not just for pets too.

Those going to slaughter, it is bad enough for them to travel to their destination, it bad enough the way they been treated, but the way the animals travels is TOTALLY NOT RIGHT. THERE MUST BE CHANGE.

Krista T (47)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:54 am
Thanks Eco , for your very informative posts. I agree 100% ! There has to be some changes made and enforced with airlines and animals. This one really got to me - they all do - but this one was a baby - 11 weeks old . Hadn't even have time to start living. This is so wrong. And the owner should have known better. I am truly sorry for her loss. But there should have been some common sense used here. this baby had no fur. And i know that small animals can fly on the plane in those littel carries with handles . I gues you mau have to pay extra - but for what was paid for that kitten and the fact it had no fur - I most imagine the owner is regreting the decision . And I wish would would STOP trusting the airlines and what they tell them . Do your own research ! You know , I am not flying on a plane - much less putting my animal on one - particularly i the cargo hold. This is so tragic and senseless that this poor baby had to die in such a cruel , lonely manner. This really bothers me. It is so sad !

Constance F (418)
Friday January 28, 2011, 11:03 am
Great post, Krista. Animals are not cargo. They are not luggage. We all know that. One death is unacceptable. And yes, This must change. Here's a tip from a friend who travels to Germany. She registered her dog as a service dog. Under the Disabilities Act, you do not have to state your disability. Nor does your dog have to be "officially trained". They will ask you what your dog helps you with, and that can be anything physical or mental. She stated dog helped with concentration and calming. Once registered you are legally able to take your dog anywhere (including planes along side you). You need proof of registration of dog, that is all. So, if you fly alot, and want your dog with you, check it out. I am only passing this on, so don't shoot me if my information is inaccurate. So far, it has worked for my friend.

Melody A (135)
Friday January 28, 2011, 11:08 am
Snickers Rest in Peace you are an Angel now..
Delta should be banned.. for they do not know to respect and take care of life.. no responsibility at all.. they cannot get back this life ever..
I choose to say fly at your own risk thru Delta.. for anyone who cannot respect any animal cannot do the same to man too!!
Thanks for this Krista..

resignd C (139)
Friday January 28, 2011, 11:10 am
When I traveled with my Yorkie, 7 pounds, he stayed with me, $50 one way, in a carry on pet carrier next to my feet. I would never had considered haning him in cargo. Of couse Kiko hated the carrier and was very upset so when no one was looking I ler him out and covered him with my raincoat whilt he slept through the trip on my lap.
They should prohibit pets flying in cargo and limit small pets to be with owners, and create a temperature and oxygen controlled area for larger pets and have personnel secored in the area if possible. They can charge extra. Otherwise people should take trains or cars if they want to take their pets.
Hasn't there been a breed of cats that are hairless, just as there is a dog that also is basically hairless. Did it have on a sweater to help keep it warm? This is bad time of year but it is cold at the elevation planes fly anyhow, so protecting the pet against cold even in the cabin is indicated. The floor is dang cold on planes.

Kathleen B (272)
Friday January 28, 2011, 11:16 am
Why didn't she have a carrier for the cat with NO hair, and let it travel with her. I agree that it is tragic, but she should have known that the cargo bay of a plane in not heated.

Jeannette A (137)
Friday January 28, 2011, 12:08 pm
Someone or several someones need to lose their job, Delta needs to be be brought up on animal cruelty charges in criminal and civil court, the newspapers need to make a big deal out of this and we need to let Delta's corporate head know that this will not be tolerated. One innocent kitten died horribly, let us make it so no other animal suffers.

Penelope R (178)
Friday January 28, 2011, 12:55 pm
A horrible practice.I have written the airlines and received no answer . People carrying a small baby like this should put them in the cabin or drive for heavens sake. Unlike this practice is stopped there will be more babies dying horribly like the 7 puppies from a Missouri puppy mill, not so long ago.

. (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 1:02 pm
Noted with thanks and with a heavy heart for the senseless suffering death of this poor, sweet innocent kitten. Frightened, alone, poor Snickers died a cruel horrible needless death!

liz c (827)
Friday January 28, 2011, 1:20 pm
Such a senseless loss of life--I am sorry Snickers--RIP

june b (553)
Friday January 28, 2011, 1:32 pm
tragic. i hope they sue.

Henriette M (154)
Friday January 28, 2011, 2:44 pm
All living beings should be respected/protected equally! Prepare yourself as it will get worst! The value for life has no compassion! A selfish society & treating all lives with disregards! Pray & keep your faith in God as this is only a stepping stone to eternal life! Snickers is now an Angel in Heaven! Tnnaks Krista.

Barb K (1688)
Friday January 28, 2011, 2:44 pm
If I had a pet and I had to fly I'd make other arrangements. No pet of mine would be left in a dark cargo hole, dying. Poor baby Snickers. God did not create Snickers to freeze to death in a damned cargo hole! Delta's the one who's at fault! Thank God Mark doesn't fly for Delta! PLEASE, IF YOU'RE TRAVELING WITH A PET, USE A CAR!! Thank you, Krista.

