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United Airlines bans transport of certain breeds of dogs

Written By Julie DeVito  -  Published March 29, 2012  -  FoxNews.com  – h/t to MJ

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  • 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.

Transporting Pets:
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.

Better Alternative: Check out Pet Airwayshttp://www.petairways.com/

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.

 

Video:  Travel on Pet Airways – "How it Works"

Better Alternative: Check out Pet Airways  -  http://www.petairways.com/

And if all else fails… Consider a driving trip!!

Related:

Resources:

Traveling With Dogs

The Portable petswelcome.com

Traveling With Your Pet  -  AAA Publishing

Ask Marion at Just One More Pet

March 30, 2012 Posted by | 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 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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August 1, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So You Think You Know a Pit Bull Person?

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Jessica Biel and her Pit Bull

by Michael Mountain – Founder, Best Friends Animal Society and The Stubby Dog Project

People are watching as the gang approaches from down the street. There are about 10 of them, each tethered to a Pit Bull, all in uniform and on a mission.

The location is downtown San Diego. The “gang” is a group of young Southern California women who call themselves “Pretties with Pitties.” And their uniform is a hot pink T-shirt. The dogs are shelter pets sporting vests that say “Adopt me, I love to cuddle.”

“A lot of people have the perception that Pit Bulls are really for masculine guys and tough guys,” said Kerri Ewing, co-founder of Pretties with Pitties. “We wanted to show people that that’s not the case. They are great dogs for anybody.”

Pit Bulls are warm, friendly, family dogs and not at all like the caricatures that have been portrayed as in recent years. Ewing, a graphic designer and social media consultant, is about as far from the stereotype of a Pit Bull person as you can get.

Ewing, a foster mom to rescued Pit Bulls, has just placed Harry Potter in a great new home. Harry was found abandoned and starving near the Mexico border.

“He refused to believe he was anything but a lap dog,” she said.

In fact, Pit Bulls are as much an “everyone dog” today as they were 50 years ago when they were known as “America’s family pet” and, in the UK, as nanny dogs. And while Labradors and Goldens have been claiming that particular title more in recent years, Pit Bull people span the social spectrum, too. Here are some examples of that.

Won over by Pit Bull puppy

At her Hudson Valley estate outside of New York City, Marilyn Cohen is checking on lunch. That would be lunch for China, her 11-year-old Pit Bull who has cancer and is on a special diet prepared by the chef. Cohen, after all, is in the business of good food – she owns two top-rated restaurants in Manhattan. So only the best is good enough for China.
China is Cohen’s second Pit Bull.

“My twin sons were teenagers on vacation in Florida 11 years ago when they saw this Pit Bull puppy on the beach,” she said. “One of them decided they had to bring the pup home, and he paid his brother to drive her back to New York. That way, he could come home a day later and wouldn’t have to have me yelling at him. Of course, I fell in love with the puppy on the spot. We called him Morgan.”

When Morgan came down with lymphoma some years later, Cohen became obsessed with finding a cure – anything that would save Morgan or even just give him a little more time. “I almost gave up my businesses taking him from one vet to another. My dentist told me ‘You’re crazy; you could have bought a condo for the amount you’ve spent on that dog.’ But not long after that he got a dog himself and admitted that ‘I would have spent any amount on that dog. They’re family.’ ”

Cohen’s husband, Dan, is an Israeli film director, who’s worked mainly in Germany and is best known in the United States for his 1978 movie Madman, starring Sigourney Weaver. Today, he’s at work on a novel that tells a fictionalized version of the family’s Pit Bulls, which he’s also planning on making into a movie.

Does your State Senator have a Pit Bull? Connecticut’s does.

Equally passionate, and a staunch member of the unofficial community of Pit Bull people all across the country is State Senator Bob Duff of Connecticut. “My family and I have adopted two abandoned Pit Bulls, welcoming them into a home with two small children without fear. We’re proud and lucky to have them in our lives,” he said.

