Friday, September 21, 2012

Maggie Rizer's Dog Dies In Airplane

When I first saw the headline that model Maggie Rizer's dog had died on an airplane, I assumed it was a bulldog of some type. Nope. It was a golden retriever. Maggie says that she had taken every precaution for transporting her two dogs across the country on United Airlines but when she arrived in San Francisco from New York she was told that one of her dogs had died. No emotion at all, just that one of the dogs had died while the worker kept texting his friends. The dog apparently died of heatstroke.

66 comments:

Under the Big Skyy said...

We have flown our dogs cross country too many times to count and you must pay careful attention to the outside temp, from one location to another and everywhere in between. So sad. Poor Maggie, she has had more than her share of life's trials.

Under the Big Skyy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cathy said...

I've never taken either of my pups on a plane, but I'm devastated just thinking about what she is going through. I wonder if she had to sign a disclaimer before the dogs were transported.

Kari said...

This is awful in every way.

MadLyb said...

I'd never take a dog via cargo out of fear for this very thing. It's also terrifying for pets. Poor baby - and I feel bad for the family. Sometimes you don't have a choice, especially if you need to take your pets with you overseas. :( The airlines should come up with a better way to transport pets. Many people would pay the extra dollars to ensure their babies have a safe, comfortable trip.

Snapdragon said...

How awful! Poor thing.

paul said...

This is so heart breaking. If you love and care for your pets -they're family- don't let them travel without your protection. You never know the person to whom you entrusted the care of your loved one.

Pogue Mahone said...

Why travel with dogs in the first place? Just leave them at home. They're not children; you can leave them home, just have someone come in and feed them and take them out for a walk.

MISCH said...

Oh no. I never fly with my bigger dog. If they can't fit under my seat they don't go.

dia papaya said...

Sads :(

This is heartbreaking. I am terrified of putting my dog in cargo. Does anyone know of a company that does this safely?

What a sweet family photo. So sorry for the pup :(

PugsterMom said...

I'm heartsick over this, I really am. I hope she sues the airline for animal abuse and I would love to see stricter regulations in place re pets on board that actually protect the pets. Poor little angel.

SilverOnyx said...

@underthebigskyy, I'm curious abt your comment. What do you recommend temperature wise? I don't think I would ever fly my dog unless I absolutely had to for some weird reason, but I live in the Phoenix area so I was just wondering. I've seen people fly their dogs out of vegas tho several times in the summer, so I thought this might have been just a sad freak occurrence.

dia papaya said...

Pogue - my dog is my child and I think there are a lot of us out there who feel the same. It would be easier if he was a human child then he could come along.

YourNameHere said...

There is actually an airline that is made just for transporting pets. I think it's called PetAir or something.

SueRH said...

Sad. :(

kriss_t said...

Terribly sad.

Layna Day said...

We don't know how long Maggie would be away from home. If it were for several weeks, her wanting to have her dogs with her seems logical. Personally, I won't judge her on that. And I don't even care for pets that much.

dia papaya said...

And I'm not trying to be snarky. Just saying that some people can't or choose not to have human babies and get animals. You wouldn't want to leave your baby behind, right? I leave my giant beast at the place where he can run around all day. We started as a puppy so he wouldn't get freaked out later.

This a huge business! Someone has to be flying large dogs in a more humane way. I wonder if it's just too expensive?

auntliddy said...

Sad. Pets are not cargo!! And heatstroke lousy way to fie. My sympathies.

Cleodacat said...

One of my pups traveled for two weeks before finally making it home. I had the little guy flown out of the east coast and mid-flight, one of our local volcanos erupted and needless to say his flight was diverted to Minnesota. Delta was sooo good to my little guy and took care of him first class, boarding him with a local vet at no cost.

Amber said...

@Cleodacat - where are you from? Iceland? (Trying to think of places with volcanoes)

Cleodacat said...

Alsaka

Under the Big Skyy said...

@Dia, There are pet cargo/pet shipping company's out there but they too are dicey. Flying cross country with dogs and kids. Uuugggg, I would go and get the dog during layovers. Airports have a special area to stay with your (bigger) dogs during layovers so you can assist your doggie child with water and walk them. This helps but the situation is all around stressful for your dog (and you). When you work away from home base you have to make adjustments for all living creatures on two or four legs. We have made long ass drives to get to where my husband was working at the time, with four dogs. Two thousand miles oneway with dogs and kids and everyone getting car sick. Good Times!

