Devastated Owner's Beloved Dog Dies of Suffocation in the Cargo Hold during a Flight

On Tuesday, a dog believed to be a husky died during a transatlantic flight aboard an Air France-KLM jetliner after allegedly being deprived of oxygen.

The flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles took 10 hours and 45 minutes, according to flight trackers and proved fatal for the dog that got loaded in the cargo hold.

An unnamed Air France employee with knowledge about the incident claim that the dog got loaded into the cargo hold incorrectly and died due to a loss of oxygen during the flight.

Planes of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines - Air France. | Source: Shutterstock

Planes of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines - Air France. | Source: Shutterstock

A spokesperson for Air France issued a statement to PEOPLE:

“A dog was found dead in the cargo hold of the KL601, after a flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles on March 19th. The dog’s owner has been notified, and we express our condolences. In cooperation with the local health authority in the US, the CDC, the dog was initially examined to ensure there was no immediately obvious public health threat.”

The airline added that KLM’s pet policy was adhered to and that the dog got loaded correctly. As the cause of the dog’s demise is unclear, authorities await the necropsy results to determine the cause of death.

The unidentified owner picked her dog up at Air France's LA warehouse and is devastated by what happened to her beloved pet. Images of the incident won't get published as it is too disturbing.

Boxes with live animals at the airport. | Source: Shutterstock

Boxes with live animals at the airport. | Source: Shutterstock

Air France’s policy allows passengers to keep a cat or dog weighing 17lbs or less in the cabin, given that the pet had all it's required shots and is at least ten weeks old. The airline has not responded to any requests for comments regarding the tragic incident.

"Tragedies like this one are exactly why airlines must require that animals travel in the main cabin only,” a representative for PETA said expressing concern about pets traveling in the cargo hold.  

The animal rights group implored Air France-KLM to follow suit with airlines like JetBlue and Southwest, who don’t allow pets to travel in the cargo holds of their planes.

In a similar incident almost exactly a year ago, PETA shared the story of June Lara, whose puppy died aboard a three hour United Airlines flight.

The flight attendant insisted June place her 11-month-old puppy in the overhead storage bin for the duration of the flight. Attempts by June was futile, and she complied.

Sporadically during the flight, the puppy could be heard faintly barking in the poorly ventilated storage bin, but by the time the flight landed, June’s puppy died.

The story went viral and put the spotlight on airline policies regarding pet travel. Before committing to travel arrangements, research the airline’s policies carefully before you put your beloved pet in their hands.

While on the topic of animal travel, a doggy daycare center in Canada make sure their furry friends travel in style.

Despite the weather, they will pick up your beloved pet in a special yellow school bus and make sure they reach the center safely for a day of fun before they drop them off again.

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