#DeathsOnPlanes - Release & Report the Australian Aviation Animal Mortality Statistics
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On Friday 31st March 2017, my 21 month old dog Kendrick boarded a flight from Darwin to Brisbane. We received a phone call that evening to notify us that Kendrick had been found deceased on the plane. We were told that an autopsy and full investigation would be completed. It was my wish that Kendrick's body be returned to us as I felt that if I could not trust them to transport him alive, how could I trust them to return my dog to me cremated?
Monday 3rd April, we were asked to choose between an autopsy or his body as we were advised that his body would not be in a state for us to bury, and the process of the autopsy would mean that he would have to be cremated. As such I made the decision to forfeit the autopsy, what felt like letting the airline and pet carrier 'get away' with his death, not ever knowing what happened to my dog and lay him to rest.
A month earlier we were assured that Kendrick would be safe and well looked after and remain in air conditioning throughout his transport. We were anxious and hesitant, but we thought, how many dogs die or are injured or unwell? We had never heard of it, so it must never happen?
Since Kendricks death the only information I can find in regards to deaths and injuries of pets in Australia is one dogs death flying Perth to Auckland and another dogs bloodied injuries.
On 15th April an article was published in America with the "Airline Incidents Involving Pets, 2016" statistics in America; comparing 7 airlines.
On 27th April channel seven program Sunrise covered the death of a Rabbit flying England to America, he too past during his transport.
I am advocating for the release of animal mortality and injury statistics in Australia. The deaths of our pets should not be hidden, go unreported or forgotten, nor should animals be subjected to a lonely death in unknown surrounds. I never want another person to be blindly led to believe that flying an animal is a safe option, where deaths and injuries don't occur. Owners of pets should never be left to spend the rest of their life regretting putting their pet in this situation and spend their life wondering what their pet went through. How can we make educated and informed decisions without accurate and factual information?
I want Kendrick and every other animals death to become a number. A number that is measured, monitored, compared, a number that tells an honest story and keeps Australian airlines and pet carriers honest.
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