United Leaves Dog Bleeding & Sick, Won’t Pay Vet Bill Unless Passenger Agrees To Hush Up

The Facebook page the dog-owner made after United asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The Facebook page the dog-owner made after United asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

So the airline mistreats your beloved pet and you end up with thousands of dollars in veterinary expenses to keep the dog alive. Eventually the airline agrees to cover those vet bills, but only if you agree to not say anything publicly about what happened. What do you do?

For one passenger and pet owner, her response to that offer was to create the United Airlines Almost Killed My Greyhound Facebook page.

She tells NBC Bay Area [Warning: Obnoxious auto-play video at that link] that she used United’s PetSafe animal shipping service to help her relocate her dog and other pets when she moved from San Diego to Boston in July.

During the trip, she claims that United workers were spotted kicking her dog’s crate to move it around the tarmac, and that, in spite of the program’s promise to limit exposure to limit animals’ exposure to temperatures above 85 degrees to no more than 45 minutes, the animals sat out in the 94-degree Houston sun for longer than that during a so-called “comfort stop.”

When the greyhound arrived in Boston, the woman says the crate “was filled with blood, feces, urine” and that her dog was “in full heat stroke. All of the blankets were filled with blood. She was urinating and defecating blood. She was dying, literally, right in front of me.”

United tried to argue that the dog had a pre-existing condition but the customer insisted that her vet in California gave the dog a clean bill of health before traveling.

And she tells NBC that the vet who cared for the greyhound after the ordeal said the dog had suffered heat stroke, acquired a urinary tract infection and was having problems with her liver.

“We have no reason to believe that these medical problems were due to underlying disease,” reads the vet’s report, “and we believe that these medical problems were secondary to hyperthermia that she suffered during her United Airlines flight.”

And so United agreed to pay for the $2,700 in vet bills that resulted from this incident, but only if the passenger signed the non-disclosure agreement.

The airline confirmed to NBC that it did offer to fully reimburse the passenger for her dog’s medical expenses, but “she declined to accept the terms of the agreement,” which included the NDA.

“I still want to be reimbursed,” the passenger says. “But I’m not going to be quiet.”

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  1. fakevegan says:

    All airlines are guilty. But everyone knows that. Here is a website that monitors the DOT reports on animal deaths by airline. http://www.thirdamendment.com/animals.html

    Now, the airlines only report animal PET deaths. Not animal deaths where they are being transported from a breeder to a buyer. Believe it or not, their reasoning is it’s not your pet YET.

  2. kjh says:

    And this is why I will never trust an airline out of my sight with my dog. Until my Black Lab can travel in the cabin with me (don’t see it happing), if I have to take her, I will drive.

  3. CommonC3nts says:

    If you really care about your animals you wont put them in a cargo hold on a plan and let them be treated by luggage.
    Please put your dog in your car and drive it.

  4. Instegone says:

    I used to take my 8 pound Chihuahua on USAIR and Airtran, he was small enough to take carry on Used to piss me off though that I had to pay extra (each way for him) but I was basically giving up my foot room and my carry on.

  5. Pacer says:

    I have had rescue greyhounds for 25 years and never, ever would fly them anywhere. For a long time I participated in GUR (Greyhound Underground Railroad) where volunteers drove the dogs by car in relays all over the country. It was safe and efficient and all the volunteers were greyhound owners themselves. It was the only way to do it.

    I wonder if something could be done to get United to take responsibility for what they did.

  6. mjbressman says:

    I am certainly not an attorney, but it occurs to me that this seems like a situation where hiring an attorney and suing the hell out of United would be appropriate. While I understand that lawsuits like this can drag on for quite some time, in the end I can’t imagine that justice would not be served and United would not have to pay damages and possibly make changes – in fact, just the threat of a lawsuit might compel them to change their tune (along with things like subpoenas for security camera footage of the pet throughout the journey, etc.). It is horrible that anyone could treat an animal this way, but when you trust the care of your pet with a company and they fail so completely and utterly (like this), then something certainly needs to be done!

  7. FusioptimaSX says:

    Good for her! I hope she gets a lawyer! United was trying to get out of it by paying w/o the publicity. I’m sorry, unless it’s millions of dollars, there’s no reason for one to keep one’s mouth shut. I’m surprised that animal abuse charges aren’t a part of the equation.