Air travel

Dog gets a wounded paw during flight

Cases of animals getting hurt during flights are not uncommon. It is about time airlines tried harder and improved rules and conditions for pet travel.

A dog called Lupe got wounded during a flight operated by Gol airline

Image: Marcelo Zago

Anyone who’s ever flown with a dog will probably remember the apprehension that comes with that.

Most trips are trouble-free but the rate of accidents is high enough to keep travelers with pets on their toes.

Last Saturday, one unfortunate air traveler in Brazil became the latest victim of airline neglect with their companion animal.

The incident took place on a flight between João Pessoa, in the northeast of Brazil, to the capital city Brasília.

When Marcelo Zago (36) arrived at his destination, he found Lupo, his dog, with a wounded paw and the transport cage broken.

“Airlines have very strict rules to transport animals, so I bought the most expensive ticket. I paid R$650 (US$280) for the service,” he wrote on his social media, according to the news website, Metrópoles.

He had to wait for more than 25 minutes to reclaim his dog. “When they gave me back the cage, it was broken and Lupo was wounded and very frightened,” he said.

After complaining to an airport clerk, they said they would replace the cage. But he was not worried about the cage, he was worried about the animal, he highlighted.

To add insult to injury, Gol airline logged the incident merely as “damaged luggage”. “They treat animals as just shipment. And this is a company that markets itself as pet-friendly,” said Zago.

He tried to talk to a company supervisor, who told him to wait for five minutes. But after 10 minutes, she still hadn’t returned so he went away to look after Lupo.

“If I had known he would be treated this way, I would have traveled by car. It is terrible to go through this type of situation,” he said.

When contacted by local press, Gol issued a statement saying they were in contact with the client to give him support to care for the dog.

It is about time travel companies stopped treating animals as shipments and took into consideration the fact that animals are members of the family and need to be treated as such.


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