Heat may have killed 7 puppies on American Airlines jet

by Alister POOLE on August 19, 2010

American Airlines revealed that heat may have been the factor that killed seven puppies being held in a cargo hold of one of their jets.

According to spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan, necropsies were performed on the puppies revealing that heat could have been a factor, but overall results were inconclusive. The puppies, onboard a flight from Tulsa, Ok, died soon after landing. Cargo Handlers in Chicago said they noticed the puppies were lethargic and transported them to a veterinarian’s office.

Fagan said that all procedures onboard had complied with company policy, which prohibits shipping animals while outdoor ground temperatures surpass 85 degrees. The National Weather Service, however, recorded that Tulsa temperatures were at 86 degrees while the aircraft, which was delayed, was still on the ground. However, Fagan says the airline uses readings taken from The Weather Channel’s website, which she insists were under the 85 degree limit during the entire one hour delay.

Fagan also said that the puppies that died could have been suffering from other health issues since the remaining 17 dogs on the flight survived. American has said it will not release the necropsy reports detailing the death of the puppies. The airline also said it transports more than 100,000 dogs each year.

Animal rights groups are outraged by the deaths of the puppies. The Human Society of the United States in conjunction with the Animal Legal Defense Fund have urged government officials to further investigate whether or not the airline was in violation of federal regulations for shipping animals.

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