Cleodacat said...

Wow, typo much? Alaska

ljsmed said...

I had a close relative that worked in the pet insurance field for a while. She said that this happens very frequently. It made me so sad, my dog is my baby. I reconsidered after she told me what the stats are to this happening. I'm thinking about Maggie today, too sad...

rhinovodka said...

Oh no. so sad. That said, I hate United and would never trust them.

Squeezebox said...

Don't fly your pets. Drive them. There are companies that will drive your pets across the country for you so that they don't have to undergo the risks of air transport. For instance:

"TLC Pet Transport is preferred by professional relocation companies across the nation. We are licensed by the USDA-APHIS program under the federal Health and Welfare Transport Act. We also have a licensed veterinary technician on call to consult with should a medical emergency arise during your Pet Transport."

http://www.tlcpettransport.com/

Under the Big Skyy said...

@Silver, The airlines have temp guidelines. For heat and for cold. It's been a few years since we've flown doggies but I remember Delta and Alaska Airlines (we live in the boondocks) so those are the two airlines I have personal experience with. When you show up on flight day, the cargo area that takes pets checks into the heat index for all the locations involved. I remember 75 degrees (outdoor temperature) being a number that you don't want to surpass.

I recommend anyone that HAS to fly with your doggie companion to fly as early in the morning as possible, before it gets too hot. You must have a water bottle for the pet, as well. The airline won't let the dog have water while in flight, though. We had a big gerbil type bottle for dogs.

I have not flown with a dog in the winter but airlines used to have temperature guidelines for the cold, too. The end.

Silly Girl said...

@squeezebox, that's awesome. I didn't know they exist, but what a relief! Seriously, putting our dogs on a plane just plain scares me. Driving, much better!

smashbash said...

My friend has a little dog that they allow in the cabin with your therapists agreement the dog is necessary to travel with you and that's free. My bf sister takes her Italian greyhounds from SF to NYC often but she pays a fee to have them in the cabin with her. I have wanted to take our dogs to Hawaii for a month but the risk is really not worth it after hearing this.

That breaks my heart for her and their family.

smashbash said...

Under the big skyy- that sounds like a fun adventure ;)

Robot said...

Does anyone have experience flying cats? I have two small cats who will still both be under a year when I have to fly them from Chicago to CA in May. Can I take them in the cabin? Should I get meds for them? I have no idea what to do with them.

smashbash said...

Robot- I think you can take animals under a certain weight in the cabin. When I had a 6 hour car ride I give my kitties baby niquel, the smallest dose.

Linnea said...

Small dogs and cats can go in the plane - we moved from Seattle to Europe and had to fly our big dog cargo. 16 hours. An absolute nightmare and so costly. But I would have paid there times that to have him in the cabin with me

Linnea said...

*three. I was just so ANGRY I wast allowed to just cause he was bigger

Sadie said...

I can't speak for United but there ARE other airlines that prohibit transporting of animals like cats and dogs during the heat of Summer. Its sad this woman (whoever she is) lost her dog, but I mean come on - didn't you do your homework?

jax said...

Never fly your pets. Forget heatstroke, try freezing. You ever feel how cold your luggage is? Your pet isn't getting much better treatment.

And please NEVER give your pet a sleeping aid before you board, many dogs or cats will pass out with their paws out of the cage, allowing little arms to be broken from the impact of sliding cargo.

The best solution if you can afford it is a house sitter or kennel. Pets, even if they are your fur children, do not need to be subjected to stress and anxiety or possible injury/death to satisfy your need to have them on vacation etc. (moving overseas is a diff sitch)

Ol Cranky said...

@smashbash - doesn't Hawaii still have the quarantine mandates for dogs & cats?

g.strathmore said...

This is why I will not fly my dog anywhere. I would NEVER trust baggage handlers and stressed out flight attendants with the health and safety of my dog. It only takes one careless person in the process to kill your animal.

smashbash said...

Ol Cranky- it does. But if you get there on a certain time on certain days, with all your vaccination records, they only hold the dog for 3 hours. Other times and days they hold it over night.

Silly Girl said...

