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United Airlines Killed Our Golden Retriever, Bea

Beatrice, the pick of the 2010 Rizer Goldens litter was generously given to us as a wedding gift. It was a very happy time for us and her addition to our family added to that joy tremendously.  Beatrice was a very special gift because she was so much more than just a dog.  She was full of light and happiness that you could truly see when she pranced into a room.  Bea’s heart and her funny quirks inspired me to write this blog.  I called her my Sweet-Bea.

When we first got Bea, the intention was to show her.  Her lineage was quite impressive and her potential as a show dog was thought to be endless.  Unfortunately for Bea’s career, her heart melted ours and the thought of her being on the road at shows, away from us, was too much to bear.  Beatrice was our little lap dog and her place was with us, at home.  Still, the demand for Bea’s puppies was high and we had planned to breed her.  In the upcoming months she was to be bred to Baker (a.k.a “Nautilus Boston Baked Beans” a US and Canadian champion) with whom the puppies would have been remarkable.

Two weeks ago, on our way back to San Francisco after a great summer vacation on the east coast, Beatrice lost her life due to the negligence of United Airlines.  I’m writing this with my anger aside, in the hopes that someone looking for advice will read this and not make the mistake of trusting United with their pets as we did.

Beatrice had a perfect health record.  She received a full examination and a health certificate four days before the flight, as is required by the Pet Safe program. This program is United’s branded on-board pet safety program. In addition to Pet Safe’s stringent requirements, we took every extra precaution we could think of.  Both the dog’s kennels were labeled front to back with emergency numbers, flight information and warnings.  Their kennels were purchased specifically for the measurements and design specified by Pet Safe.  We purchased special water bowls which we filled with ice to ensure that the water wouldn’t spill and that it would last longer. We drove the six hours to New York City from our house in Northern New York State, so the dogs wouldn’t have to make a connecting flight.  We paid United Airlines $1800.00, in addition to our plane tickets, to ensure the safety of our pets. Albert and Bea were very prepared travelers.

When we arrived in San Francisco to pick up our dogs we drove to the dark cargo terminal and on arrival in the hanger were told simply, “one of them is dead” by the emotionless worker who seemed more interested in his text messages.  It took thirty minutes for a supervisor to come to tell us, “it was the two year old.”  Subsequently we requested that our dog be returned to us and were told that she had been delivered to a local vet for an autopsy. Whatever thread of trust remained between us and United broke and we then insisted that she be returned to us for our own autopsy by our trusted veterinarian, Shann Ikezawa, DVM from Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center. Over the next two hours the supervisor’s lie unraveled as it became clear that Bea was right behind a closed door the whole time and he had been discussing how to handle the potential liability with his boss who had left and sticking to the divert and stall tactic that they had been taught. Eventually Bea was returned and we drove her to the vet at midnight.

William Spangler DVM, PhD performed Beatrice’s necropsy (a dog autopsy).  From the findings, it is Dr. Spangler’s opinion that Beatrice’s death was from  heatstroke.  Our little Beatrice died in pain, scared and alone.  Dr. Spangler also said that “in my experience it is not unusual for a single dog in airline transit to be affected while other dogs of the same breed survive the trip apparently unscathed.”

It will be two weeks since Beatrice was killed by United Airlines and since then United has refused to give us any information about what happened to our beloved little Bea other then, “our internal investigation does not show any irregularities, as evidenced by the fact that your companion dog and other animals on board did not suffer the same fate”.  I’m not sure why the fact that the other dogs were not killed clears United Airlines but, they seem to think it does.

They had nothing to say about the fact that the plane had been turned off  (for at least fifteen minutes each time) twice before take-off in Newark, nor did they have anything to say when I requested information about her placement in the plane or about baggage being packed around her.  United Airlines additionally called our veterinarian and fabricated a story about having an email from me, authorizing them to obtain the necropsy results. This, after I specifically told them that we would release the results to them at our discretion.

Aside from being completely emotionally distraught over the loss of our little Bea, I am so saddened by the complete lack of competence,  honesty and compassion that United has shown.  I am not writing this to start a lawsuit or to get anyone to stop flying United.  I am writing this to help make people aware that airlines are incapable of ensuring the safety of our pets.  All it takes is for one employee to not follow the proper procedure and then like me, your dog is dead.

