Preparing and Receiving Pets for Air Travel - Instructions (Lesson 1)
A Lesson for Airport Personnel who Receive Dogs for Air Travel
According to the United States Department of Transportation, over 2 million pets travel by air each year. Most often, pets that travel by air arrive safely at their final destination and are happily reunited with their owners. Unfortunately, the trip does not always go smoothly for some pets as they become injured or even die during the course of air travel.
Pet owners can incur significant distress if their pet becomes ill, injured, or is lost during travel. This is illustrated in an ABC news story about Kendra and Travis Parks while they were traveling with their 6 year old dog Tucker on a flight from Hawaii to Seattle. Kendra explained that their dog was in "perfect health" before they left, but was in "such grave condition" when he arrived that he had to be euthanized. Parks felt that the loss of their beloved Tucker was the airline's responsibility, and she argued that the airline's policies of treating animals "like luggage” must cease. Kendra further explained, "This dog saw me through everything. They will never know what they took from me."
This lesson is designed for airport personnel who have the responsibility of accepting or rejecting dogs and their kennels for air travel. After reviewing this lesson you will understand many factors that can improve the safety of dogs during air travel and increase the likelihood that the dogs will arrive healthy at their final destination. These factors include the suitability of the dog’s kennel and the health and readiness of the dog for air travel.
Inspecting the Kennel
When an owner arrives at the airport with their dog, they should be asked questions about the suitability of the dog’s kennel for air travel. These include questions about:
- The adequacy of the kennel's size for the dog
- The kennel's construction and quality
- The safety and cleanliness of the kennel
- The location of the watering and feeding containers and
- The labeling of the kennel.