'Should Be Absolutely Ashamed': Woman Mourns Death Of Beloved Dog On Qantas Flight
A woman has been left devastated after her Boxer dog, Duke, died while being transported on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Brisbane.
Kay Newman says her six-year-old dog was left for an extended period on the tarmac inside a crate during a flight delay.
Newman said the temperature had reached up to 39 degrees on December 19 as she watched her beloved family pet left in his crate in the sun for more than 15 minutes.
"I was worried about the heat but was told by Qantas freight staff that Duke would only be kept on the tarmac for a few minutes and that he would be kept under cover until they were ready to put him on the plane," Newman said.
She said after being allowed to wait with Duke in an air-conditioned office until "the last possible minute" before he was placed inside his crate, she went to the boarding gates to watch him get loaded on.
" I could see Duke's crate already on the tarmac. I’m not sure how long he’d already been there but as I watched, five, ten, fifteen minutes passed, and he was still out there, in the crate, in that heat," Newman said.
"I alerted Qantas staff of my concerns over Duke being out in the heat, but I was assured that he was fine and would be loaded shortly."
After a further attempt to raise concerns with staff Newman said she became very distressed and before taking-off, the captain apparently phoned down to ground crew to check on Duke who said the dog was doing fine.
But sadly Duke did not survive the flight.
By the time Newman arrived in Brisbane she said she was ushered to the back of the freight office and was told Duke had died.
"I was beside myself, all I could do was scream 'no, no, no'. I demanded to see Duke because I didn’t want to believe what was happening," Newman recalled.
"Duke was still in the crate and when I reached in and put my arms around him, I knew immediately why he died because the heat coming from the underside of his body, and the bottom of his crate was immense."
A spokesperson for Qantas told 10 daily that there had been an "unexpected delay" on Kay's flight, resulting in Duke being left on the tarmac for longer than usual.
"But our baggage handlers said Duke was fine when he was loaded onto the aircraft," the spokesperson said.
"We have expressed our sympathies to Kay about the passing of her dog, Duke."
The spokesperson said Kay had been refunded the cost of Duke's ticket.
Following the distressing ordeal, Newman has started a petition calling on Qantas to change their current animal care standards and procedures. The change.org petition has so far gained more than 9500 signatures.
But Qantas has defended its practices saying it takes its responsibility of transporting pets "very seriously" and follows industry best practice guidelines.
A spokesperson said the airline has additional restrictions for travelling with snub-nosed dogs that passengers are made aware of during the booking process.
"Snub-nosed dogs, such as boxers, bulldogs and pugs can suffer from respiratory issues which means they are at a higher risk when travelling by air," the spokesperson said.
According to Qantas policy snub-nosed dogs are only permitted on flights less than five hours in length and no more than two sectors per journey and the dogs must be in a crate twice the size that is usually required in order to increase airflow and comfort.
Snub-nosed dogs are only permitted on flights five hours or longer where a waiver has been signed and lodged.
It comes after another dog died on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Melbourne last month.
Anthony Balletta told The Daily Telegraph he broke down after he was told his one-year-old bulldog Frank did not survive the short flight.
Balletta called for trained vets to fly in cargo holds with animals in case they become ill, a suggestion Qantas has rejected.
A spokesperson for the airline said another dog was also travelling on the same flight without incident.
"We can understand for Mr Balletta and his family that what’s occurred is very distressing," they said.
"An investigation found there were no issues onboard the aircraft or during the journey with all procedures followed."
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