A dog died in a plane on a United Airlines flight on Monday night after a flight attendant forced the dog into an overhead bin.
Passengers from the flight – which was travelling from Houston to New York LaGuardia – uploaded desperate pleas to social media to help the owner of the dog, according to The New York Post.
Maggie Gremminger, one of the passengers, wrote on Twitter:
I want to help this woman and her daughter. They lost their dog because of a United flight attendant. My heart is broken.
— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
June Lara, another passenger, wrote their account of the incident on their Facebook page, detailing what happened.
They wrote that the dog was a ‘Frenchie’ who was travelling with a family, including a girl ‘no older than eight’, a toddler, and the mother of the two children.
He was meant to grow, learn, cry, play with those young children and be their furry friend.
He was meant to live a long life filling that family’s days with that special joy that only a dog can bring.
I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky – who doesn’t when they get to sit near a puppy? However, 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.
The heartbreaking account details how upon landing, there was no sound coming from the kennel, and no movement as the family called their 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 realised he was gone…
This little guy fought hard for his life, filling our flight with his cries until he finally ran out of breath.
There have been reports that barking was heard during the flight, but there was no attempt to check on the dog until the flight was over.
A United Airlines spokesperson addressed the incident in a statement to The Points Guy, saying:
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 the United Airlines website, the policy for onboard pets is that the pet ‘must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel’.
Our thoughts are with the family of the dog during this difficult time.