SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory View Alerts

GOP senator writes United demanding answers after dog death

Sen. John Kennedy is calling out United Airlines, demanding an "immediate explanation" of the death of a dog on a fli...

Posted: Mar 15, 2018 11:06 PM

Sen. John Kennedy is calling out United Airlines, demanding an "immediate explanation" of the death of a dog on a flight this week, and saying other animals have suffered while in United's care.

"For many people, pets are members of the family," Kennedy writes in a letter sent today to the president of United Airlines, J. Scott Kirby. "They should not be treated like insignificant cargo. Frankly, they shouldn't be placed in the cargo hold much less an overhead bin."

The Louisiana Republican's letter was prompted by the death of a French bulldog that has captured national attention this week. On Monday, on a flight from Houston to New York, the dog's owners were told to put their pet inside an overhead bin. After the three-hour flight the dog had died.

Kennedy tweeted that he will file a bill Thursday to prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins.

"I will be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins. Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family," Kennedy wrote on Twitter.

United has apologized, say they assume "full responsibility" and have launched an investigation into what happened. A spokesman for United, Charlie Hobart, told CNN a flight attendant should not have told the passenger to put the dog in the bin used for carry-on bags. CNN reached out to United about Kennedy's letter and has not yet received a response.

RELATED: How United is navigating another PR disaster

But the incident has sparked new questions about United's treatment of animals -- especially in light of a US Department of Transportation report that was released last month about the number of animals that have died in the care of US carriers.

The report found that of the 24 animals that have died 18 did so while being handled by United. And of the 15 reported injuries of animals, 13 of those occurred with United.

"This pattern of animal deaths and injuries is simply inexcusable," Kennedy writes. "I write to demand an immediate explanation for the number of animals who have died recently in United Airlines' care."

Kennedy spoke to reporters about his letter Wednesday, saying he was trying to be fair to the company but he'd run out of patience over the issue.

"They have some explaining to do," Kennedy said. "I mean there are days up here on Capitol Hill I love dogs better than people. This isn't something to joke about. What happened to this pet was disgraceful. I can't imagine how the pet's owner feels. But we need to get to the bottom of it. And I know we have many important things to do -- but this is important too."

Huntsville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Florence
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Scottsboro
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 48°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530325

Reported Deaths: 10966
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763971520
Mobile40908804
Madison34717503
Tuscaloosa25730452
Montgomery24314588
Shelby23401249
Baldwin21107307
Lee15856171
Calhoun14488314
Morgan14282279
Etowah13819353
Marshall12210223
Houston10557280
Elmore10044205
Limestone9954150
Cullman9649193
St. Clair9644242
Lauderdale9419241
DeKalb8825185
Talladega8214175
Walker7223277
Autauga6918108
Jackson6804112
Blount6651137
Colbert6292134
Coffee5506119
Dale4828111
Russell440638
Chilton4279112
Franklin425582
Covington4118118
Tallapoosa4019152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3547151
Clarke350861
Marion3113100
Pike310577
Lawrence299898
Winston274072
Bibb260464
Marengo249264
Geneva249077
Pickens234160
Barbour230757
Hale222677
Butler215969
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184445
Randolph179941
Monroe177340
Washington167039
Macon158750
Clay156156
Crenshaw152057
Cleburne148741
Lamar141934
Lowndes138653
Wilcox127030
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852841

Reported Deaths: 12255
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby956561619
Davidson89355933
Knox50675635
Hamilton44280494
Rutherford43046434
Williamson28015217
Sumner24012349
Montgomery20255225
Wilson18804234
Out of TN1840797
Unassigned16998134
Sullivan16794294
Blount15490193
Bradley15032150
Washington14597245
Maury13499172
Sevier13391175
Putnam11396175
Madison11168242
Robertson9756131
Anderson8760172
Hamblen8610173
Greene7877155
Tipton7359103
Coffee6905121
Dickson6840110
Cumberland6734132
Carter6634158
Gibson6526146
McMinn650898
Bedford6506128
Roane6282105
Jefferson6211124
Loudon613069
Hawkins6077107
Lawrence593887
Monroe584095
Warren554881
Dyer5425106
Franklin515090
Fayette506877
Cheatham455355
Obion454196
Cocke450099
Lincoln435763
Rhea434875
Marshall419058
Campbell415463
Weakley412865
Giles3996100
Henderson378976
White364170
Macon361978
Carroll361683
Hardin357167
Hardeman352664
Lauderdale318944
Henry318576
Claiborne318273
Marion312347
Scott312345
Overton301161
Wayne296334
Hickman284046
McNairy282054
DeKalb279654
Smith277839
Haywood271162
Grainger262850
Morgan250139
Trousdale250122
Fentress241547
Johnson240739
Chester214351
Bledsoe214211
Polk207824
Unicoi203549
Crockett203248
Cannon192031
Union190734
Humphreys179927
Grundy179334
Lake170326
Sequatchie169829
Benton166540
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
Meigs139125
Stewart132528
Jackson132036
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101117
Van Buren84723
Pickett76024
Hancock58912

Community Events