A five-year-old King Charles spaniel named Lulu died aboard a United Airlines flight from Houston to San Francisco recently, and the family is pointing blame at the airline. The Houston family told their story to Houston's KTRK, explaining that their flight ended up delayed on tarmac in Houston for two hours, possibly in very hot weather conditions, while the dog was in the cargo hold.
As Consumerist notes, high temperatures in Houston this week were in the 90s, though it is not yet clear on what day the dog's death occurred.
The news comes just two weeks after a lawsuit was filed by Iowa businessmen and owners of a record-setting giant rabbit that died in United's care in April when it was en route from England to the Iowa State Fair. The rabbit was said to be in good health when it boarded the plane, and the lawsuit contends that United accounts for one-third of all animal deaths on commercial airlines.
Consumerist also notes that "King Charles spaniels have long coats and short snouts, both features that may make it difficult for them to deal with heat," but that's hardly any consolation to Lulu's family.
United issued a statement saying, "We are so sorry to learn of Lulu’s passing and have reached out to our customer to offer our condolences and assistance. We are deeply upset any time an animal suffers an injury while traveling with us and especially grieved in the rare instance that one passes away. We are conducting a thorough review of this incident."