I can’t say exactly what happened to Beatrice on the plane two weeks ago.  If United had been able to be honest, it would have helped us to find closure.  All I know is what the necropsy told us, Beatrice died from heatstroke.  It is said to be an agonizing death.

Beatrice should have been happy, healthy and spoiled with us for years and years to come.

Please don’t make the mistake I made that cost our dog her life.  Please, don’t trust that an airline will truly care and provide safety to your beloved pet. At some point in the two hours that Bea was in the care of United Airlines before she died, someone made a mistake and because of that, our loving, happy sweet Bea is no longer in our lives.

I will miss her forever.

Thank you for supporting beamakesthree over the past few years, I greatly appreciate it and have really enjoyed everyone’s comments. This will be the last post.

Bea deserved so much more.

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559 Comments Post a comment
  1. Laura #

    I´m so so sorry.. I´m from Spain. I have a dog too (a Golden Retriever) and i´m crying right now while reading your story. I´m afraid of travelling by plane with my little girl, and it´s a pity cause there are so much wonderful places where I cannot travel to, cause I have to go by car with her. I wish that Flight´s Companies begin to think that pets are not luggage.. they´re like us.. they HAVE to travel with us to be safe. I´m so sorry for your lost Maggie. Lots of hugs and kisses, be strong..

    September 30, 2012
  2. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Most airlines here in the States have bad reputations, but United seems especially intent on trying to deny their obvious mistakes and blame anything but their own negligence.

    Your story shows the problem goes far beyond customers’ ruined vacations and it’s shocking and shameful for a beloved pet to lose his life this way, and sincerely disappointing that the airline has shown their priority to be ducking responsibility rather than expressing regret and apologizing for their role in the tragedy.

    September 30, 2012
  3. Arbib #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I also have a Golden Retriever, that is a Service Dig for our younger Son. They are such great family dogs. Thanks for opening my eyes about Pet Flying dangers that airlines ignore.

    September 29, 2012
  4. This brought tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry for your loss. I’m sending non-creepy internet hugs your way.

    September 28, 2012
  5. Mary #

    Reading this absolutely broke my heart. I am so sorry that this happened do you and your family. I couldn’t even imagine going through this. I actually cried when I read that the person who told you of Beatrice’s passing was more interested in their phone than the horrible loss you were suffering.

    I will never fly United Airlines again.

    September 28, 2012
  6. turntothesky #

    You did all you could to protect her and ensure her safety. With this post, you’ve confirmed that I should never trust an airline with animals. Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking lesson and your story. I’m so very sorry this happened to your family.

    September 28, 2012
  7. I cannot believe a company could be so negligent, something should be done

    September 28, 2012
  8. anuj #

    I am so sorry for your loss…. I also lost my labrador on Sunday due to neglegance of a Vet . she did not diagnose his condition properly. …He died of a heart attack …. When would people learn to give the importance to our furry family memebrs that they deserve…..

    September 28, 2012
  9. I am so sorry even though I am sure words are not enough to express your loss.

    September 28, 2012
  10. Amanda #

    Usually dogs like goldens are v strong dogs. I am so upset to read this!!! How would a dog die so easily! If it’s due to their lack of care I really think I will boycott them!!! Terrible! It’s a life!not a toy!

    September 28, 2012
  11. My heart breaks for you and to think about Bea being alone, in pain and terrified brings tears to my eyes, such a thing should never have happened and United’s behaviour is unforgivable. So very sorry that this happened.

    September 28, 2012
  12. So sad………….. i have no words….. 😦

    September 28, 2012
  13. marsupial #

    so said for your loss. i couldn’t imagine if that happened to my oscar or sammie. i would be beside myself. stay strong. such a terrible tragedy. one that could have been avoided if the staff were appropriately trained to handle.

    September 27, 2012
  14. Krista #

    My heart goes out to you for such a negligent tragedy. My Molly is a Golden that we rescued – half starved and neglected. She is so precious to us, even though we didn’t have her from her tender youth. Bless you for the love you gave her…. she an soft furball angel on your shoulder and will be with you always.

    September 27, 2012
  15. Our company taught us, service failures generate 1,000 negative contacts, and successes only ten. Bea’s death is so much more than just a service failure. I shared your post with twelve friends who love their dogs. I wish I could think of another 12,000. We are sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your painful story.

