Family And Continental Airlines Dispute Over Dog’s Death

MeganA Florida family says that their dog, Megan, somehow broke her neck when she was traveling in the cargo hold of a Continental Airlines plane.

The family was traveling from Alaska to Orlando, Florida and they were told that Megan, a seven-and-a-half-year-old miniature pinscher, was too big to ride inside the cabin of the plane. The family agreed to ship Megan in the cargo hold of the plane for the 11 hour flight.

When the family finally got back to their home in Florida, they noticed that Megan was not her normal shelf. She wasn’t eating, drinking and was walking very slowly.

Megan was taken to the vet and X-rays showed that her neck was broken.

“The vet told us that the only way that something like that would happen to a dog of her size in this kind of situation is that they tossed her kennel, threw her kennel, or the kennel rolled numerous times while she was in it,” the family said.

Because of the severity of Megan’s injuries and her health getting worse, the family had Megan euthanized two weeks later.

The family contacted Continental Airlines in regards to the incident. They waited several weeks for a response and were shocked that the company didn’t contact them.

After repeated attempts by the family and a local news team, Continental released a statement in regards to the incident:
“Megan’s medical issues were not the result of mishandling on Continental’s part. Apparently, the dog had a pre-existing condition involving the vertebrae, and perhaps this condition was aggravated by travel. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that the pet’s problems were the result of any mishandling by the airline.”

The family said Megan was perfectly healthy before her flight, and that their vet took x-rays and did not see any signs of a pre-existing condition. The vet from Continental Airlines disagrees.

Source: My Fox Tampa Bay

14 Responses to “Family And Continental Airlines Dispute Over Dog’s Death”

  1. Amanda says:

    OMG that poor dog :( I feel for this family and as usual the airlines try to lay blame on anyone but themselves when an animal is involved!!!

  2. Sharon says:

    Never let your pet ride in the cargo area of a plane. People are stupid to do so. Unfortunately their dog died because of it. As far as Continental goes, sue the bastards!

  3. Carolyn & Maggie says:

    I saw recently on a pet travel site that Continental was #1 with regard to deaths of dogs in cargo (8), with American Airlines second (with 6 deaths, if I remember the article right). We travel internationally once a year between cities that only CO or AA serve and take our 11# dog as an in-cabin pet.

    We discontinued flying on AA when we got to the airport and they insisted that even though I had reconfirmed an in-cabin pet reservation 6X — they claimed in-cabin pets weren’t allowed. We insisted and refused to board the plane unless they honored the reservation which they finally did (I had a reservation number for the dog and all 6 agents names and dates of reconfirmation). However, AA refused to fly us on the return causing us to re-route to CO at our own expense. I wrote to AA with a detailed letter of complaint which they replied to with a say-nothing form letter.

    The nightmare stories I have heard from others about cargo pets are terrible — I swear my dog and I will WALK the 2000+ miles between 3 countries before I will ever let her fly as cargo on any airline. The very sad incident reported in this story is just another reason why.

  4. pat says:

    Unfortunately, Sharon is right. The airlines do not care about your pet, or any thing else that belongs to you, for that matter. If I had to fly with my pet and they said it was too big to go in the cabin, I’d buy a ticket for it and put it in the seat right next to me. No way would I let the airlines lay a finger on my beloved pet.

    That said, I hope this poor family sues the pants off Continental.

  5. Nora and Rufus says:

    You can bet someone threw this dogs crate carelessy and violently enough to cause this more than serious injury. And if the crate only rolled, it was carelessly not placed in a secure place. Whomever loaded it up would have known better. I would get the most aggresive attorney available and sue, sue, sue! I have never considered sueing before, but his incident would be the last straw. Both the attorney and the pet parents should be compensated and profit from this negligent and possibly brutal act. Nothing will ever replace their poor little Megan.

  6. straybaby says:

    pre-existing condition?! aggravated by travel?!?! WTF?! i am SO sick of these companies blaming the victim. dogs necks don’t just break.

    have to agree with you Nora. i’d be be after them with everything i had in me. and i’m not usually one to even discuss going the lawsuit route.

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  8. KarlaSanDiego says:

    My heart goes out to the family. ABSOLUTELY

  9. Lynn says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the family.

    But NEVER, EVER, EVER have yout pet travel in the cargo hold. If not the poor crate handling, the heat or cold on the tarmac is brutal. And on top of that, if there’s a connection or stopover and you are continuing on, your pet may have been inadvertently left behind……or visa versa.

    Before the days when we found out that cargo hold travel was horrible for pets, I put my dog on two flights with me. American Airlines - will never forget. And from the LAX terminal before boarding I saw one of the handlers giving her a little water because it was warm out. I vowed then and there I’d travel American whenever I could. And I have.

    But in more recent years the pets, if it’s a prolonged absence [as in 9/11] come with me via car…..all 3000 miles. It’s worth it.

    Now please sue the pants off Continental Airlines AND let the news media know……make calls, send faxes, notify the AP….get the word out and I can almost promise you that the airline will be quick to settle. And don’t NOT take the money…..hold out for a LOT…..not that it will help, but because they need to get the adverse publicity and be taught a lesson. You have the power to do this.

  10. straybaby says:

    “And don’t NOT take the money…..hold out for a LOT…..not that it will help, but because they need to get the adverse publicity and be taught a lesson. You have the power to do this.”

    is there perhaps some handling changes the airline needs to make to insure pet safety for those that have no choice but to fly them in cargo? i’d add that into the suit also.

    i’m currently trying to figure out different ways to get my pets to the opposite coast when it’s time. i will be learning how to drive before i go, but will i be experienced enough to do a cross country with them?! flying is risking because i have too many pets for them to be on the same non-stop flight with me. right now i’m looking at pet carriers services and private flights . . . *sigh* shame airlines don’t have it together to fly pets safely in this day and age. . .

  11. Carol Kacey says:

    As a three-time flight attendant for three different airlines and an FAA certified flight attendant safety instucter, as well as a 16 year veteran in animal rescue, I can tell you…NEVER, NEVER put any live animal in a cargo bin! It is terrifying for them because it is dark, loud and lonely! The cargo bin does not have the same temperature control and pressureization that the cabin does. You have to ask yourself..would I want to fly down there? Hell no! Your animal is out of your site and your protection for too long and there are too many things that can go wrong,to ever take the chance in the first place. If you can’ put your animal in the cabin then find a different way to go or board at your vet or better yet hire a pet sitter and let your animal (especially cats) stay in their own familiar safe environment.

  12. Mike S. says:

    What I find especially disturbing is that the veterinarian for Continental Airlines is lying. That veterinarian is sticking up for animal abuse. I can’t understand why someone would become a veterinarian and then stand by a company that abuses animals. I thought a veterinarian was supposed to like animals. This is such a sad world.

  13. spike says:

    Gosh, I was considering flying my pug in cargo for the holidays. not anymore after hearing all the lies Continental spews just to make a buck. A@@holes. They should be tied to the cargo area with no food or water and crap temperatures and make them pay for it. See how they like it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank God there is now a Pet Only airline launched last week!


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