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.”