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Connecticut state senator Bob Duff’s family includes a Pit Bull

Don’t judge a book by its cover!

Christine Craig grew up in Miami where her parents had emigrated from Haiti in the 1960s. She recently received her MBA, and has been in marketing for several years.

“I couldn’t have told you what a Pit Bull was,” she said. But she adopted one of the puppies after her ex-boyfriend’s Pit Bull had gotten together with the Rottweiler across the street.

“I’ve had Diva nine years. I don’t think of her as being a big dog like a Rottie or a German Shepherd,” Craig said. “But people still seem surprised that I have a Pit Bull. I think they see me as a rather demure person who should have a dog who fits in my purse!”

Craig thinks that most people assume that Pit Bulls are a man’s dog. “Their perception of the dog doesn’t match their perception of my personality. But that just means they don’t know Pits!” she said.

In the city of sin

Across the country in Las Vegas, Tino Sanchez believes that most people in his part of the country really do understand Pit Bulls. He says they know that most of the fear of Pit Bulls is fostered almost entirely by the media’s negative portrayals.

Sanchez, a disc jockey, is a regular volunteer at the city animal shelter, and helps get the dogs ready for new homes. Right now he has five Pit Bulls at home, two of whom are certified therapy dogs.

“Yes, I get weird looks sometimes when I take them all out for a walk,” he said, “but nothing like as much as I get positive reactions. People are always coming up to me asking ‘Why do these dogs have such a bad rap when they’re such good dogs?’”

Rags and Riches

At either end of the economic spectrum you’ll find Gary Michelson, a California, Forbes 400 billionaire and the spinal surgeon who invented spinal implants, and David Love, a homeless man in Brookings, a small town on the Oregon coast.

As a dog lover and, especially, a Pit Bull lover, Michelson is using much of his wealth to help animals, offering $25 million to the first inventor of a safe and effective injectable sterilant for cats and dogs, and another $50 million to support the research and development of the product. His goal is to replace spay/neuter surgery, which is comparatively expensive and time-consuming, and so to reduce the numbers of unwanted, homeless dogs and cats coming into shelters.

In a different way, Love also strives to do the right thing for the world around him. On any given day, he can be found checking on his friend, Buddy, another homeless man, who, like him, gets around in a wheelchair.

Buddy lives more than two miles away. But it’s an easy ride for Love.

“Kitty is my motor,” he said with a grin, referring to the Pit Bull he adopted and who has become not only his best friend but also his official chauffeur and unofficial service and therapy dog. “I’d always been told they were bad dogs, but it’s all in how you teach them. She’s a very gentle dog and she’s great with kids.”

Love has several medical problems, and Kitty has become his lifeline, who enjoys her daily exercise pulling the wheelchair around town.

“She seems to know I’m going to have a seizure before I do,” Love said. When that happens, Kitty takes over, putting her head on his legs and looking at him. “She blocks me from going anywhere!”

Obama’s classmate at Harvard

During the week, David Isaacs is a media entrepreneur, but he often takes time out over the weekend to help find homes for homeless pets. One Saturday morning, he was volunteering for a local rescue group at a table outside a pet supply store on the Upper West Side of New York City. One of the dogs the group was hoping to find a home for was a sad-looking Pit Bull.

“Molly was cowering under a table, so I offered to take her for a walk,” Isaacs said. “I took her for a stroll in NYC’s Central Park. She had a long scar along her back, and she was just terrified, grazing against the wall next to the footpath. I sat down with her, hoping to calm her down a bit. Moments later, she crawled into my lap, curled up and went to sleep.” Isaacs took her home and she’s been part of the family ever since.

Isaacs studied law at Harvard and then at the Harvard Law School, where he was in the same class as Barack Obama. Today he lives with his wife and young daughter in Santa Monica, Calif.

“When we had our baby, a number of people in my wife’s family were concerned,” Isaacs said. “I told them about how in England Pit Bulls used to be known as nanny dogs. But it was soon clear that my daughter could poke Molly, pull her, even ride on her, and Molly just loved her.”

