Seven out of 14 young puppies died yesterday after flying American Airlines flight #851 from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. High temperatures and long flight delays were likely contributing factors, though further investigation is necessary to determine the exact cause of death.
American Airlines says they ship over 100,000 live animals a year. Some airlines refuse to ship dogs in the summer months due to the likelihood of heat exhaustion. American Airlines claims to adhere to temperature restrictions of 86° F when shipping live animals, which in this particular case, were overlooked. News reports put yesterday’s morning temperatures in Tulsa at 87° F and climbing, while the plane spent over an hour waiting on the tarmac.
The Humane Society of the United States highly recommends against ever shipping animals by air unless absolutely necessary. The following guidelines specify that pets should not travel during the summer months or during any busy holiday travel season.
(Photo: Flickr/Richard Stowey)