    September 27, 2012
  16. ASTRYD #

    I am so sad and share your sorrow for Bea… I have 4 kids: 2 babies,2 pus and could not imagine my life without them anymore… We travel often because we are military and the loss of any of us would be even more devastating as they are not only part of the family but also our therapy and consolation when separarted… The airlines have become heartless and too commercial,they have absolutely no regard for life!!! I HOPE YOU SUE THEM!!!
    May you find SOME peace with our comments…
    “ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN” 😉 ❤

    September 27, 2012
  17. Kimberly #

    I am so very sorry to hear this. Know that you have educated one person today – no animal of mine will ever fly, unless they are in the passenger cabin with me.

    September 27, 2012
  18. I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that Bea will rest in peace and that no dog shall ever have to go through such an ordeal ever.

    I hope other pet owners will read your story and think really hard about ever considering flying their pets. I was so paranoid, I refused to consider any jobs that required relocation even though the pay was much better. My boy, Mocha, died a month ago from heart failure. He was 12 and even till now, I’m still completely torn by the loss that I knew was inevitable. I cannot even begin to imagine how horrible it must be to lose a young & perfectly healthy dog.

    Please take heart that your everloving Bea is in doggy Heaven, looking at her mum and hoping that you’ll stay strong.

    September 27, 2012
  19. This is horrible. I’m so very sorry.

    September 27, 2012
  20. The Political Idealist #

    Here in Britain we hear the odd story about United Airlines’ complete uselessness (remember United Breaks Guitars) and aside from what they might have done, that is not how you treat someone whose pet has died on your watch. That is not acceptable.

    September 26, 2012
  21. A friend shared your post and I’m truly sorry to hear this happened. Thank you for sharing your story, despite all the pain, and letting more people make better informed decisions.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    September 26, 2012
  22. Reblogged this on the little orange notebook and commented:
    As someone who has flown her beloved, furry family member, this breaks my heart.

    September 26, 2012
  23. Thank you for sharing your story in such an eloquent way. And I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 26, 2012
  24. I just want to express my deep, deep condolences. I don’t know what I would do in your situation, but I know I would not handle it with as much grace and class as you all are. I can only imagine the tremendous and bitter loss you’ve experienced, and it’s so poignant that it has continued to haunt me for days now. I wish you the best and I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    September 26, 2012
  25. I have owned a dog quite literally all my life, though ours have always been pure-bred Rottweilers, and it saddens me that something of this nature could be allowed to happen without due reparation or apology. Only once has one of my dogs died ‘before his time’ due to having to be put down as he had a serious distemper problem (he was a rescue from an abusive owner), but no matter how prepared you think you are for their inevitable demise, much like losing a grandparent- they are still a member of your family that you will never get to spend time with again.

    One of the most popular webcomic artists in the world recently posted a tribute to his own dog, Rambo, and while it is humorous and may seem a bit incongruous to the situation, please read it to the end as the final 2 panels outline the absolute joys of owning a dog that non-owners will never comprehend- http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dog_paradox

    September 26, 2012
  26. yp2m #

    I’m shocked and saddened by your loss. No living thing should ever suffer leaving this earth. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

    September 26, 2012
  27. Reblogged this on life with waves and commented:
    I’m so saddened by this story of a terrific dog mom whose heart is broken after trying to travel with her dog. I know I’ll think twice before I ever try to fly with mine.

    September 26, 2012
  28. Jon Wright #

    So sorry for your loss. I’ve never met a human that was a patch on any dog. Also, thank you for sharing your story. I hope you and your family can find peace.

    September 26, 2012
  29. This is one of the saddest and most horrifying things I’ve ever heard! I’m so sorry for the pain you’re going through!

    September 26, 2012
  30. Reblogged this on voyagehappy and commented:
    This is very sad. Unfortunately, for many military families we have no choice but to travel with our beloved pets.

    September 26, 2012
  31. Kim Leedy #

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I too have a wonderful lab named
    Taylor. I live in dread of the day we lose her
    And she is only eleven months. You lost Bea
    Unnessairly and much too young. Thank
    You for making others aware, I will never
    Fly with my animals knowing this information.
    Please keep up your fight, they owe you
    an explanation and compensation. Only
    The pain of Finacial compensation will make
    This greedy airlines change it’s way!

