*WARNING: This article contains images that may be distressing to sensitive viewers*
Where do we even start? How about, GET IT TOGETHER, UNITED! By now you’ve heard that the airline, who has a reputation for not being the most compassionate when it comes to their travelers, is making global news this week after a puppy died on one of their flights. That, in itself, is heartbreaking but what makes this particular incident infuriating is that the little French Bulldog perished as a result of a decision a United flight attendant did.
The 10-month-old Frenchie’s owner, Catalina Robledo, was instructed to store her puppy in an overhead bin on a flight from Houston to New York.
“He was a really special dog. It’s just sad the way he has to, just leave,” said Sophia Ceballos, Catalina’s 11-year-old daughter.
The dog, Kokito, was in a carrier but Catalina struggled to put it under the seat in front of her. That’s when the family says the flight attendant stepped in and ordered the dog to be put in the overhead bin.
“‘It’s a dog, it’s a dog.’ He can’t breathe up there.’ And she said, ‘It doesn’t matter, it still goes up there … She felt the dog and she put him up there,” Sophia told CBS News.
Catalina and Sophia say that Kokito barked for two hours of the three-and-a-half-flight. Then the family says the dog stopped barking and explained they couldn’t check on him.
“We tried, but there was a lot of turbulence. And we weren’t allowed to stand up,” Sophia said.
When the plane touched down in New York, they found Kokito dead in his carrier.
“My mom was crying, she was just screaming, she was looking at him,” Sophia said. Other passengers were shocked and appalled as the family mourned helplessly for their beloved pup.
A fellow passenger, June Lara, posted photos on Facebook, writing: “My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone,” and the story went viral.
Today, I boarded my first United Airlines flight.On my way, I saw a Frenchie that looked identical to my own precious…
“There is no circulation at all in there,” retired airline captain Denny Kelly told CBS. “They’re scared, their heart rate goes up and they use more oxygen. And there’s not enough oxygen in the first place, that just makes it worse.”
To make matters worse for Kokito, the American Kennel Club said “a French bulldog’s short face can make its breathing less efficient, and the animals stress easily, increasing their need to breathe.”