GOP senator writes United demanding answers after dog death

Sen. John Kennedy is calling out United Airlines, demanding an "immediate explanation" of the death of a dog on a fli...

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 12:06 AM

Sen. John Kennedy is calling out United Airlines, demanding an "immediate explanation" of the death of a dog on a flight this week, and saying other animals have suffered while in United's care.

"For many people, pets are members of the family," Kennedy writes in a letter sent today to the president of United Airlines, J. Scott Kirby. "They should not be treated like insignificant cargo. Frankly, they shouldn't be placed in the cargo hold much less an overhead bin."

The Louisiana Republican's letter was prompted by the death of a French bulldog that has captured national attention this week. On Monday, on a flight from Houston to New York, the dog's owners were told to put their pet inside an overhead bin. After the three-hour flight the dog had died.

Kennedy tweeted that he will file a bill Thursday to prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins.

"I will be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins. Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family," Kennedy wrote on Twitter.

United has apologized, say they assume "full responsibility" and have launched an investigation into what happened. A spokesman for United, Charlie Hobart, told CNN a flight attendant should not have told the passenger to put the dog in the bin used for carry-on bags. CNN reached out to United about Kennedy's letter and has not yet received a response.

RELATED: How United is navigating another PR disaster

But the incident has sparked new questions about United's treatment of animals -- especially in light of a US Department of Transportation report that was released last month about the number of animals that have died in the care of US carriers.

The report found that of the 24 animals that have died 18 did so while being handled by United. And of the 15 reported injuries of animals, 13 of those occurred with United.

"This pattern of animal deaths and injuries is simply inexcusable," Kennedy writes. "I write to demand an immediate explanation for the number of animals who have died recently in United Airlines' care."

Kennedy spoke to reporters about his letter Wednesday, saying he was trying to be fair to the company but he'd run out of patience over the issue.

"They have some explaining to do," Kennedy said. "I mean there are days up here on Capitol Hill I love dogs better than people. This isn't something to joke about. What happened to this pet was disgraceful. I can't imagine how the pet's owner feels. But we need to get to the bottom of it. And I know we have many important things to do -- but this is important too."

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 67°
Robinson
Scattered Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 61°
Casey
Broken Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 62°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 67°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 67°
Turning Cooler
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 295720

Reported Deaths: 8916
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1454625225
DuPage17786563
Lake17151488
Will14239382
Kane13285326
St. Clair6747192
Winnebago6300151
Madison5828143
Champaign481821
McHenry4653118
Peoria355552
McLean332523
Rock Island307177
Kankakee277677
Unassigned2562244
Sangamon247945
Kendall205425
Tazewell180927
LaSalle175857
Macon163645
DeKalb162239
Coles150831
Williamson142649
Jackson127625
Clinton122221
Adams119910
Boone115323
Randolph95811
Effingham8833
Vermilion8304
Whiteside78421
Ogle7486
Knox7043
Monroe69016
Grundy6876
Henry6795
Morgan67423
Bureau67112
Jefferson64138
Marion5732
Macoupin5677
Christian56511
Franklin5523
Stephenson5486
Union52424
McDonough49015
Logan4691
Crawford4664
Fayette4376
Woodford4327
Livingston4086
Shelby4084
Cass40411
Jersey39817
Lee3941
Montgomery38913
Iroquois36819
Saline3624
Perry35815
Bond3426
Warren3342
Douglas3187
Wayne3005
Jo Daviess2752
Lawrence2633
Carroll2386
Greene23513
Hancock2283
Moultrie2224
Richland2206
Cumberland2195
Washington2191
Jasper21210
Fulton1900
Clark1833
Pulaski1831
White1760
Johnson1630
Wabash1623
Mason1611
Clay1590
Piatt1430
Mercer1415
Pike1391
De Witt1292
Menard1281
Massac1172
Edgar1168
Marshall1110
Ford1085
Alexander851
Scott800
Gallatin752
Hamilton742
Henderson710
Brown690
Edwards680
Putnam630
Calhoun620
Stark562
Schuyler500
Hardin390
Pope301
Out of IL30

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 120019

Reported Deaths: 3632
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21671768
Lake10772325
St. Joseph6763116
Elkhart6755112
Allen6411206
Hamilton4997110
Vanderburgh390632
Hendricks2789125
Monroe270837
Tippecanoe265213
Johnson2383126
Clark229357
Porter223347
Delaware204162
Cass19619
Vigo190628
Madison173575
LaPorte153241
Warrick142847
Floyd142064
Howard134164
Kosciusko130117
Bartholomew120357
Marshall102924
Dubois102119
Boone100346
Grant97237
Hancock95143
Noble93532
Henry83027
Wayne78115
Jackson77910
Morgan73940
Shelby68929
Daviess68429
Dearborn67928
LaGrange65111
Clinton64414
Harrison60124
Putnam59211
Gibson5606
Knox54410
Lawrence53029
Montgomery51222
DeKalb50111
White49114
Decatur46339
Miami4394
Greene43236
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3997
Scott39611
Posey3712
Sullivan33912
Jennings31812
Clay3155
Franklin31525
Ripley3098
Whitley2956
Orange28924
Adams2833
Carroll28313
Wabash2758
Starke2747
Wells2734
Washington2702
Spencer2693
Huntington2543
Jefferson2543
Fulton2472
Tipton23323
Randolph2308
Perry22613
Jay1931
Pike1771
Newton17511
Owen1721
Martin1690
Rush1584
Vermillion1330
Fountain1302
Blackford1243
Pulaski1141
Crawford1110
Parke1112
Brown1023
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland680
Warren411
Unassigned0227