Seven Puppies Dead In American Airlines Flight

Fourteen puppies were taken aboard American Airlines flight 851 from Tulsa to Chicago on Tuesday morning. After onset, seven of the puppies died. An investigation is underway to conclude the exact cause(s) of death but it is likely that extreme temperature conditions played a role.

Flight 851 was scheduled to depart Tulsa at 6:30 a.m. but was postponed for approximately one hour due to storms in Chicago. Normally, airline policy dictates that pets cannot fly if the temperature or forecasted temperature is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any locality on the travel itinerary. By 7 a.m. while the puppies were sitting in the cargo hold of the airplane on the tarmac it was previously 86 degrees, with temperatures in Tulsa expected to reach 100 degrees that day.

When the puppies, the majority of which were bound for other locations after Chicago, were taken off of the plane to be elated to connecting gates, employees noticed that they were weary and attempted to cool them down. The puppies were taken to a veterinarian and seven out of the fourteen eventually died.

Although heat-related complications are predictable to be at least partially responsible for the deaths, the official cause of death is unknown. Investigators are probing factors from heat stroke to carbon monoxide poisoning to pre-existing health problems. Necropsies are being performed on the puppies.

This incident comes a month after the Department of Transportation published a report about animal deaths on flights. The report noted that dogs with short faces, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, have a higher humanity rate on flights than other breeds. The breeds of the puppies that died are at present unknown. According to the report, through the last 5 years there have been 122 dog deaths related to airline flights. American Airlines reports that they transport 100,000 pets a year and have flown approximately 600,000 pets since 2005. Please be aware of airline policies for shipping pets and avoid sending your animals in the cargo holds during summer months. Bookmark and Share