Although United instituted an innovative PetSafe program two months ago that offers special perks such as climate-controlled vans and airport pet hotels for dogs and cats flying with their owners, the airline also instituted a ban on nine dog breeds that were deemed too dangerous to fly United.
After her 10-year-old Pit Bull, Slaw, was banned from a United flight, Hawaii resident Jessie Huart created an online petition at Change.org protesting the ban.
Now that the petition has garnered more than 45,000 signatures, United has dropped the restrictions. All nine breeds can now fly United — provided that they are transported in reinforced crates.
A crate used to transport any of these nine breeds “must be constructed of wood, metal, synthetic materials, weld mesh or wire mesh. … No portion of the crate may be plastic. The crate door must be made of heavy wire mesh, metal, or reinforced wood and should have a secure means of fastening that cannot be opened accidentally,” according to United’s official policy.
“United Airlines, the world’s largest air carrier, has removed an embargo on nine breeds of dog they deemed ‘dangerous’ based on appearance rather than the dogs’ behavior,” reads a statement at Change.org. “Petition signers included military families, show dog breeders, dog trainers, veterinarians, and dog lovers and travelers around the world. The campaign was also supported by Best Friends Animal Society, which runs the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Jessie is grateful for the widespread support for the campaign and thrilled with the outcome.”
“I am thrilled that United listened to their customers,” Huart said in a news release, as reported by the Tribune. “This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination.”