Don’t Fly United Airlines With Your Dogs! They Could End Up Dead!

Can you imagine paying an airline $1800 to fly your dog (not including the airplane tickets for yourself by the way), then your dog ending up at your destination dead?  That’s exactly what happened to supermodel Maggie Rizer’s beautiful Golden Retriever, Bea, on a United Airlines flight from New-York City to San Francisco.  On her blog Bea Makes Three Maggie posted this:

Two weeks ago, on our way back to San Francisco after a great summer vacation on the east coast, Beatrice lost her life due to the negligence of United Airlines.  I’m writing this with my anger aside, in the hopes that someone looking for advice will read this and not make the mistake of trusting United with their pets as we did.

Beatrice had a perfect health record.  She received a full examination and a health certificate four days before the flight, as is required by the Pet Safe program. This program is United’s branded on-board pet safety program. In addition to Pet Safe’s stringent requirements, we took every extra precaution we could think of.  Both the dog’s kennels were labeled front to back with emergency numbers, flight information and warnings.  Their kennels were purchased specifically for the measurements and design specified by Pet Safe.  We purchased special water bowls which we filled with ice to ensure that the water wouldn’t spill and that it would last longer. We drove the six hours to New York City from our house in Northern New York State, so the dogs wouldn’t have to make a connecting flight.  We paid United Airlines $1800.00, in addition to our plane tickets, to ensure the safety of our pets. Albert and Bea were very prepared travelers.

When we arrived in San Francisco to pick up our dogs we drove to the dark cargo terminal and on arrival in the hanger were told simply, “one of them is dead” by the emotionless worker who seemed more interested in his text messages.  It took thirty minutes for a supervisor to come to tell us, “it was the two year old.”  Subsequently we requested that our dog be returned to us and were told that she had been delivered to a local vet for an autopsy. Whatever thread of trust remained between us and United broke and we then insisted that she be returned to us for our own autopsy by our trusted veterinarian, Shann Ikezawa, DVM from Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center. Over the next two hours the supervisor’s lie unraveled as it became clear that Bea was right behind a closed door the whole time and he had been discussing how to handle the potential liability with his boss who had left and sticking to the divert and stall tactic that they had been taught. Eventually Bea was returned and we drove her to the vet at midnight.

Maggie was obviously very through and Bea was a perfectly healthy dog.  What is most ridiculous about the situation is not only United Airlines negligence but the way they have gone about handling it.  Well… not handling!  Maggie continues:

It will be two weeks since Beatrice was killed by United Airlines and since then United has refused to give us any information about what happened to our beloved little Bea other then, “our internal investigation does not show any irregularities, as evidenced by the fact that your companion dog and other animals on board did not suffer the same fate”.  I’m not sure why the fact that the other dogs were not killed clears United Airlines but, they seem to think it does.

Of the many reasons I don’t fly United, this now just gives me another reason to NEVER fly with them.  It’s clear United is more worried about a lawsuit (which Maggie should definitely pursue at this point in my opinion) then actually telling the Rizers’ useful information, issuing an apology, or giving them Bea.

I am writing this to help make people aware that airlines are incapable of ensuring the safety of our pets.  All it takes is for one employee to not follow the proper procedure and then like me, your dog is dead.

I can’t say exactly what happened to Beatrice on the plane two weeks ago.  If United had been able to be honest, it would have helped us to find closure.  All I know is what the necropsy told us, Beatrice died from heatstroke.  It is said to be an agonizing death.

I can’t imagine how heartbreaking this must be for Maggie and her family, since the death of Bea could have been easily avoided.  If you read the entire post on Maggie’s blog you can clearly see the airline was extremely embarrassed and obviously was/is flustered by the situation.  I am not sure what United expects to happen with such poor handling of this situation though

The story was been picked up by the auto blog Jalopnik and several other major new publications.  Maggie’s post has 191 comments. 1800 Facebook likes, and 207 Tweets as of this writing.

I can only hope that the story gains more steam and more people hear about it.  I would be furious is this happened to Cody or Sierra.

 Rest in Peace Bea

 

Pyrates For Pups Maryland SPCA Fundraiser – September 21st, 5-9pm

The Maryland SPCA along with local Baltimore food trucks and Heavy Seas beers will be holding a fundraiser “Pyrates For Pups” tomorrow night, Friday September 21st, 2012 from 5-9pm.  The fun event will be located at Swann Park in downtown Baltimore and will feature live music by Hanover Blue.

Admission to Pyrates For Pups is free but a percentage of the food and drink sales will be donated to the MD SPCA so they can continue to do great work for homeless animals in Baltimore.  So be sure to go down and stuff your face with delicious food from Baltimore’s best food trucks and great beet for Heavy Sees.

If you are looking to add to your loving family there will be adoptable dogs on site.  The dogs will be dressed up like pirates, which should make you want to adopt them!

If you have a dog (or dogs) there will be an off-leash play area at the Downtown Dog Resort & Spa.  So this will be a great happening event for area dog lovers who want to have some fun all while benefiting a good cause.

Parking will be available at the onsite parking lot and there should be some spaces around the neighborhood.

What: Maryland SPCA Fundraiser

Where: Swann Park, 296 W. McComas St., Baltimore MD 21230

When: Friday, September 21st from 5-9pm

Getting a Dog Bath at Scrub-A-Dub

Cody and Sierra were getting a little bit stinky and smelly, so we decided it would be a good idea to take them to get a dog bath. Instead of doing it at home we sometimes like to go to a place called Scrub-A-Dub Dog Baths in Mt. Washington.

It’s a lot easier using a DIY dog bath then attempting to give your dogs a bath at home.  A dog washing facility like Scrub-A-Dub provides towels, a blow dryer, aprons, and a you get to use a dog bath tub.  This saves time and makes the whole process convenient, less messy, and faster.

I took some pictures of Cody when we were giving him a bath and as you can see he seemed to not mind too much.  Sierra is a bit difficult when getting a dog bath and requires two people.  I couldn’t get pictures of her but she might prefer that.  We try not to get their heads wet since they don’t seem to like it.

You do have to bring your own Dog Shampoo to Scrub-A-Dub, so you might want to keep that in mind if you go over there.  It’s $15 for each fresh smelling dog (after they have dried off of course) which we feel is well worth it.  Do you really want stinky dogs on your couch or bed?

Singing Dogs have the Blues!

We haven’t made any videos in awhile, but this is a short and sweet video brought to you by Singing Dogs which should put a smile on peoples faces for Labor Day Weekend.

I love the playing the blues on my saxophone but not as much as Cody and Sierra like singing to the blues it seems!  For some reason anytime I play these notes and this blues scale they both sing.  I guess we will work on a song that we can all enjoy.

We hope everyone has a nice Labor Day! 🙂

 

Cody and Sierra Kissing Anderson Cooper

Here is a picture of Cody and Sierra kissing Anderson Cooper.  It might be blurry but hopefully you can tell that it is him.  The dogs really liked Anderson and he is very good with dogs!

Cody and Sierra kissing Anderson Cooper

Singing Puppy and Dogs Improvise the Blues

Sierra and Scout

It’s a blistering hot day here in Baltimore but Sierra, Scout, and Cody have a good way to keep cool, by singing the Blues! That’s right it seems all three of these English Shepherds are fans of the blues.  Maybe they have the blues because of the heat and are not playing outside today.  I don’t know!  I can only tell you I love playing the blues with them! 🙂

Cody did sing but unfortunately he wasn’t in the field of view for the video.  You can still hear his nice deep bass voice though.

Also checkout Singing Sierra and Singing Scout from the other day.