This Dog Died After An Unexpected 20 Hour Layover On His Way Home To See His Mom

5/3/2017

Kathleen Considine would never have sent her dog, Jacob, on the plane if she would have known what would happen.The seven-year-old Golden Retriever was happy and healthy when he was in Detroit, Michigan with Considine's parents.

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Source: Kathleen Considine/Facebook

He was scheduled to fly back to Oregon on a two leg trip with a one hour stopover in Chicago. He was cleared by a mandatory physical before taking off, but his one hour layover turned out to be much longer.Considine wrote in a Facebook post:

At 80 pounds, Jacob needed a giant crate for his journey and there was question as to whether or not it would fit on the plane. The airline agent in Detroit confirmed Jacob would fit on his first and second flight, no question.

Unfortunately, the gate agent miscalculated the size of the crate, and it didn't fit on the second flight after all. Jacob was placed in a kennel for 20 hours until the next flight out where there was enough place.When he finally arrived in Portland, Considine's boyfriend went to pick him up from the airport, but the dogwas not at all his normal self. She told Travel + Leisure:

The second that Jacob looked at me in the eyes, I knew that something was wrong. [...] It took him a while to even get up and get out of the cage, which is very unlike him. I thought, he's had a long couple of days, he's probably exhausted.
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Source: Kathleen Considine/Facebook

When the dog's breathing became labored, she rushed him to the emergency vet.He became unresponsive, and the veterinarian performed CPR for eight minutes, but they weren't able to save him.Jacob hadGastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome, or more commonly known as bloat. It is caused when the stomach of the dog dilates and then flips on its axis. It is most often found in larger dogs and, while the exact causes are unknown, it is often associated with things like stress and eating too quickly.The long journey could definitely have been the trigger that launched his medical issues. Considine admits, "There's no saying if he stayed at home he wouldn't have gotten sick, but it's the way [the airline] handled the situation and the fact he was on the plane for so much longer than he was supposed to be—that's where I find the problem."United Airlines, and their "PetSafe" program claim that during Jacob's time in their care he had no medical issues to speak of.

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Source: Kathleen Considine/Facebook

Considine said she received little or no support from the airline after she made her original complaint. She wrote:

United Airlines "PetSafe" program is cruel. They treat animals like baggage. They did not care if Jacob had food or water or any time out of his cage. They are incredibly rude and have shown no sympathy for my dog's death. I would have received the same responses if they were to have broken my guitar in baggage.

Her Facebook post about the incident went viral with over 500,000 shares. She claims that this was the main reason that United ended up reaching out "to discuss changes in the future of the program."While animal incidents in regards to flying are relatively rare, Considine stated to Travel + Leisure that she wants to spread the word, so that people can make an informed decision.

I know when I decided to put him on a plane if I heard of anything like this, I wouldn't have done it. There's no way. So hopefully me getting the word out will help other pet owners in the future.

Sadly, nothing can bring Jacob back, but hopefully Considine can get some comfort knowing she's helping others.You can read her full post here.

H/t: Travel + Leisure

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