    September 26, 2012
  32. Pam H-J #

    I am truly sorry for your loss. May God be with you during this difficult time.

    September 26, 2012
  33. Judy #

    my heart goes out to you and I am so sorry for your loss
    can you not sue the airlines, or is it too much of a hassle?
    altho I know that won’t bring your baby back.
    stupid, incompetant people!

    September 26, 2012
  34. ana #

    Sue. Sue. Sue. For the love of God, sue them. Do it for all of us so that this never ever happens again.

    September 26, 2012
  35. Maggie, I feel so sorry for Bea. May she rest in peace. And, to stop this from happening again, I’m sharing it on Facebook and hoping those airlines can finally hear our voice and make a change.

    September 26, 2012
  36. laineybirdy #

    We just lost our 7 year old Aussie to anti-freeze on July 4th – she probably licked it somewhere on her walk in the morning. So, I know exactly how much you are hurting now. I still cry every time I think of our little Bandit and how unnecessary her death was – we will forever miss her. I am so sorry about Bea and you are so right, this was so unnecessary and you should have had many more years to love her and to revel in her sweet devotion and love. It is difficult enough to lose our pets to old age but when we lose them in this way, it is devastating. This is so tragic and I feel so very sorry for your loss Maggie. Shame on United Airlines!

    September 26, 2012
  37. Kelly #

    So sorry to hear about the lost of your dog. That was horrible.

    September 26, 2012
  38. I am so sorry. I am heartsick.

    September 26, 2012
  39. trip wilmot #

    this dog was also killed by UNITED 4 weeks ago…..

    September 26, 2012
  40. wildwasser #

    Reblogged this on Wildwasser's Blog and commented:
    One more reason to give United Airline a miss

    September 26, 2012
  41. I have a chubby little Pug X Jack Russell ‘Bishop’.. & after reading this.. he will never get on a plane.. unless I become a pilot.. Big Hugs.. x

    September 26, 2012
  42. enitsirk24 #

    May you find peace in the memories and time you had with Bea. I an a cat mom and understand the pain of loding a cat to illness/old age, but never the negligence of another. My heart hurts for you. Know that Bea was blessed and spoiled in life by you and that she loved you.

    September 26, 2012
  43. Bernard Hellberg #

    My heart is broken for you and Bea… At the very least she doesn’t suffer any more.

    September 25, 2012
  44. W #

    I hope that, for whoever was responsible, their karma is drawn out and torturous. I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that someday, the wounds will heal. Never flying UA, and never shipping a dog in any airlines!

    September 25, 2012
  45. Jon K #

    Send your story to news outlets, make United Air burn.

    September 25, 2012
  46. Louise thrower #

    Sorry for your loss, Bea rest in Peace,

    September 25, 2012
  47. BC #

    I came across your story by way of reddit. If you haven’t been there, DO NOT GO. It’s literally puke-worthy.

    I literally cannot believe how AWFUL some of those comments (on reddit) are in response to your story. People can be absolutely TERRIBLE. Losing a pet is absolutely traumatic and very real loss. I can’t express enough how much my heart goes out to you.

    You did the right thing in trying to ensure your dog would be safe. You had no idea that your dog would be treated so poorly. And you’re doing a service to all pet owners in sharing your tragedy so that we can learn from your experience. I’m just sorry you had to find out the way you did. I would be absolutely heartbroken to lose a pet the way you did.

    Take time to heal. Continue to spread the information about the danger of flying pets so that other people don’t have to experience the same tragedy. You are honoring the loss of your baby by educating people about how horribly airlines treat animals.

    Again, I am so so sorry for your loss. Know that there are plenty of empathetic souls out there who know how hard this is for you.

    September 25, 2012
  48. DW #

    My heart breaks for you in the loss of your beloved Bea. Thank you for sharing this story for all of us who have pets and may travel with them.

    September 25, 2012
  49. Gaylee Rubin #

    I am so sorry for your loss. i could not bear to loss my dog, Celeste, who is the most compassionate, loving, funny person I’ve ever known. She is a therapy dog, and a service dog. I know you have not set out to sue, but I believe United Airlines should be held accountable. The reckless, uncaring, people in charge of handling baggage should be trained and supervised, and I think that all air lines should be brought to attention, they should know that losing a pet on a flight will cost them something. If you wished you could donate whatever you gained from your loss to a dog rescue organization or other group that in some way is a benefit to animals.

