Puppy Dies on United Flight, After Attendant Allegedly Insists It Be Placed in Overhead Bin

Marie Gonias, Reporter

A New York family said a United Airlines flight attendant made them put a pet carrier containing their French bulldog puppy in an overhead bin for a flight, where the dog died.

At first Catalina Robledo was hesitant, but claims the flight attendant insisted she comply, so she put her trust into the authority. Passengers, who were near the family and its dog, said the dog cried and barked throughout the flight but suddenly stopped.

When United 1284, from Houston to New York, landed, the dog was dead. The plane arrived at LaGuardia, and Catalina opened the bin to bring down the pet carrier. When she went to do just so, she found the puppy’s lifeless body. She hit him on the chest to make him breathe, but nothing worked.

One passenger who was near the family posted a narrative and photos on Facebook. “They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow,” June Lara wrote on Facebook. “They assured the safety of the family’s pet so wearily, the mother agreed. There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel. There was no movement as his family called his name. The mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body.”

United spokesperson Maggie Schmerin was quoted by Fox5NY.com and said the airline is “thoroughly investigating” what happened so that it never happens again. “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” Schmerin said. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.”