I wouldn't ship my dog in cargo on a plane any more than I would do so my child. That being said, I'd either drive, or find a place for her to stay while we're gone. Boarding places have play time, exercise, vet access, etc., much like a day care facility for a child (ok, not quite the same, but qualified caregivers, nonetheless). I'd rather have my dog safe and healthy when I got home. Obviously, moving overseas is a different story. At that point, you really have to weigh the risks vs. reward. Would you be OK if you flew him and something bad happened, or would you rather 'loan' him to another family while you are gone, knowing full well you (or he) may not come back? Honestly, I don't want to think about this anymore. It's too hard to choose between those options.

Ashlea said...

I agree. They need a better system. Think has been whats deterred my husband and I.from bringing our dog with us to California (we're east coasters).

Ashlea said...

Amen Dia.

Ashlea said...

Its bullshit and discrimination. I have a Golden Retriever who is like a child to me. I want her with me, not in a godforsaken cargo hold!

hothotheat said...

This stuff happens way more than it should:

http://www.petflight.com/pet-incidents/list

The only airline I've ever heard take special precautions is Air France. The baggage compartment is temp controlled for animals.

My heart goes out Maggie and her family.

gtzisshe said...

Typically, airlines require a health certificate 10 days before departure. That basically means, a visit to the vet to make sure your fur kid is healthy enough to fly and the any immunizations required. Ask your airline what their policy is.
flying pets cargo is never a good idea imho, because the temperature can change so drastically. And they are right near the engine. So super noisy.
I wouldn't recommend sedating either if they are flying cargo, no one to monitor them. Maybe if they were flying with you,.then that would be better. Again, most airlines say no to sedation.

The Black Cat said...

So sad. When my family moved from overseas we brought our family dog, my Dad wanted to leave him behind but he was outvoted. The vet recommended giving the dog a pill to knock him out for the 7 hour flight and when we picked him up at our destination he was still very groggy. This would have been late November so not too cold yet. I cannot imagine what would have happened if we arrived and found out our dog was dead. It could have been an eye for an eye situation I'm thinking. I cannot see how an airline gets away with this. there is a substantial fee to fly a dog, even in cargo.

gtzisshe said...

Ok, never give your cat Nyquil. Go to the vet and ask for acepromazine if you want sedation. Not trying to be a bitch, that's just a no no. it contains acetaminophen which is a major negative for animals. More harm than good.

Hazeldazel said...

There is a special airline that all they do is transports pets. Sparing that, I would see if you could buy a seat for them because no way in hell is one of my fur babies going in cargo if they have to fly.

Lulu G said...

For the person who asked about cats. It was 10 yrs ago but when I moved from SF back east, I drove and flew my cat on Continental. I had done research online and they had the best reputation at the time. The vet gave me sedative, which just made her a little loopy. It does not knock the animal out if dosed correctly, just reduces anxiety. Please note though that Acepromazine (pink sedative) does not work on all cats (it does NOT work on my other cat). I sent my cat on the red eye as recommended. It was less busy and they said she would get handled faster. Continental had special handling for Pets. I paid @$250 to send her (10 yrs ago remember). But I felt she got good treatment. Yes you do have to watch the heat especially if you are connecting in the summer in hot places (hello LV/Phoenix). It can be cold as well. I was told however (they could have lied) that it was in a temperature controlled area (she went in Febraury). I know things can happen, but it can be done safely. If you have another alternative that would be better but at the time I didnt. It worked out fine, my sister was waiting on the other end and they brought my kitty right out to her.

You can also get cat versions of Xanax and Valium (believe it or not). I have tried them on my cats for car travel, the one is horrible. It only made her more paranoid so over the past couple of years when I go between houses (FL and NC- 15.5 hr drive) we have figured out how to compromise with each other :-)

PugsterMom said...

I love all of you who refer to your furbabies as your children. I feel the same way. I lost one of my pugs last year to illness and I'm still not over it. He kept me sane through a very dark time.

smashbash said...

I'm so sorry for your lose Pugstermom. :( hugs to you!

PugsterMom said...

Thank you so much. You are so kind. :)

astrogirl said...

At least you can take small ones into the cabin with you.
No airline in my country allows this :(

Gabby said...

I'm pretty sure something exactly like this happened to Sandra Bullock's dog years ago. I have heard of the "pet-driving" companies, and if I ever had to transport my pet a far distance, I would do it that way! There are just too many terrible stories.

feraltart said...