    September 25, 2012
  50. Judy #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Don’t beat up on yourself. You gave Bea the best of everything while she was with you. She had a good life, and has left her pawprints on your heart. She’s now running free on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. It’s hard for me to comprehend the attitude of the airlines. I can assure your, my furkid will never fly

    September 25, 2012
  51. freak4sparkle #

    I’m heart broken for your loss. I’m so sorry.

    September 25, 2012
  52. Reblogged this on Atozmom's Blog and commented:
    I have been deeply touched by this woman’s story. I wanted to share it in order to raise awareness of flying with pets.
    Bea, perhaps you are playing with my Bay, frolicking happily in God’s Garden above.

    September 25, 2012
  53. Amy #

    I saw your story online and am so, so sad. I know how hard it is to lose a pet that is a loved member of your family. This is just so heart breaking. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family for comfort during this time. I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious Bea.

    September 25, 2012
  54. Jon Biddell #

    My heart goes out to you guys – such a traffic event to happen to such a beautiful animal. My daughter read this over my shoulder and is now in tears, as am I.

    I have heard some horror stories about United but this is the worst. No amount of compensation could make up for this appalling lack of care, but they should be made to pay and pay through the nose…

    I am so angry right now, I wish I could offer something more in the way of support. Massive hugs go out to you guys from my family.

    Jon (Australia)

    September 25, 2012
  55. I am so sorry for your loss. I have two goldens and they are the light of my life. I cannot imagine what you are feeling. You all are in my thoughts.

    September 25, 2012
  56. This is beyond unacceptable. Nothing can replace Bea, but at the least a lawsuit to bring United to justice would be something.

    September 25, 2012
  57. Thiago Blumenthal #

    As a dog owner from Brazil I fully understand your loss and I am reblogging your post via Facebook.

    September 25, 2012
  58. Richard #

    I’ve often said that the loss of a dog, in many ways, hurts more deeply than that of a parent or relative. This might sound harsh and only a true dog lover would understand my sentiment here. I was so, so saddened by this story. You are, indeed, a very special person to harbor the anger you must still be feeling against the airlines. What a horrible and thoughtless act punctuated by their lies about what happened when you first approached them relative to her whereabouts. I can feel in your words your pain and sorrow. I can only tell you how much love Bea must have felt while sharing her far too short life with you and your family. Sometimes sadness such as this is far more easier felt than said for me but do know that as a beloved pet owner myself I was torn by this story. May she rest in peace knowing how sorry you are and how much she was loved.

    September 25, 2012
  59. I could not even imagine the pain you feel. My heart goes out to you. I would be so, so sad if I lost my little pup. My prayers go out to you.

    September 25, 2012
  60. I am a dog lover myself, and have once owned a dog, who I still miss up to this day. My heart goes out to you. I hope Bea is happy now in doggy-heaven, and meet my own dog there as well. *hugs*

    September 25, 2012
  61. Douglas West #

    My prayers for you and yours,and Yes-this was senseless and Cold for American Airlines ! I would sue their pants off-if you do not want the money then place it in a training program for proper handling.I do travel frequently and rent a motor coach and driver-probably no more costly than what you paid flying,and my 2 Shih Tzus and old lady Maltese arrive safely,constantly under my care.RIP Bea ❤

    September 25, 2012
  62. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. ~K

    September 25, 2012
  63. Jessica #

    Contact your state’s Attorney General’s office and ask them if there is anything they can do to investigate. United should not be able to get away with this, and if Petsafe is not a good program, try to get the Attorney General to either shut it down or revamped so it actually works. My condolences regarding your dog — I hope the Attorney General’s office can do something.

    September 25, 2012
  64. i know there are no truly adequate words to express how hard it is to lose a beloved pet. i still struggle sometimes with the death of my own. i am sorry you had to experience this – it is tragic and makes my heart sad that you did all the right things and still, you must go through this pain. shame on united airlines for making it worse by simply not owning up to their part in it. my heart goes out to you…

    September 25, 2012
  65. This is a horrible story — I know you aren’t expecting anything from United, but they really need to do something about this. Talk about insensitive …really sorry for your loss.

