Dog Almost Dies During Flight, Airline Refuses to Pay Vet Bill

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A pet owner's dog almost died on a United Airlines plane trip across the country, and now United Airlines is refusing to pay her veterinary bill unless she signs a non-disclosure agreement, according to KNTV.

Woman Claims Her Dog Almost Died On A United Airlines Flight

Janet Sinclair moved from San Diego to Boston in July, and to transport her Greyhound, Sedona, and her cat, Alika, she used the United Airlines PetSafe program. The program promised personal care of the pets under temperature-controlled conditions, as well as a comfort and safety stop in Houston for an extra fee.

In reality, the stop was anything but comfortable and safe. Sinclair said that she watched from her window seat as an employee kicked Sedona's crate to move it into shade instead of moving it gently.

According to Sinclair, the woman sitting in front of her said, "Honey, I sure hope you're taking video of this."

Credit: Facebook/United Airlines Almost Killed My Greyhound

The video Sinclair show with her cellphone shows her pets being left outside in the 94-degree summer heat. Sinclair said the ordeal of traveling brought Sedona to the brink of death.

"Sedona's entire crate was filled with blood, feces, urine," Sinclair said. "Sedona was in full heat stroke. All of the blankets were filled with blood. She was urinating and defecating blood. She was dying, literally, right in front of me." The vet who treated Sedona confirmed she suffered from heat stroke, a urinary tract infection, kidney failure and liver problems. She spent three days in intensive care.

United Airlines claims Sedona had a pre-existing medical condition that was exacerbated by the flight conditions, but Sinclair's vets say that's not true. "We have no reason to believe that these medical problems were due to underlying disease," the vet's medical report said. "We believe that these medical problems were secondary to hyperthermia that she suffered during her United Airlines flight."

United Airlines waived the shipping fee for Sinclair's animals and agreed to pay Sedona's $2,700 vet bill, but only if Sinclair signed a non-disclosure agreement. Sinclair refuses to do that. Instead, she started a Facebook page called "United Airlines Almost Killed My Greyhound."

"I didn't sign that, and I won't sign it," Sinclair said about the nondisclosure agreement. "I still want to be reimbursed. But I'm not going to be quiet."

Pet travel expert and PawNation contributor Kelly E. Carter agreed with Sinclair's decision to speak out. "You have to go public," Carter told KNTV. "You owe it to the public, to the passengers, to the pets."


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Are there any of the big animal protection organizations checking in to these airlines as to why this keep happening and to work on setting guidelines for the protection of this pets.

December 03 2013 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this goes on too many times. people that dont care!

November 30 2013 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I give this lady a lot of credit for refusing to sign the non-disclosure agreement in spite of the possibility of not being reimbursed for the vet bills. I hope she wins out in the end. I appreciate the message to beware of flying my precious pups on a plane. I feel so bad for poor Sedona...I would be utterly devasted if my dogs went through that.

November 29 2013 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i would drive across country before putting a pet on a plane

November 29 2013 at 6:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know how many people have ever heard Operation Roger,it is truck drivers that will be happy to take your pet into there cabs and transport them through a series of other drivers(if needed) but it is usually just the original driver. They do it because they love animals and spend most of there lives on the open road with only there own pet by there side. Rescues in your area sometimes have animals going to different rescues throughout the US and for a small fee with the animals records would be happy to transport your animal for a fee as well. I live in South Louisiana and have a 300 pound Saint Bernard that travels everywhere with my and if there was a extra large dog needing emergency transport I am happy to assist when I get a call from a rescue. If I transport someone else's extra large baby I leave mine at home with my adult children so there are no personality clashes due to fear,dominance issues and shear size. I also only crate if necessary I like them to feel at home and comfortable as long as they are comfortable riding.

November 29 2013 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dogs shouldn't be on planes. Period.

November 29 2013 at 11:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The airlines, United and American in particular, have quit caring about passengers comfort long ago, why would any care of pets be on their radar at all?

November 29 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I had the same experience with United several years ago. When I got my Maltese at the end of the flight, the case was hot! it obviously had been kept up against a hot pipe or vent....and when I complained they shrugged me off. You are doing the right thing and I'm sorry I didn't follow through with my complaint. You pay for your animal, they are NOT luggage and should not be treated as luggage!

November 29 2013 at 10:00 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

The lawyers and public relations should be fired for advising management not to settle without a non-disclosure agreement. The adverse publicity from this story will definitely be detrimental.

November 29 2013 at 8:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Irene Sysak

United Airlines sucks and their "Safe Pets" program is a joke! There was a family who posted recently on Facebook that their Mastiff died of heat stroke on a UA flight from Miami to California and many other pets have died. UA should be held accountable and should do what they "promise"! It's inhumane to leave animals/pets in heat, under planes with no water for hours on end, that's pet abuse and if an owner did that they would be arrested!!

November 27 2013 at 1:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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