‘Best friend’ French bulldog dies of heatstroke after airline staff left it with no water for 18 hours
Andrea Suviena and her family are demanding answers from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines after the horrific death
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: A family has been left heartbroken after their six-year-old son's puppy died on a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Boston. A TMZ report citing unnamed sources within the airline said that the pet, named Roger, was discovered dead on July 26 inside the plane's cargo hold after an eight-and-a-half-hour long flight.
Evan Oshan, the family's attorney, told the outlet that the father was shipping his son's dog to their home in the US but when the boy's grandmother went to pick up the dog at the at Logan International Airport, officials gave her the tragic news.
The puppy was subsequently taken to Angell Animal Medical Center for a necropsy, which determined that it had died of heat exhaustion and dehydration. He had been left with no water for 18 hours.
TMZ reported that his cause of death was listed as "respiratory distress/heatstroke," with the necropsy report stating that "limited panting in a stressful, hot or humid environment, combined with a lack of water, would have placed Roger at high risk for heatstroke."
"These areas are supposed to be climate-controlled, they're supposed to be pressurized, they're supposed to be given water," said Oshan. "Water -- a basic necessity."
"It was his best friend and he was special because emotionally he needed that pet," Andreea Suvaina, the boy's mother, was quoted as saying WCVB.
However, it's not the first such case that involves KLM airline. In May this year, a Central Asian Shepherd was also found dead in the cargo hold of a KLM flight from Amsterdam to L.A.
Back then, Oshan had walked up to a KLM official at LAX and demanded answers, only to be stonewalled and told that he would have to contact KLM's attorney. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, is currently investigating Roger's death.
A Daily Mail report stated that KLM allows passengers to keep a dog or a cat weighing no more than 17lbs in the cabin, so long as the pet is at least 10 weeks old and has all required shots. The airline's policy also states it will not transport French bulldogs, along with a few other breeds, in the hold or as cargo. The report added that travelers flying business class on intercontinental flights are not allowed to keep their pets in the cabin, no matter their size.