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Dog Dies on Delta Flight

Earlier this month, a Pug traveling in the cargo hold of a Delta Air Lines plane flying from Moscow to New York died. A possible...

Maria Goodavage  |  Nov 18th 2011


Earlier this month, a Pug traveling in the cargo hold of a Delta Air Lines plane flying from Moscow to New York died. A possible cause: freezing to death, according to the dog’s owners.

“I saw him in Moscow, and he was fine. Then he gets off the plane, and his body’s like a Popsicle,” says John Von Achen Jr., owner of J the Pug.

The plane got so cold enroute to New York that passengers were asking for blankets, and Von Achen and his wife asked about the temperature of the pet cargo area. They were assured the temperature was controlled, and all was well.

Later, however, a Delta spokesman said the airline has had “challenges” flying pets safely, but added that it safely transports hundreds of animals every year. That’s no consolation for the Von Achens.

“He’s part of our family. I’m heartbroken, devastated, destroyed,” said Von Achens, whose final destination was Orlando, Fla. “They killed our dog. … it seems the airlines are not equipped and they’re not really set up to handle pets, but they take the money anyway. I’ll never fly with a pet again.”

I’ve written about two previous incidents involving Delta in the last couple of years. Both involved the airline losing dogs. One dog never turned up. The other turned up dead.

I would not fly Jake anywhere, but I understand there are times people must put their dogs on a plane. If you have to fly with your dog, be sure to read this informative Dogster article on ways to do it as safely as possible.

Meanwhile, poor J. I wonder if he actually froze to death, or if the breathing difficulties pugs and other short-faced breeds can experience on planes had a hand in his fate. The 4-year-old dog was checked out by a veterinarian and given a clean bill of health, his owners say. But even that is no guarantee, as they found out.

We’ve had this conversation before, Dogsters, but would you ever fly your dog? Why or why not?

Sources: WKMG-Orlando, Care2.com