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Petitioning Representative Niki Tsongas and 3 others

Create legislation to protect all animals and pets while in the custody of and travelling on a commercial airline.

Over the years I have read different stories of pets and other animals that died or were injured while traveling with commercial airlines. It is the main reason that as things are now I would never allow my dogs or cats to travel on an airplane of any type.

Recently I read a story about a Neopolitan Mastiff by the name of Bam Bam that died while flying with United Airlines from San Francisco to Miami with a layover in Houston, TX. The owner Michael Jarboe chose United airlines because he was impressed with their "PetSafe" program which promises compartments that are pressurized in the same way as passenger cabins, climate controlled facilities and personal handling in climate controlled vehicles for connections in United hubs. 

"It was 95 degrees when the plane landed in Houston, Jarboe said. After a layover of about three hours, he and his partner boarded and looked for the air-conditioned van that they thought would bring their dog, but Bam Bam arrived instead in a regular metal boxed luggage cart, “We had a direct shot, I could see right inside his kennel and I have never seen him that hot – ever,” Jarboe recalled. “His tongue was hanging out so far, it couldn't have hung out any farther, he just looked awful. I kept thinking, why is he not on a van?”

This shows that despite what United airlines says about it's "PetSafe" program that United Airlines does not care about the safety of animals in their possession.

I first was drawn to this story because of another petition on this site: 

United Airlines: Have PetSafe Program policies changed to protect the animal and owner.

This petition which I think you should sign too, is asking United Airlines the following:

  1. Fully disclose the number of total animal deaths that occur to the Department of Transportation, not just pets.
  2. The airlines to be held liable for wrongful deaths of our pets as living creatures and not as “baggage.”
  3. An independent third party, not the airline, be in charge of the autopsy and the investigation into cause of a pets death.

The only problem is that it is being sent to United Airlines and with their record of handling pets I don't think it will do any good to send them anything. The petition is great but does not go far enough. I would like to see Congress enact legislation that would protect all animals while in the custody of a commercial airline by requiring the airline to 

  1. Report all incidents of loss, injury and death of all animals traveling with the commercial carrier
  2. Require all commercial airline carriers provide safe environments for animals travelling with the airline
  3. To set harsh penalties  to airline carriers that do not comply with the law.

I am not a believer in creating laws for everything and anything but this to me makes sense. As it is right now, any animal flying with a commercial airline is treated as baggage and if lost you'll be lucky to get anything more than what the airline believes the "baggage" is worth. The airlines want your money to transport your pets and some even act as though they care about your pets in the same way that you do, but they do not. To them a pet or any animal is just another piece of frieght, another stream of income for the company. A piece of baggage or freight that to them is ultimately replacable by writing a check.

There is a petition in existance that you can find on regulations.gov that is asking some of what I am asking but you will also see that that petition to the DOT (department of Transportation) is just sitting there not being acted upon.

My petition here is petitioning congress to create new legislation to change this. I am asking you to sign my petition and help protect animals that fly the not so animal friendly skies of United Airlines and all commerical air carries.

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Jim Fitzgerald needs your help with “To All Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.: Create legislation to protect all animals and pets while in the custody of and travelling on a commercial airline.”. Join Jim and 710 supporters today.