Isaacs said Molly is also the single greatest lover of cats. “The only risk to the cat is that Molly will suck her in through her nostrils when she gets up close to sniff them!”

So who’s a Pit Bull person?

From presidents (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) to pop stars (Pink, Madonna and Usher); TV personalities (Jon Stewart, Cesar Millan, Rachel Ray and Dr. Phil) to athletes (Shaquille O’Neal, Serena Williams, Anthony Kim and Amare Stoudemir); and actors (Jessica Biel, Michael J. Fox, Jamie Foxx and Brad Pitt) to legends (Helen Keller, Thomas Edison and Humphrey Bogart), Pit Bulls are the beloved pets of people of every kind.

So, you think you know a Pit Bull person? It’s easy; they’re really no different from anyone else!

This article first appeared here on zoenature.org. & Cross-posted at DogTime


Michael Mountain is one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, the nation’s largest animal sanctuary and one of the pioneers of the no-kill movement for homeless pets. As president of Best Friends and editor of Best Friends magazine, he helped to build grassroots adoption and spay/neuter programs all over the country before stepping down in 2008. He currently is the editor and co-founder of Zoe — a new online magazine for people who care about animals, nature and the environment — and the co-founder of StubbyDog, which is working to change public perceptions of Pit Bulls.

Related:

Pit Bulls and the Media… Hooray!

Camden NJ – Officers Open Fire on Crowded Street, Killing Innocent Pit Bull Puppy

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Dogfight Videos

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Dog Rescued from Fighting Becomes Therapy Dog

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May 13, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pit Bulls and the Media: Hooray!

April 26, 2011

By Leslie Smith, (as first posted in Dogtime on April 19, 2011)

Hooray? Yes, hooray.

I noticed the link to a video clip titled, Blind kids get a helping paw from pit bulls, and I had to click. In it, Today Show correspondent Jill Rappaport reports on a pioneer program created by Main Line Animal Rescue: Pit bulls as therapy dogs at a school for the blind.

The clip is worth watching for several reasons, not the least compelling of which is the flood of shots of adorable pittie pups.

But as the video played, it dawned on me that the big news here isn’t about pit bulls comforting the blind. The real story is that a mainstream media network chose to cover pit bulls in a positive light. This is huge. Not to mention highly unusual.

The report wasn’t perfect. More than once, Rappaport brings up the breed’s flawed reputation. Ok, fair enough. But in speaking to Main Line’s founder Bill Smith, she insists, “This is definitely an aggressive… not aggressive, but dominant, breed…”

Smith half-corrects her, reminding Rappaport that pit bulls were bred to fight each other, but remain loyal and gentle with humans. Any dog, not just a pit bull, can (and likely will) become aggressive when treated cruelly or violently.

Ultimately though, Rappaport’s message is accurate and hopeful. Pit bulls can become aggressive when in the wrong hands, but when treated with love and respect, they are just dogs. Just dogs. Today Show anchor Meredith Vieira reiterates the sentiment at the close of the segment: “Dogs are like people. Some can be good, some can be bad.”

It doesn’t surprise me that such a strong bond between blind kids and misunderstood dogs has been forged. But it is ironic that there are still “normal” adults who can’t see the light.

Did you know? 

 

The classic children’s television show, The Little Rascals, featured an American Pit Bull Terrier as “Petey the Pit Bull.”

 

 

Video:  THE REAL PIT BULL THE WAY THEY WERE INTENDED

h/t to Stubby Dog – Cross-Posted at Ask Marion

Related:

Camden NJ – Officers Open Fire on Crowded Street, Killing Innocent Pit Bull Puppy

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Banning Dogfight Videos

American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs… In Memory of Ace

Dog Rescued from Fighting Becomes Therapy Dog

Guarding Dogs  -  Documentary in the Making

Dog Fighting Game Released for Android Phones – CALL TO ACTON

May 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment