BAN "AirPets UK & British Airlines" they KILLED my beautiful Golden Retriever
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On March 17, 2015, I moved to California when a tragic event happened. I was traveling with my 2 pets from London-Heathrow Airport. It was a stressful event and a stressful time, as I was relocating back to the USA after living in London for 2 years.
I had flown my pets from Chicago to London in 2013, although stressful, I researched and did my homework. The pets were trained in their crates for months prior as I wanted to ensure they would be comfortable as much as possible. I was on the same flight and they arrived safe and happy to start a new chapter in London!
Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, London ended up not working out. It was time to move back to the USA and back to California. I contacted British Airlines as it was a direct flight and thought it would be better than a connection. British Airways informed me that I had to use a pet shipping service in order to transport pets. It was a requirement for flying out of the UK. Airpets UK was a company they had suggested.
I contacted Airpets UK, they rejected both crates I transported my cat and dog saying they were not "tall enough". They sent me a quote for their wooden crates and assured me they would be "bigger than the crates I had". I was not too happy about that but I didn't want any issues, so booked the crates, made the flight/cargo reservations and ensured I was on the same flight.
Trying to make this as brief as possible....so this is what happened when I arrived:
I got to the cargo office in San Diego and they first got my cat, Madiba. He was in a wooden crate and appeared fine (except being a bit vocal, he was happy to see me). They finally got my dog, Riley - an 8 year old Golden Retriever, 115 pounds...(he was a mini horse). My phone had just enough battery that I could take a video of him coming out of the crate - I wanted to show my friend back in the UK he arrived safely.
I was SHOCKED to see the WIDTH and LENGTH of the crate. Yes, it was a well built crate, tall enough but my God, no space for him to move!!! THERE WAS NO POSSIBLE WAY RILEY COULD TURN AROUND OR LIE ON HIS SIDE.
The crate was built like a coffin. Riley was trapped in this coffin for 15 HOURS!!!
The only way Riley could lie was propped up.
He was delirious and dehydrated. Within 2 hours of getting him, I had to rush him to the 24 hour Emergency Vet (it was about 10pm). They took X-rays, gave him fluids and told me Riley was so dehydrated and his stomach had twisted so bad they could not get tubes down him. It was about 4AM that I had to say goodbye and put him down. I was devastated.
Over this past year, I have written or contacted the following:
British Airways CEO and Cargo, AirPets UK, RSPCA, ASPCA, PETA, several other Animal Rights organizations both in the UK and USA, IATA, about 20 lawyers in the UK and USA who were supposed to specialize in Air Travel/Pet Safety. GUESS WHAT.....NONE OF THESE WANT TO HELP ME FIGHT FOR RILEY!!
THEIR ANSWERS? "It was an International Flight", He was "just a dog", "You can't sue an Airline like British Airways"
Both British Airways and Airpets UK clearly state on their websites that the animal MUST be able to stand, sit, lie and turn around.
AirPets UK - They only asked for 3 measurements. I found out that IATA Regulations require 4 measurements. The 4th was to do with width.
British Airlines Cargo - Accepted the crate BUT they have forms that need to be completed to pass inspection. Guess what? THE MEASUREMENTS are BLANK!!
I've had great support from family, friends, set up a Facebook page "Justice for Riley" a GoFundMe page "Justice 4 Riley, safety 4 all pets!". Both have been a huge help getting me through this tragic loss (emotionally and financially), encouraged me to keep fighting and to never give up.
Riley was a beautiful 8 year old Golden Retriever who was my sidekick. We were inseparable. We had great fun walking around London, so many people stopped us because of his beauty and his size.
My dream was to get him in adverts, commercials and even acting. Right before we came back to the USA, Riley was selected to appear in a advert/commercial for Blue Cross Rescue. It was his first "gig" and he did wonderful! I'm so grateful of this experience with him. The commercial is currently airing all over the UK and he has helped raised thousands of pounds to a wonderful rescue organization. I'm thankful of his legacy. My goal was to continue this in Los Angeles.
Here is his videohttps://youtu.be/d8qY7YuGboU
RIP my beautiful Riley. It was such a difficult year, starting fresh and without you. But I've made it, I'm stronger and I WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU.
***Please sign my Petition to help fight for stricter regulations on pet travel and their safety If the shipping companies and airlines are this neglectful, they should not be in the business of transport. Let's hold the accountable for their actions!!**
Anyone out there who can offer me some help on who I can contact, please let me know. Any spokesperson, celebrity who wants to speak - I need a voice more powerful than mine. I am asking for help - I've done everything possible and I won't stop.
Please share to ALL Animal lovers and lets get this viral!!!!!
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