Second dog dies on United Airlines flight

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For the second time in just a few months a dog has died on a United Airlines flight. Michael Jarboe was travelling from Miami to San Francisco with his two-year-old Neopolitan Mastiff Bam Bam. Jarboe says Bam Bam was in perfect health before the flight, but when he landed he was informed by United Airlines staff that Bam Bam had passed away during travel.

United Airlines paid for an autopsy of Bam Bam, which found the cause of death to be a heart attack. The company maintains the death was not transit-related. Jarboe questioned several employees who informed him that Bam Bam was not in an air-conditioned room during the 2 hour layover the flight had in Houston. Jarboe had paid $650 for the transport of Bam Bam, which he had been led to believe included temperature control.

Jarboe saw Bam Bam on the tarmac in Houston.  “It was right under the wing. We were right there, had a direct shot, he was so hot. His tongue was hanging down.” Jarboe had never seen Bam Bam look that hot.

The airline stated, “Given the size of Bam Bam and the fact that he is a brachycephalic, meaning short nosed breed, we made the decision to bring him to our holding facility for greater comfort during his connection.” They stated their holding facilities are USDA animal-welfare approved. The airline refunded Jarboe the $650 for transporting Bam Bam and offered him additional compensation, but Jarboe refuses to accept the compensation.

Supermodel Maggie Rizer lost her golden retriever Beatrice on a United Airlines flight from New York to San Francisco only 2 months ago. Rizer had her own veterinarian perform an autopsy on Beatrice, revealing the cause of death to be heatstroke. United Airlines stands firm in that case that they kept the dog in a temperature-controlled environment for the entirety of the journey as well.

23 thoughts on “Second dog dies on United Airlines flight”

  1. Dogs are NOT CARGO!! I look forward to the day when dogs are treated with enough respect to let them travel with their people IN the cabin. Until then, I will never travel by plane. If you can buy a seat for your child, I should be able to buy a seat for my companion. Children are far more likely to spread germs and cause infections (and stress). Why not put kids in cargo? Pretty ridiculous, right? There’s no valid excuse for this horror.

  2. Yep. This is really too bad because many airlines DO take exceptional care of pets. If United has any brains at all or care about their failing reputation they will admit some wrongdoing, take their medicine and CHANGE WHATEVER IS KILLING DOGS!!!

  3. I cannot believe this has happened to this fablous dog. All dogs should be treated like people., and we should beable to buy a seat for an animal. We buy a seat for a out of control child , why not well behaved animal..I would much prefer to sit next to the animal.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss- years ago when I raised Dobermans I remember them unloading from a train a 9 week old puppy and putting his crate under an air compressor which came on very loud many times while he was under there- the buyers were thank goodness ,good compashionate people who were willing to work with his fears until they dissolved but it took time for him to not be afraid of loud noises.

  5. my son worked for delta for 15 years and he would tell us stories of how the animals were left on the ramp or hot cargo area and how he and other ramp employees would do all they could in there position to help them by giving them water moving them to a cooler spot but they were hampered by what there supervisors/management would let them do. i would drive my dogs as far as it would take before i ever shipped them on a plane

  6. The first time we shipped our dogs, I was a nervous wreck. They are my babies, after all! 😉 We were flying US->UK for a job transfer. We flew Virgin and they could not have been more wonderful! When we dropped the dogs off at cargo, the folks were great and let us know what was going to happen with them etc. We weren’t allowed to fly out of Florida because it was summer so we had driven to DC to fly out. Unfortunately, there was a heat wave and it was actually hotter in DC than in Florida! Anyway, fast forward a couple of hours and we were in the terminal waiting for boarding to begin. And then we see the cargo guy coming towards us. Our heart sank thinking that something bad had happened. But it hadn’t. In fact, he was coming to point out a van sitting next to the plan. Inside were our beloved dogs in the cool air conditioning. He also let us know that the pilot had been alerted that there was pet cargo and had already turned on the climate control so that it wouldn’t be too hot when they put the dogs in the plane. He didn’t have to do that, but it certainly made us feel better about the entire experience. And so when the time came to make the move back to the US, we flew Virgin. I don’t work for them nor am I affliliated in any way, but I always tell this story because good work should be rewarded. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

  7. Never would I put my pet on a flight from a place as hot as Miami, traveling through the heat waves of TX to get to CA for my convenience. I would drive my beloved pets rather than risk their lives that way.


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