Alison A (244)
Friday January 28, 2011, 2:45 pm
These stories really make me angry, ANIMALS ARE NOT LUGGAGE!!

Not only did this cat have a paid fare, he had an upgrade! Yet just because he couldn't say "I'm cold", he was ignored, just like an inanimate object, such a cruel death!

Can you imagine if it actually read "Between November of 2009 and October of 2010, 33 'CHILDREN' died, 11 were injured and five were lost while being transported", Instead of 'animals', the Airline would be finished, yet these animals will virtually go unnoticed.

I have joined the Facebook page, and I couldn't help myself, as it was to inform people about the dangers of flying animals (which us on Care2 know so well, but others don't), I thought I would mention the fact that 3-4 Million pets are euthanised each year, so could they please go and adopt so that an unfortunate cat could have the life that Snickers was destined for, and by the professional pictures and the upgraded flight, I guess it would have been a very spoilt one!

Congrats on your first story Krista, noted with thanks.

Kisha B (5)
Friday January 28, 2011, 3:15 pm
Delta only allows a set number of animals on any given flight in the cabin - it is first come first serve so it might not have been an option for her to bring the cat into the cabin. That being said, any owner should research flying with an animal and understand you should NOT fly them in cargo under extreme conditions. There do need to be more options for pet owners though - most trains won't accept animal cargo, buses do not allow pets and planes are dangerous! Not everyone has a car that can go for long trips or the money for hotels etc to do so. :(

Shame on delta, shame on the owner and poor kitty.

O O (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 4:17 pm
After reading this horror story it just shows me to " NEVER EVER PUT MY ANIMAL IN CARGO EVER. I hope this shows everyone why you do not put any animal that you care about on a plane unless it is in the cabin with you. There have been other horror stories about animals that have died some were lost while on a plane. So now, would you put your animal on a plane where they will either kill it or lose it????

Susan D (116)
Friday January 28, 2011, 4:22 pm
So incredibly sad. Poor little thing.When humans suffer hypothermia, they become delirious and imagine they are warm Let's hope it is similar for cats, and that she didn't feel the pain. She would have suffered a lot before that, and been so frightened. Only just left her mother.
If I was transporting a cat across the USA I would hire a camper van (I think you call them something else but I can't remember what).
Whereas if I have to cross the pond (to live in USA) I dk what I will do, because I don't think any airlines carry cats in the cabin on long haul flights.
I think there should be heavy penalties for airlines that do not deliver a live, healthy animal to the owner. Saying " it didn't happen in transit" is just nonsense.
TY Krista

Past Member (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 4:28 pm
noted and this is so unnecessary.....about a dozen years ago we had to fly a puppy from seattle to iowa in the winter...dealing with the airlines was tiring...we could book the flight but not the date or time....if the forecast was for too cold or too hot for any stops the plane would make with the animal on board, then the airline would NOT let us fly the puppy....we had to wait and check for almost two weeks to ensure the weather in seattle, denver, and omaha (the final stop for the puppy), the temperatures were forecasted between 40 and 70 degrees...not much leeway but this was the ONLY way any airline would fly an animal in the cargo area.....they did NOT want to cause any problems or death for the what has changed? why are airlines allowing animals to fly in really cold temperatures??? it makes no sense.....and getting off the plane after landing can sometimes take an hour....i've had it take 30 minutes just to get to a gate...while we all sat in the plane on the tarmac......this is so sad and i think airlines really have to go back to these rules where animals could not take off or land in areas expecting weather too cold or too least then we didn't have kittens frozen to death.....

Carrie B (306)
Friday January 28, 2011, 4:37 pm
Thank you, Krista. Once again Delta is responsible for their own form of animal cruelty! When will something be done about their total lack of care and humane treatment of our pets?!

Helene C (101)
Friday January 28, 2011, 4:42 pm
Oh my poor little kitten, so sad that it was put in cargo. I would never let my little dog out of my sight. Can't trust airline wth luggage don't trust with your beloved pet. Shame on Delta for not letting her know how dangerous, especially for kitten with not hair. Bless Snicker little sould now in heaven. Thanks

Jo-Ann H (85)
Friday January 28, 2011, 4:56 pm
Poor baby must have been in terrible pain. This is such a senseless death when proper precautions should have been put in place. RIP Snickers...

Bon L (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 5:03 pm
Thanks for the info.

Nancy s (448)
Friday January 28, 2011, 5:32 pm
I am so sick of hearing about these type of tragedies!There has to be some accountability! Planes are notoriously cold and this was a furless animal!
What was she thinking? And an animal this size probably could have been put with the passenger!

Vanessa B (1)
Friday January 28, 2011, 5:51 pm
Delta once again causes the death of a poor animal. I know you are able to take animals on board some airlines (jet blue), I think it's time to begin pushing for more space for them in the main airplane.

Shirley S (187)
Friday January 28, 2011, 5:58 pm
TRAGIC & I FULLY agree with all of the above SENSIBLE comments.

Carol D (346)
Friday January 28, 2011, 6:01 pm
This is terrible!! That poor kitty and with no hair at all to give any kind of protection! I sure do hope this is a wake up call for all airlines taking pets on!!

