A French bulldog puppy died on a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Boston, reinforcing my oath that if I ever have to travel with a dog, I’d sooner strap it to my chest and tell TSA it’s my pacemaker than let them send it to the cargo hold.
Roger, who was 9 months old, died of apparent heatstroke and respiratory distress during the approximately seven hour journey, TMZ reports. Apparently Roger was traveling solo to the States to be reunited with his 6-year-old owner; when the boy’s grandmother arrived to pick him up, officials told her the bad news.
Short-nosed dogs are disproportionately prone to dying on airplanes thanks to their increased likelihood of suffering from respiratory problems. In many cases, they are often small enough to bring in a carrier on the flight with you, which is useful for keeping them calm, making sure they’re watered, and generally being aware of their needs. If you’ve absolutely got to stick your animal in an airplane’s cargo hold, there are steps you can take to mitigate the possibility of disaster, like getting her used to her traveling crate ahead of time, minimizing layovers and making sure she’s healthy.
KLM was slammed for a similar incident in March, after a large sheepdog died being transported from Amsterdam to LA. Last year, another Frenchie perished on a United flight after being forced into the overhead bin.
R.I.P, wee moppet. If airlines ever start hiring in-flight pet-sitters, I am available.