Delta Airlines: Take Responsibility for Lost Dogs
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Update: In December 2010, Delta lost yet another dog. This time, a German Shepherd mix named Nala was being flown to Germany. During her layover in Atlanta, the airlines called the owner, saying she was trying to break out of her crate so they wanted to keep her overnight. The next day, they suddenly couldn't find the owner's number once Nala escaped. She was found dead along the highway about a week later. "It is really hard for me to believe their story," said the owner. But, like the others, she hasn't been able to receive any answers from Delta.
Update: In November 2010, more problems were reported with Delta transporting dogs. While flying a family's two dogs from Germany to Washington state, via Atlanta, one died en route and the other was "misrouted" several times before finally being reunited with her family.
The fact that Delta could so egregiously mishandle a dog after the loss of her companion and all the publicity around the other cases of incompetent animal transport shows that they are not committed to safe pet travel. Delta Airlines needs to investigate these cases, as well as conduct a review to update their policies and procedures around animal transport.
In May 2010, Delta Airlines lost a dog who had been rescued in Mexico and was on his way to his new home in Canada. After giving the owners the run-around, they refunded the pet fee in the form of a $200 voucher. After public outrage, they offered more airline vouchers and reimbursement for what the couple had spent on vet care in Mexico. The dog has not been found, and Delta hasn't offered help to the rescue groups on-the-ground who are still looking for him.
In June 2010, a week after sending two kids to the wrong cities, they flew a puppy to California who was supposed to be headed for Maine. Again, Delta has not been forthcoming with information on what happened, whether the puppy - who was diagnosed by a vet with dehydration and pneumonia - received any care or attention from staff, how the mistake happened, and whether they'll compensate the owner in any reasonable way.
It is unacceptable for Delta Airlines to be so careless when transporting live animals. There's no amount of money - or airline vouchers - that can make up for a lost pet. Tell Delta to launch an internal investigation on what went wrong and how they will prevent it from happening again in the future.
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