James W (257)
Friday January 28, 2011, 6:10 pm
Noted thanks for the post

Past Member (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 6:17 pm
Noted with much sadness...heartbreaking. I hope under the circumstances a lawsuit will be in order.

Gloria H (88)
Friday January 28, 2011, 6:21 pm
I have a problem with pet breeders in the first place with all the kittens being euthanized in shelters.That being said- If this was a rescue, it would have been even more tragic. Breeder should have said, I won't fly out animals until outside weather conditions are mild. No flights in winter/mid summer.
Would someone make a child stand out in the cold, naked? It wasn't a suitcase for heaven's sake!!!!
Taking into consideration how many suitcases get loaded up/time, etc possible that an animal's well being would have been the last thing on someone loading's mind.
I think this is a warning to all of us with pets. There is an animal only airline, but it has limited flight destinations. I drove across county with two dogs, 2 people and the car loaded up like the Beverly Hill Billy's truck. Cats flew because I felt it would be a less stressfull trip for them- a few hours versus several days. I'm glad I didn't hear about this story before that. Is there anyway HSUS or ASPCA can do some sort of flight advocating? At least some sort of ad pop up whenever people make arrangements to fly pets on planes? They have done good things by warning people about not leaving animals in summer in hot cars.

Kim O (396)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:12 pm
Noted!! What a horrible end to such a sweet little girl!!!! RIP baby Snickers. Stoooopid, negligent humans again!! So sad.Thanks Krista!

Christine S (134)
Friday January 28, 2011, 9:39 pm
Delta needs to stop transporting pets if they cannot offer the tiniest assurance of their well being....

Gysele v (213)
Friday January 28, 2011, 10:38 pm

Past Member (0)
Friday January 28, 2011, 11:09 pm
I don't care what the DOT stats are, this was unacceptable! It basically comes down to accountability. That and the fact that people are not doing their job! Responsibility has to start some where........ If it was a human life, would it be "pushed under the rug"??? Even though the job may not be "important" to "you", sometimes "your" actions affect others and the ones they love!!!!!! DO YOUR JOB ACCORDINGLY and take pride in it!!!!!!!!
Rest in peace Snickers, your death will not be in vain!

gerlinde p (161)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 2:09 am
RIP sweet little snickers.

TRISH G (192)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 6:33 am

How many have Died on their Watch so far? Too many that's for sure !!!

This was a breed of cat that should be banned. It's a recessive Gene that causes the lack of fur.
That means they are FLAWED, DEFORMED even. They are NOT meant to be this way. !

Humans have created this poor little thing that can't keep it self warm without some Help !!
What was the owner thinking? I reckon she wasn't !!!

Ana F (128)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 7:04 am
DELTA AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nancy R (79)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 8:44 am
What is it going to take for people to stop flying? They are killing and losing animals, they are molesting adults and kids and they are stealing people with ridiculous fees! When is it going to be enough for people? Wake up people and stop flying until all that crap has completely stopped!

Ludger W (65)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 9:31 am
signed, ty

Krasimira B (175)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 1:43 pm

Maria p (151)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 2:18 pm
that is so sick, and should never had happened, that poor kitten!!!!!! I hope delta get into more hot water than they can handle!!!!!!!!!

Laverne W (59)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 5:15 pm
noted They should be charged with this for animal curelty. The only way an animal of mine will fly is in my lap or between my feet. I flew a puppy back home with me once but he rode in a carrier between my feet the whole way. No animal of mine will be in a cargo hold.

Anne K (139)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 6:02 pm
How can Delta get away with this? Heads should be rolling. I hope Delta personnel are charged with animal cruelty. It won't erase the pain endured by Snickers, but it may prevent another tragedy. Delta personnel apparently don't give a damn.

nicole l (12)
Saturday January 29, 2011, 7:26 pm
Delta Did it Again. My prayers are with that family.

Pam Page (5)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 11:29 am
She didn't know the extreme cold would be a problem???? What's wrong with this woman? I would have demanded my animal was moved immediately to a warmer place within 10 minutes, but to let a hairless cat slowly freeze to death shouldn't have happened. I certainly wouldn't be flying any pet in any weather with Delta - they knew there was a live animal on board and should have got their thumb out of their ass and made her a priority.

Kris B (136)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 3:44 pm
If the airline is providing the service they should ensure the safety of all the passengers! I hope there are new procedures put in place. Something needs to get Delta's attention.

Animae C (514)
Monday January 31, 2011, 2:14 pm

Darlene W (63)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 3:22 am

Kathy C (354)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 8:54 am
climate-controlled air cargo.
Now this was new to me. For years we have preached against flying animals in cargo because of they freeze to death in the winter and suffocate or have heat strokes in the summer. Now they have climate controlled air cargo? I checked for opinions about this from the animal rights community, They've not weighed in on this one yet I guess:( Poor little baby RIP

Marilyn M (145)
Monday March 28, 2011, 7:59 pm
Noted. Thank you for posting, Krista. There is valuable information in this article about safeguarding your pets on airline flights.
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