Pets are like our children, especially to people in the LGBTQ community who don’t always have kids. So this story out of New York City is especially horrifying. On Monday night, a dog died in a plane after a United Airlines flight attendant forced the family pet to fly in an an overhead bin.
Maggie Gremminger, a passenger on the flight that landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, uploaded a photo of the dog’s owners on Twitter. “I want to help this woman and her daughter. They lost their dog because of an @united flight attendant. My heart is broken,” reads the image caption.
Passenger June Lara explained how the dog died in a Facebook post:
The flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water. They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family’s pet so wearily, the mother agreed.
There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel. There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body. My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone.
Lara also revealed the 10-month-old Frenchie Bulldog’s name: Papacito.
A United spokesperson addressed the incident in a statement:
This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.
According to United’s website, its policy for onboard pets is, “A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.”