I know people love their pets, and I am sorry for her loss, but I am allergic to cats and dogs. Has anyone had that situation, because I would be very upset at a potential anaphylactic reaction from a pet being boarded.

redfishbluefish said...

This makes me so sick. That poor dog. There is a bill being circulated ...at least I think (will have to look it up) to force airlines to be more transparent about reporting incidents with pets. There are so many loopholes airlines go through to hide a lot of this stuff. There is a special pet airline - Pet Airways. I believe they are struggling these days financially, but are still around.

I'll actually be flying with a cat on Monday. I'm flying Southwest, and all I needed to do was let them know. She has to be in a carrier that fits under the seat and we're good to go. There is a fee ($75) but she will be in the cabin with me. I would drive if that weren't an option. The vet gave me a low-dose sedative to calm her, but my past experiences have shown me that a little catnip works just as well.

__-__=__ said...

I would never fly my pet - and I don't even have one. I have been in planes sitting on the runway for whatever reason and almost died myself! It was horrible. The plane sat there for hours. A poor pet in cargo wouldn't have a chance! This has happened on several occasions, in heat and cold. Airlines don't care. Contract a driving service. It's the only safe way.

1Jazzimom said...

so sad!

Montie said...

Read her blog about it, she goes into more detail: http://beamakesthree.com/posts/

But, long story short, they paid $1800 extra to ensure safety, drove six hours out of way to NY airport so dogs wouldn't have to change planes and were lied to for two hours as to where the dog was.

KittensRUs said...

My friend taught me her trick - if you want a large dog in the cabin with you, file the paperwork as an "emotional companion animal." That makes it a service dog and then they can't take it away from you by law. It rides in the cabin.

Wil said...

Never .. never .. NEVER put your beloved pets in the cargo hold of a plane. NEVER!!! If they are too large to fly in the plane itself, please leave them home.

The idiots who handle baggage - and manage those people - do not always care to tell the pilots that there is precious cargo in the hold and so they do not take the precautions that are needed to have an animal survive.

I cannot be more - well you can't see, but I am just damn near frothing at the mouth, frankly - upset about this. PLEASE .. for the love off all that is holy, furry and unconditionally loving .. DO NOT PUT YOUR PETS IN THE HOLD!!!

This story just breaks my damn heart. : (

Cornbread said...

We adopted our Collie from GA a few years ago. Our original plan was to drive up, since it was only a 9 hour drive from our house, but a family emergency changed that. We opted to fly her to FL instead. Bad weather over FL had the flight re-routed to Dallas, where they had a FOURTEEN HOUR layover.

When finally got our dog, she was starving, thirsty, scared, and covered in urine and feces. I was beyond upset. I would never, ever, EVER fly a pet cargo again.

Yes - emotional companion is the way to go to get your big pup a seat. My mom is legally blind, and that's a trick she's taught us. If you have an "emotional companion", your pup can essentially go anywhere with you.

Lulu G said...

I'm sure I will take a hit for this but I've read way too many responses talking about getting some doctor to bogusly sign on the emotional companion thing. I'm sorry but you are all faking it and that is just plain wrong. A medium to large sized dog does not belong on an airplane. Don't Lie about your 'supposed condition'. It's not a 'neat trick', You are a big fat liar, just tricking the system because you feel you are above it and that the rules do not apply to you. If you have a big dog and need to take it far, figure something else out. Let's substitute another flying situation. You walk fine, dont have a handicap but you bring a cane with you to fly, so you can claim to be handicapped and can pre board. It's basically the same thing.

Lulu G said...

PS- I am very sad for Maggie R and her loss. I love my pets, they are my babies but I absolutely hate people who try to beat the system because they think the rules dont apply to them.

elspeth said...

This was true in the 90s -- Delta was the preferred airline for professional breeders who had to ship dogs.

Not sure if that's true now, though. I bought a 'pet quality' puppy from a breeder who regularly had dogs appear at Westminster. At that level, they care greatly for their dogs, but they're in a business that requires their dogs to travel a lot; it's not practical for the owners to drive their dogs all over the country much less internationally for showing and breeding purposes.

Not sure if pet transport services were available then. I would never ship my pet by air, however, too many horror stories. Haven't checked this 'fact', but, besides deaths and injuries, i believe that something like 5,000 pets go 'missing' on flights each year.