United Airlines bans transport of certain breeds of dogs
United Airlines PetSafe program bans nine breeds of dogs, inlcuding Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers. (AP)
The friendly skies of United Airlines have just gotten a little less friendly for some four-legged creatures.
This month, much to the disappointment of some pet owners, United Airlines confirmed its adoption of the Continental Airlines PetSafe program as the merger of the two carriers became official.
The PetSafe program, which had been in place for several years under Continental, is considered the best in the airline industry and has won an Award for Excellence from the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association.
But not everyone is happy with United’s policy that bans nine dog breeds from planes it considers “dangerous.” Breeds, or mixes, that have reached either 6 months of age or 20 pounds that are prohibited are: Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, Cane Corso, Fila Brasileiro, Tosa (or Tosa Ken) and Ca de Bou.
Until the merger, United Airlines didn’t have any restrictions on these breeds.
Mary Ryan, spokeswoman for United, told FoxNews.com that the airline adopted the PetSafe Program because it was an overall superior product. "The PetSafe Program has more resources in place: a 24-hour dedicated desk, transportation for the animals."
But some pet owners say the ban is a discriminatory practice. Jessie Huart says she learned of the ban while trying to book a ticket to travel with her 10-year-old pit bull, Slaw. She started a petition at Change.org to encourage airline officials to remove the breed restriction in their dangerous dog policy.
“These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression,” the petition site says.
The airline’s policy was recently revised to eliminate the phrase "dangerous breeds," but the ban remains.
Another change in United policy was that the airline classified pets traveling in the cargo hold as cargo rather than checked luggage. That became a problem for some traveling with pets from certain countries, especially overseas American military families who were facing potentially large third-party freight fees.
Last week, under mounting pressure, United eased restrictions. "Because we share our customers’ concern that their pets’ flights are stress-free, we have enhanced our animal acceptance policy to transport pets as both baggage (accompanying a passenger on the same plane) and cargo,” it states on its website.
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, of Paw Curious.com, told FoxNews.com that although United is the only airline that has a ban on certain breeds, all airlines reserve the right to turn away a dog on an individual basis if he or she appears ill or aggressive.
“The American Veterinary Medical Association, the CDC, the ASPCA and the HSUS all agree that the visual appearance of a dog has no correlation to its propensity to display aggression.” Vogelsang told FoxNews.com. “I am fine with an airline making policy decisions based on evidence that are meant to keep the pet safe, but adamantly opposed to policies based on assumptions and fear that do nothing to help the pet or the owner. It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that these so called "dangerous" breeds are themselves more at risk when they travel.”
Traveling by air with animals, especially unique breeds, has never been easy. So what other options do you have with other airlines?
American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Northwest Airlines do not have any restrictions against specific breeds. Southwest and America West/US Airlines both will not ship live animals, but they will accept legitimate service dogs inside the cabin.
Melanie Monteiro, a dog safety expert and author of the “Safe Dog Handbook,” says no matter what your dog’s breed, travelers should keep in mind a few basics.
1.Your dog must be deemed in peak health by his/her vet prior to any flight. Underlying medical conditions are one of the leading causes of air travel-related illness or death in pets. The airline’s required veterinary health certificate will cover this.
2.Short-nosed breeds (i.e., boxers, bulldogs, pugs, bull mastiffs) are prone to respiratory problems and should not fly below cabin. Overweight and elderly dogs are also at risk.
3. Check kennel size and weight restrictions (which is the combined weight of the pet, PLUS the carrier) for your particular airline.
4. Ensure your pet’s kennel is in top condition with no loose latches. The kennel must be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around and lay down in.
5. Allow extra time for check in when traveling with pets, and ensure your dog has had a nice long walk before the flight.
As far as booking a tough breed on United or any other carrier, pet owners are advised to always call the airlines first.
If you want to transport your dog or cat by air, Pet Airways is the safest way to fly your pet. Pets traveling on Pet Airways fly in the main cabin of our aircraft. Pets are continuously watched over by our On-Board Pet Attendants. Our Pet Lounges are pet–friendly, of course, and all our team are pet professionals.
Whether you are shipping a dog that has been rescued, need to move your dog to another city, flying your new puppy home, or just want to vacation with your cat or travel with your dog, Pet Airways is dedicated to making pet transportation safe and comfortable for your pet.
How to Transport a Pet by Air
There are 4 ways to ship a pet:
- Fly with your pet. If your pet is small and under 20lbs, you can fly with your pet by putting it under your seat. If your pet is too large, your pet flies in cargo hold.
- Ship your pet, just like you ship a package. You take your pet to the cargo department of the airline, and your dog or cat are transported just just like they transport all their packages, in the cargo hold.
- Hire a Pet Shipper. Pet Shippers provide the convenience of taking and picking up your pet from the cargo department of the airlines. Your pet flies in the cargo hold.
- Transport your pet with Pet Airways the one and only pet airline. Our pets are "pawsengers" and we treat them with TLC throughout the pet travel experience.
So, if you are travelling with your dog, moving with your cat across the country, taking a vacation with your pet, transporting a pet to grandma for a visit, Pet Airways is the pet-only airline, where the pet safety is our most important job. All we do is fly pets, safely.
And if all else fails… Consider a driving trip!!
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Traveling With Your Pet - AAA Publishing
Ask Marion at Just One More Pet
March 30, 2012 - Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership | airline pet restrictions, animal rights, breed restrictions, bully breeds, Continental Airlines, elderly cats, elderly dogs, overweight dogs, pawsengers, pet breed prejudice, PetSafe programs, pit, short nosed breeds, travelling pets, unfriendly skies, United Airlines
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Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!