    September 25, 2012
  66. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry to hear of this. Bea sounds like she was so wonderful.
    Very sad.

    September 25, 2012
  67. I am so very sorry for your loss. What a tragic and unfortunate event. Little Bea will be missed, I’m sure.

    I am also grateful for your post. Just this week, I was researching pet-friendly airlines in anticipation of holiday travels with my 4 year old Golden, Summit. Your post made me reflect on the amount of faith and trust required in any airline in order to put my dog’s life in their hands. Needless to say, I cannot do that. Summit and I will be driving.

    My thought are with you and your family as you grieve. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. But hopefully, the effectiveness of your words to affect my actions offers some consolation.

    September 25, 2012
  68. Breaks my heart to read this. I am so sorry for your loss of Bea.

    September 25, 2012
  69. Tom Petty came to me when I finished this article. Sorry for your loss.

    “You belong among the wildflowers, you belong somewhere you feel free.”

    September 25, 2012
  70. Monica #

    Your cause has attracted the attention of reddit.com

    http://www.reddit.com/r/offbeat/comments/10ftqw/united_airlines_killed_our_golden_retriever_bea/

    September 25, 2012
  71. Steven #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    September 25, 2012
  72. MONTSE #

    I’m crying like you and I don’t have words for this loss but I can tell you one thing fight till the end to find justice!!!!!!!!! It’s for Bea! rest in peace my sweetheart

    September 25, 2012
  73. I am truly sorry to read your heart wrenching story. I wish you closure.

    September 25, 2012
  74. A truly moving post. I’m so very sorry for your loss. If nothing else, know that you’ve assured the safety of any pet I own – not a one of them will be trusted with an airline. You’re so very right, one small mistake by a careless employee can have quite devastating consequences.

    September 25, 2012
  75. Ali Harper #

    My heart goes out to you. I know how much you miss Bea and how difficult it must be to have known she suffered! My hubby & I just had to put our beautiful Murphy down 12 days ago! The grief is sometimes overwhelming as he truly was our child. We only have 4 legged babies no 2 legged ones. I truly hope Bea & Murphy have met & become friends! Much love, Ali

    September 25, 2012
  76. bkanber #

    PLEASE file a lawsuit against them!

    September 25, 2012
  77. J Baxter #

    How incredibly heartbreaking. Insult to your injury regarding the unexcusable way the United employees handled the situation. I am so sorry. When we got our puppy, Spinner, 8 years ago, we had him flown from Missouri to Baltimore on Delta. We were expecting him earlier in the day when we received a call from an alert Delta employee telling us that the climate control on the plane on which he was supposed to have arrived was not working. He told me that they would place him on the next plane to Baltimore (with a working cargo climate control), otherwise he told us we would have had a dead dog on arrival. He asked if he could do anything for our dog since he would be waiting for awhile. I asked him if he would make sure he had some fresh water and gave him permission to let him out of the cage to stretch his legs. Our dog arrived later in the day just fine. If it had not been for this alert employee, we would have had a similar heartbreaking situation. Caring people make a difference.

    September 25, 2012
  78. Sue the ever living fuck out of them

    September 25, 2012
  79. First, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a precious pet is hard enough but to have this happen makes the situation worse. It breaks my heart to know that she was alone and scared, in a dark cargo bin. United should have been more responsible and definitely should be held accountable for this precious pets life. You are in my prayers and thoughts and I will definitely keep this situation in mind with any travel I would take with pets.

    My daughter took her yellow lab from Cali to Boston once and Skyler got out of his crate in the cargo and was thrown all around while his travel to Boston. When they went to get him he was shaken and scared but OK. Thank the good Lord. As a result of this trip, Sky never came to visit the Cape again. Airlines do not take the necessary protections for our animals.

    God bless you and know that Bea will be waiting on the other side for you some day. She is safe and happy but missing you and her dear family.

    September 25, 2012
  80. My heart breaks for you and your loss. The loss of a pet, a companion, is always so difficult. Their pure joy, love, and optimism enriches our lives so completely that their leaving creates a fissure in our very souls. Rest assured Bea knows you love her, even if that’s little consolation at this moment.

