United Airlines calls dog's death in overhead bin a 'tragic accident'

Posted March 16, 2018

New woes for United Airlines after it mistakenly put the dog named Irgo, on 12-hour flight to Japan.

The animal cruelty division of the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office said in a statement issued late Wednesday that it is cooperating with the county's animal cruelty task force to probe the incident.

The actions came after a United flight attendant insisted that the bulldog's owner, Catalina Robledo, put her pet, which was in a dog carrier case, in an overhead storage bin during a 3-1/2-hour flight from Houston to NY on Monday.

"Today, I introduced the Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act, also known as WOOFF, w my colleague @SenCortezMasto", Kennedy tweeted. "She said, 'You have to put him up there because it's going to block that path.' And we're like, 'It's a dog".

"There were two people behind us who said they had the same dog, and they were like, 'You shouldn't do this.it's not common to do this, '" Sophia said.

"We were really anxious", Ceballos said.

"My mom was crying". She explained how her mother pulled the luggage down and opened the bag to make the discovery.

United said it takes full responsibility for Kokito's death. But the United employee didn't give her a choice. The report says that the family was moving from OR to Wichita and opted to send their German shepherd, Irgo, via cargo.

The dog flew from OR to Denver, where he spent the night.

As for the Kansas City-Japan mix-up, Swindle said she thinks United might have footage of the mistake transfer and said it doesn't know how the mix-up occurred.

Upon arrival at United's cargo center at Kansas City airport, they were met by a Great Dane that was inside a pet carrier that looked like Irgo.

In a statement, United spokesperson Maggie Schmerin said the airline is "thoroughly investigating" what happened so that it never happens again. They're trained to know what's safe and not safe during flight.

"I'm hoping that from now on they take better care of animals".

The new change comes after a French bulldog died during a Monday flight from Houston to NY. "We express our deepest condolences".

On Monday night, a dog died in a plane after a United Airlines flight attendant forced the dog into an overhead bin.

More: What kills animals on planes?

Putting animals in the overhead compartment is against the airline's policies, which say pets are required to travel in carriers that "must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times".

When Catalina Castano boarded United Flight 1284 from Houston to NY with her 11-year-old daughter, two-month old newborn and beloved French Bulldog puppy Kokito she didn't expect any problems. Robledo says United called her asking to settle the situation with money.

Six animal deaths in total were reported from the other 16 carriers included in the DOT report.

"Your pet is treated as cargo", Greenberg said.

United said that by next month, it would issue brightly colored bag tags to passengers traveling with in-cabin pets to help flight attendants easily identify the animals.