Baggage Handler Fired for Refusing to Load Abused Dog on Plane

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by THawk996, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. THawk996

    THawk996 Original Member

    Baggage Handler Fired for Refusing to Load Abused Dog on Plane
    Why would the TSA be X-raying the dog? Is this standard practice for animals being transported in the cargo hold?
  2. This story is weird to me. I had a short stint as an animal shipping driver (chauffeur, if you prefer!) before we moved to Alaska, and we were required to be very concerned about a pet's health and well being when we took them to the airport. All animals who fly have to have a vet-certified health certificate attached to their crate, and I'm surprised a vet signed off on a dog in such bad shape, unless the health cert was forged. People who bring their dogs as luggage do so on their own recognizance, so I suppose that could be what happened here.

    I'm surprised this woman was fired. The pet shipping industry, including the airlines who do it, are very careful with animals, since any incidents tended to make the news and put people off of shipping animals. If a dog gets terribly ill en route on a layover, for example, it is expected that someone will notice and make arrangements to get the dog to a vet, even if it means the dog is delayed. There's a whole network of kennels and pet shippers prepared to make emergency pick-ups in situations like these.

    Animals were not x-rayed when I was doing this in 2005, but we were a "known shipper" or whatever it's called, so we were trusted to have non-bomb implanted animals. That's a big hole in security, by the way, and we knew it! I did fly my own animals up with us to Alaska, also in 2005, and I had to remove them from their crates so the crates could be x-rayed. That might be what was going on here.

    By the way, it's great fun to take angry cats out of a crate in the middle of the airport! There's not a contained area or anything, they just want you to take them out right in the middle of everything where they're x-raying the luggage. I was glad to have had recent experience boldly scruffing cats before I had to do it for my own in that situation.
  3. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    This is a wrongful termination lawsuit that's a slam dunk for the ex-employee. At-Will employment doesn't cover this.
  4. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I've done some pet travel contract work on-and-off over the years, and I don't think I've ever seen the "health cert" you mention - I've certainly never provided one when dropping off at the cargo facility dock.

    It's possible that the certs were faxed or otherwise handled by those I was working for, but I never saw them. They certainly were not attached to the crate.

    Most of my work was in receiving, though - I'd pick the pet up at the airport and drive them to their final destination. I think I only ever originated shipping for two.
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The article (at least not what was quoted here) does not say where the dog's travel started. He might have just been connecting in Las Vegas after a long, rough trip.
  6. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I don't know how this is any harder to believe than the fact that a federal agency is sexually molesting passengers as a requirement of flying.

    Also, I read a story last year about employees at some airport putting animal carriers on the conveyor belt straight through the x-ray. So, again, I have no problem believing some people are uncaring morons.
  7. Huh, really? It was a big deal, I had to show the health cert every time I dropped off an animal at the cargo terminal. It's possible I didn't show it to more uncommon shippers we used, I don't remember, but it was always there. We usually had them bundled with all the documents in one of those stick-on plastic sleeves. If you only did the pick-up, maybe the form was in there with the attached paperwork and you didn't see it. When I picked up I don't think there was much to do with the paperwork.

    Yeah, I'm not surprised that there are stupid uncaring morons working cargo and baggage, but in this particular part of the industry it was a big deal to get the pets safely and securely to where they were going, if only because it reflected very badly on the whole process of shipping pets, and a lot of money and reputation was potentially lost for everybody. It would be interesting, just having worked in the industry, to hear more about what happened in this story, since the reporting doesn't fill in all the gaps.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Baggage worker offered job back after dog debacle

    .........................................more at posted link
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  9. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Our dogs have flown occasionally. They needed a health certificate, but they needed health certificates when we took them across the Canadian border by car. The first couple of times I thought the health certificates were about international borders, but the last time one of the dogs flew was from Florida to Virginia. She needed a health certificate then too.

    The health certificate was always on top of the carrier in a plastic bag that was covered with adhesive on the back and really hard to open and remove. It was clear they really intended the paperwork to be affixed to the carrier for the entire trip.

    Our dogs always did OK, but I worried myself sick every time. It was the only time I wished I had tiny little lap dogs instead of big, hairy, exuberant golden retrievers. I think tiny lapdogs can still ride in the passenger compartment with their people - right?

    PS: When we took our dog to Japan with us the people in the airport were afraid to give her water. They found her size intimidating. She was outside of their normal experience with dogs. They had no idea how dumb and sweet Goldens were. I truly hate flying with pets.
  10. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    This is very likely.
  11. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  12. RB

    RB Founding Member

    The article said that the lady had not accepted the job back. Don't know the employment laws of that state but she may be looking at legal action. The person who fired her should be the party fired.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  13. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I'm of two minds about this one. We don't know why the dog was in such bad shape, or if the animal was really endangered by the flight. What if the animal was a rescue dog being flown to a loving home? We don't know.

    The animal didn't become emaciated and covered with sores in a day or a week. That wasn't the result of flying. His paws probably did not become raw as a result of travel, although he may had scratched at his cage or chewed off bandages to lick wounds.

    Busy bodies who consider themselves do gooders don't always do helpful things. Sometimes their meddling leads to tremendous aggravation, even misery. We have some people in our community who think they "love animals." They're absolutely confident they enjoy exclusive ownership of the moral high ground. These nuts literally love animals to death, or they prolong the misery of suffering animals due to their rigid and unrealistic ideas about what humane treatment consists of.

    It's wildly improbable that somebody placed a clearly abused and neglected animal on an expensive flight to a new location for the express purpose of inflicting more abuse and misery on the dog.

    There's a lot to this story we don't know, so I'm withholding judgment. The lady in question could be a histrionic flake who caused never-ending misery and aggravation with her incessant trauma-dramas. You haven't had a migraine until you've had to deal with one of these personalities.

    At this time of year it's highly probable that the dog was a hunter's wandering beagle. One has to wonder how much extra money and inconvenience the poor man suffered as a result of this debacle. Did the dog really benefit from extra time spent in institutional care at a local SPCA while the stories were sorted out? Who footed the bill for all the extra nonsense?
  14. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Oh, come on. People do weird, stupid, and cruel (expletive deleted) all the time.
  15. RB

    RB Founding Member

    It was my understanding that the baggage handler only wanted to get some immediate medical attention for the animal. I see no fault with that.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  16. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Yep, and the baggage handler who's garnered all this sympathy may well be the person doing the weird, stupid, cruel stuff. We've got PETA in Norfolk, VA, and it would take a book to catalog their viciousness toward animals. They are the monsters, yet they garner all kinds of sympathy. They're professional drama-queens.

Share This Page