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Bend woman blames airline for dog’s death after flight


(Updated with airline saying it did not medicate the dog; more from Considine)

A Bend woman says her dog died shortly after a United Airlines flight from Detroit to Portland, and in a Facebook post that has gone viral in a major way, she blames the airline for his death. The airline has responded by saying its workers saw no signs of distress during the journey.

“The word needs to get out that airline travel is UNSAFE for dogs. They are treated like baggage instead of loyal, loving family members.” Kathleen Considine posted on her Facebook page Friday evening.

She says her 7-year-old golden retriever, Jacob, was taken in for a mandatory physical less than a day before the trip and shown to have no health problems. But then after two flights, an unexpected, extended layover and a three-hour drive to Bend, he stopped breathing.

She explained in her Facebook post that Jacob was supposed to have a one-hour layover in Chicago, but he ended up spending 20 hours in a kennel. And she said the airline did not allow her mother to send food with Jacob due to the short duration of the planned trip.

“When Jacob finally arrived in Portland, he was disoriented and non-responsive. The United agent said the airline may have given him medication, but he didn’t know,” she said. “The airline DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to give medication, especially without telling us what, when, or why.”

In the Facebook post, now shared nearly 300,000 times, Considne said Jacob “was still non-responsive, and getting worse” after the drive back to Bend He was rushed to an emergency vet “when his breathing became scarce” and pronounced dead after eight minutes of CPR.

“His stomach flipped due to the stress of his journey that was 20 hours longer than expected and it suffocated his organs.”

{“author_name”:”Kathleen”,”author_url”:null,”provider_url”:””,”provider_name”:”Facebook”,”success”:true,”height”:null,”html”:”&#lt;div id=”fb-root”&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;n&#lt;script&#gt;(function(d, s, id) {n var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];n if (d.getElementById(id)) return;n js = d.createElement(s); = id;n js.src = “//″;n fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);n}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));&#lt;/script&#gt;&#lt;div class=”fb-post” data-href=”″ data-width=”552″&#gt;&#lt;blockquote cite=”″ class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”&#gt;&#lt;p&#gt;Hi friends, I’m asking all DOG LOVER’S to please read and SHARE this post. The word needs to get out that airline travel…&#lt;/p&#gt;Posted by &#lt;a href=”#” role=”button”&#gt;Kathleen Considine&#lt;/a&#gt; on &#lt;a href=”″&#gt;Friday, February 10, 2017&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;”,”type”:”rich”,”version”:”1.0″,”url”:”″,”width”:552}

Considine wrote that United “is assuming zero responsibility for the death of my best friend,” so she turned to Facebook and warned that United’s “PetSafe program is cruel. They treat animals like baggage.”

The airline provided this statement to reporters:

“We were deeply saddened to hear of Jacob’s passing after we returned him to the care of his owner. Our PetSafe team is committed to the safety and comfort of all the pets that travel with us. We worked to ensure Jacob’s comfort throughout his entire journey and he showed no signs of distress nor behave in a way that would suggest he was unwell while in our care. Though we understand little can ease the grief that accompanies the loss of a pet, we’ve been in touch with Ms. Considine to offer our condolences and discuss this matter further.”

But Considine told WDIV in Michigan, “The matter is not resolved.”

In an addition to its statement, provided to Portland’s KATU, the airline said, “We did not medicate Jacob. We provided water for him and made certain he was comfortable throughout his travels.”

But Considine said she’s not giving up on her efforts: “I’m not done until I see their policies clearly changing … I’m not done yet.”

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