(PET SAFETY/ANIMAL TRAVEL) After a series of incidents involving animal deaths on United Airlines flights, two senators, John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, have introduced the Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act (or the “WOOFF Act”), which would ban airlines from storing animals in overhead compartments.

The bipartisan bill comes in response to the recent death of a French Bulldog puppy named Kokito, who was forced to be placed in an overhead storage bin by a United Airlines flight attendant.

Congressmen Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Dan Donovan of New York are also seeking justice for Kokito after proposing a similar measure called the Planes Ensuring Total Safety Act (or the “PETS Act”).

“It is astonishing that we have to pass a law to stop this from happening, it should be common sense,” Congressman Steve Cohen said in a tweet.

Putting animals in the overhead compartment was already against United’s policies, but the airline plans to start issuing brightly colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets to prevent future animal deaths.

Read on to learn more about how airlines and legislators are working to ensure pet safety during air travel. — Global Animal

Black Hills Fox, Taylar Perez

Rapid City, SD — After a series of incidents with United Airlines and pets… two senators are stepping up with the WOOF Act or Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act to protect man’s best friend on airlines.

A local vet spoke about safety concerns owners have when traveling with pets.

Dr. Rachel Shutter, veterinarian at Dakota Hills Clinic says, “We have a lot of pets come in that are about to travel somewhere, whether that be via car or plane and the biggest concern that they have is anxiety… anxiety I think with both the owners and the pet.”

In fact the anxiety can be so great many fur-parents choose not fly at all.
We took a poll with our Facebook viewers and of the 140 responses, no one said they fly with their pets. More than 50 % of voters said they get a pet sitter and a majority of the rest say they drive rather than us a boarding facility.

“Make sure that before you travel anywhere and you have concerns, sit down with your veterinarian. We can have a talk, a chat about what their biggest concerns are and we can tackle them before they are issues. ”

Most major airlines require pets to be in a carrier that fits under your seat and charge upwards of a hundred and fifty dollars for Fido to sit in the cabin … which can be uncomfortable for long periods of time.

Most airlines require in-cabin pets to be placed inside a carrier that fits under the seat, much like the one pictured above. Photo Credit: AOL

“Get you pet acclimated to the carrier you are going to use if you’re boarding with your pet it’s a huge advantage because they’re not scare of the carrier, it’s not the first time they’ve been in it. so leaving that carrier out for an extended period of time, feeding them in the carrier doing those things so it’s not, you take the carrier out and now we are going to a scary place” says Dr. Shutter

But ultimately it’s up to the owners to decide whether their four legged friends are best staying home or tagging along.

Dr. Shutter says, ” When you are getting ready for a trip and you are deciding whether or not you are going to take your pet or not is to make sure it’s something your pet can get acclimated to so if it’s a trip they have to go on otherwise there are wonderful boarding facilities there’s people that you can trust your pet with, that to me is probably less stressful for most pets than being gone for a week from your pet.”

More Black Hills Fox: http://www.blackhillsfox.com/content/news/Pet-safety-a-concern-after-incidents-on-United-Airlines–477021613.html

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