Local News


Woman blames United Airlines for her dog's death after unexpected 20-hour layover

Posted at 4:04 PM, Feb 13, 2017

Kathleen Considine says she and her family would have never put her 7-year-old dog, Jacob, on a plane if they thought it would be risky.

Considine is blaming United Airlines for her dog's death, which occurred just hours after he arrived in Portland, Oregon.

Considine, who is from Dearborn, Michigan, had recently relocated to Portland. It was time for her beloved Jacob to join her.

Considine says her family was told that Jacob's crate would fit on the two planes that he'd have to be aboard. But when Jacob arrived in Chicago to change planes, they got a phone call because the second plane could not accommodate the size of his cage.

Jacob's one-hour layover turned into a 20-hour layover as the airline waited to put the dog on another plane.

Charlie Hobart, a spokesman for United Airlines, says their agent at Metro Airport in Romulus did make a mistake and they have apologized for that error.

Hobart says, despite the 20-hour layover, they are not responsible for Jacob's death and that the dog did not show any signs of being ill while in their care.

But Considine says that when her boyfriend went to the airport in Portland to pick Jacob up because she was at work, her boyfriend noticed that Jacob didn't seem well at all.

A United worker reportedly told him the dog may have been given some medication and that he would be fine. That was around 4 p.m. 

Considine says she was cuddling with Jacob on the bed that night after a veterinarian said to keep an eye on him. But by around 11 p.m., Jacob was in trouble.

Considine and her boyfriend rushed Jacob to an emergency veterinarian where he immediately needed CPR.

Eight minutes later, Jacob was dead.

Considine was told that it appeared Jacob died from Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome, which is more commonly called bloat, brought on by stress.

In a Facebook post, Considine wrote:

"Nothing will bring my baby back, but I am asking everyone to please share this post so nobody else has to go through this terrible tragedy.

United Airlines "PetSafe" program is cruel. They treat animals like baggage. They did not care if Jacob had food or water or any time out of his cage. They are incredibly rude and have shown no sympathy for my dog's death. I would have received the same responses if they were to have broken my guitar in baggage.

The airline is ignoring my questions and concerns so I am turning my attention to Facebook in hopes to spread the word."

Read Kathleen Considine's full post below: