Va. woman takes on airline over pets' poor travel treatment - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Va. woman takes on airline over pets' poor travel treatment

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ARLINGTON, Va. -

Arlington resident Janet Sinclair has bone to pick with United Airlines over the treatment of her dog and cat during a cross-continental journey in July.

She relied on United's PetSafe program, which promises pets are "last cargo loaded" and "first cargo unloaded," and that if the temperature is above 85 degrees, a "climate controlled" vehicle will be used.

The dog is a six-year-old greyhound named Sedona. Sinclair watched from her window seat during a flight change in Houston.

"And I watched the cargo man kick her crate," Sinclair told us in an interview. "He kicks it six times. He's kicking it, kicking it, kicking it to get it to be under the wing of the plane. There's no PetSafe van there. I was just ... I'm crying, I'm shocked. A woman on the plane said, 'I hope you're taking video of this.'"

Sinclair did reach for her cell phone, and began to snap pictures of the pet crates on the tarmac in Houston, with the temperature 91 degrees, and other luggage being unloaded. By the time their connecting flight made it to Boston, both the dog and cat were sick, and the greyhound was in poor shape.

"And Sedona's crate was filled with ... blood and feces and urine. And Alika's [her cat's] crate was filled with feces and vomit."

Sedona, the dog, required three days in intensive care at a veterinary hospital in Boston. The vet's diagnosis: heatstroke.

A furious Janet Sinclair has taken to the internet, creating a Facebook page called United Airlines Almost Killed My Greyhound. It has over 12,000 likes.

Shipping the dog and cat cost $684. The vet bills were about $2,500. United has offered to pay, but only if Sinclair signs a confidentiality agreement, which she refuses to do.

We asked United to react to this story. Here is the company's statement in its entirety: "We are committed to ensuring safe and comfortable travel of all the pets that fly with us and regret that Sedona did not have a good experience. We offered to compensate Ms. Sinclair by fully reimbursing her vet bill, but unfortunately she declined to accept the terms of the agreement."

Sinclair also told us she no longer trusts any airline, and will never again send her pets by air.

Online:

https://www.facebook.com/UnitedAirlinesAlmostKilledMyGreyhound

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