Personally, I will never understand why airlines don’t allow pets to fly in the cabin like everyone else – and insist on stuffing them down in cargo like luggage. I don’t get it, especially when you read horrible stories about dogs or cats dying inside cargo holds on different airlines.
Recently, Delta Airlines has been in the news after Sebastian, a 12-week old Yorkshire Terrier puppy died while on a journey to meet his new family.
Speaking to PEOPLE, a Delta representative said the following statement, “Pets are an important member of the family, and we are focused on the well-being of all animals we transport. We extend our deepest condolences to Sebastian’s family and are conducting a thorough review of the situation to understand what happened.”
Sebastian’s owner, Cory Mcjimson, bought Sebastian for almost $3,000 from an Ohio breeder. Sebastian was meant to be a present for his 5-year-old daughter. Cory went to pick up Sebastian from the Delta cargo area in the Los Angeles International Airport when he discovered that the puppy was in his crate completely unresponsive. According to TMZ, Cory immediately reported the tragic incident.
According to Cory, Sebastian’s breeder had arranged for the puppy to fly from Ohio all the way to California, with a brief stop in Atlanta, Georgia. So when Sebastian’s flight arrived at the airport around 6:30, Cory found him in his kennel – unresponsive.
Cory suspects that on both of his journeys, Sebastian was placed in the plane’s pressurized cargo. However, there has been no confirmation as to whether or not this is indeed where Sebastian was placed during the flights.
After alerting Delta employees to the problem with Sebastian, Cory rushed Sebastian to a local animal hospital. Vets tried their best to resuscitate Sebastian, but sadly he was officially pronounced deceased at 9 pm.
Cory revealed to TMZ that Delta offered to take care of both the necropsy and cremation.
Based on the airline’s policy, live animals can be transported through Delta Cargo without necessarily needing a human companion. The airline requires a two-hour connection for all animals. It is also strict that the person who booked the shipment must be responsible for providing enough food and water for the trip, as well as a well-ventilated kennel.
The Delta Cargo website has also warned people that animals can be subject to temperatures ranging between 10°F and 85°F, and they can be in these temperatures for as long as 45 minutes while on the ground at the airport.
The website reads, “Delta complies with federal regulations, which state that we must offer food for dogs/cats less than 16 weeks of age every 12 hours and every 24 hours for those over 16 weeks of age. Water receptacles are filled at stopover locations.”
Sadly, Sebastian’s death isn’t the first time that a pet has passed while in transit on an airplane. A French bulldog tragically died in its carrier back in 2018 while placed in an overhead bin on a United Airlines flight. And just last year, a Husky died during a long haul 11-hour transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles.
Clearly, there is something that needs to change so that animals don’t have to keep facing these tragedies while flying. What do you guys think?