French bulldog dies on long-haul flight after ‘overheating in cargo hold’

French bulldog died of heat exhaustion and dehydration, says report

Wednesday 04 September 2019 16:20 BST
French bulldog dies on long haul flight after 'overheating in cargo hold'

A dog died on a KLM flight when it allegedly overheated in the cargo hold.

Roger, a six-year-old black French bulldog, died of reported heat exhaustion and dehydration during the eight-hour flight from Amsterdam to Boston.

Roger’s family were shipping the dog back to their home in the US, reports TMZ.

They found out their pet was dead when a family member went to pick him up at the airport.

According to a report, the cause of death was recorded as respiratory distress/heatstroke.

The Dutch airline’s pet policy states that dogs and cats can travel in a ventilated part of the hold on most KLM flights, but they must be at least 10 weeks old and travel in an Iata-sanctioned kennel.

It adds: “Snub-nosed animals such as boxers, Pekinese and Persian cats can have trouble breathing during the flight, due to high temperatures and stress.

“To ensure their well-being, most snub-nosed animals may not be transported in the hold. However, they may be transported in the cabin or as cargo. English and French bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs may only be transported in the cabin.”

A KLM spokesperson said: "Like with every animal KLM took care of dog Roger and gave him the proper attention and treatment. Bulldogs differ from other dogs because they are prone to respiratory problems. This is inherent to and a well-known fact about this breed. That is why KLM Cargo only transports these types of dogs between the age of 3 month and 1 year because expert research has shown at this age the respiratory problems rarely occur. Nevertheless there always remain health risks during transport in general and especially with these kind of dogs (whether at home or in the air).

"That’s why we informed the owner about these risks. When dog Roger transferred (arriving from Bucharest) at Schiphol (The Netherlands), one of KLM Cargo’s special animal stewards working for our specialised Cargo Animal division checked dog Roger and gave him the proper care. His kennel was cleaned and he was fed (given food and water) before he was put on the flight to Boston.

"When upon arrival it turned out dog Roger passed away, according to procedure an autopsy report was conducted. It is always our intention to act in the best interest of the animal and we gave him the attention needed. We sincerely regret that dog Roger passed away and offer his family our condolences for their loss."

It’s not the first time a dog has been found dead on a plane.

In March, a purebred Central Asian Shepherd puppy, named Bear, was discovered dead in the cargo hold of a KLM plane when it touched down at LAX airport.

The owners of the five-month-old dog are demanding a criminal investigation into his death.

Last year, a 10-month-old puppy died on a United Airlines flight when a cabin crew member forced the owners to put the dog in an overhead bin.

Onlookers reported seeing the puppy’s owner cradling it in her arms and sobbing, after she discovered her pet was dead when the plane touched down at LaGuardia airport in New York.

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