PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Bend woman says her dog died shortly after a United Airlines flight from Detroit to Portland, and she blames the airline for his death.
"The word needs to get out that airline travel is UNSAFE for dogs. They are treated like baggage instead of loyal, loving family members." Kathleen Considine posted on her Facebook page Friday evening.
She says her 7-year-old golden retriever Jacob was taken in for a mandatory physical less than a day before the trip and shown to have no health problems. But then after two flights, an unexpected, extended layover and a three-hour drive to Bend, he stopped breathing.
Hi friends, I'm asking all DOG LOVER'S to please read and SHARE this post. The word needs to get out that airline travel...Posted by Kathleen Considine on Friday, February 10, 2017
She explained in her Facebook post that Jacob was supposed to have a one-hour layover in Chicago, but he ended up spending 20 hours in a kennel. And she said the airline did not allow her mother to send food with Jacob due to the short duration of the planned trip.
"When Jacob finally arrived in Portland, he was disoriented and non-responsive. The United agent said the airline may have given him medication, but he didn't know," she said. "The airline DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to give medication, especially without telling us what, when, or why."
On KGW''s Facebook page, commenters are debating the issue passionately:
KGW has reached out to United for a comment but has not heard back. The airline gave the following statement to Local 4 News in Detroit:
We were deeply saddened to hear of Jacob's passing after we returned him to the care of his owner. Our PetSafe team is committed to the safety and comfort of all the pets that travel with us. We worked to ensure Jacob's comfort throughout his entire journey and he showed no signs of distress nor behave in a way that would suggest he was unwell while in our care. Though we understand little can ease the grief that accompanies the loss of a pet, we've been in touch with Ms. Considine to offer our condolences and discuss this matter further.
Considine said Jacob "was not the same dog" when he arrived in Portland, and she sought emergency care when they got to Bend.
"After rushing Jacob to the emergency vet when his breathing became scarce, he was pronounced dead after 8 min of CPR," she said. "His stomach flipped due to the stress of his journey that was 20 hours longer than expected, and suffocated his organs."
She claims in her post that the airline has been unresponsive thus far and has not assumed any responsibility for his death. With no other recourse, she took to Facebook.
"Nothing will bring my baby back, but I am asking everyone to please share this post so nobody else has to go through this terrible tragedy," she said. "My heart is broken and I never want this to happen to another dog parent.
"Rest in peace, my sweet polar bear. I love you forever."