    September 25, 2012
  81. You should sue United — that’s the only way to get those people to do anything about their fuck-ups.

    September 25, 2012
  82. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Bea 0:(
    Nothing will release the sadness or the pain that you are going through. SweetBea should not have passed away and my heart weeps & is broken along with yours.
    United Airlines should not be allowed to fly any more animals…as they have no regard for animals safety nor their lives or the devastation they leave behind when murdering our pets!
    I have heard nothing but horror stories all my life about how airlines handle our pets!
    I am so very sorry for you loss hon and I mourn the loss of your SweetBea with you. 0:(
    May she rest in peace now…and she will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge and when the time comes…you will be together again.
    I have asked my sweet Nakoma to greet her there and I am sure they are already the best of friends!
    RIP Sweet girl…You will be forever missed! 0:(

    September 24, 2012
  83. Ash #

    So sorry for your loss Maggie. My yellow lab is like a child to me. Not surprising United would act this way because whether its pets or their human passengers, they are a heartless company all around. Most of their staff is rude, self centered, and the only thing on their minds is themselves. I’ll never take my pet on a United Airlines flight and will never fly them again!

    September 24, 2012
  84. Traci Weeks #

    so so sorry for your loss. I have been just watching the slideshow of your sweet Beau. I too have a Golden..I can not imagine…To even have to stand at rental car counter so can take dog to your own vet..I just can not imagine the pain you must of felt…I am so glad you stayed and demanded to know where your dog was….too many people prob would of bought the story and left hoping to get their dog the next day. Beau will not die in Vain….this is going to bring a lot of things airlines to to the surface and expose them….oh sweet beau….so many of us may have never met you..but we love you…xo

    September 24, 2012
  85. Meghan #

    As a dog owner I am so sorry for your loss and my heart breaks for you and your family. Shame on United Airlines for not telling you the truth and may you know Bea wqs welcomed at the Rainbow Bridge joyously by all the other dogs who have gone before her.

    September 24, 2012
  86. dova #

    I have worked for the airlines for many years. I have seen this happen alot. I have always said to never put your animals in the cargo!! It was the airlines fault!! In early 2000 Delta airlines suffocated two trained police dogs in the cargo bins; on a tarmac wait in CVG. The airlines always try to hide it. Southwest Airlines will not take animals in the cargo for that reason!! Cargo temp are to hard to control from hot to cold. And often malfunction. Look into any one who works on the aircraft. They need to have new rules and laws for carrying animals in cargo bins!!!

    September 24, 2012
  87. Maggie,

    I will hold Apollo extra close tonight, thinking of you and your sweet, sweet Bea. The bond you share cannot be broken, your souls are forever molded as one. She will love and protect you for all of your days.

    September 24, 2012
  88. Having recently loss a my dog too soon as well, I grieve with you. Thank you for sharing this painful story, I will take your experience to heart when it comes to my other pets.

    September 24, 2012
  89. R>M> #

    After reading about what happend to your sweet Bea, i will never trust any airline to look after my beloved dogs…they are so precious to me and if anything happened like this i fear i would grieve myself to death. I am so deeply sorry for your loss and i thank you for trying to help others by writing this, i know you are devasted. my sincere sympathy.

    September 24, 2012
  90. yomicfit #

    Oh my gosh-
    This is so sad and having two dog babies of my own ,
    Can’t imagine your distress.
    I am continually telling people about the rudeness that is United Air!
    I will not fly with them !
    Long story- short:
    They do not care about people with health issues,
    So I can only imagine how they must treat the care of pets.
    Ugh.
    I am praying for peace of heart for you!

    September 24, 2012
  91. Donna Amato #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have always heard horror stories of airway stories and our beloved animals. I only have traveled with my cats and have refussed to take my dogs. I certainly hope you intend to take this further you have the clout to do that. Again I send my ❤ your way.

    September 24, 2012
  92. I am so sorry to hear of Bea’s loss especially the way it happened. One can see how very much she was loved…My heart goes out to you and know there is nothing anyone can do or say at this time to ease your pain, in time it will get better but never forgotten. She lives forever in your heart and will be waiting for you someday at “the Rainbow Bridge”. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel….

    September 24, 2012
  93. Cathy Foss #

    My thoughts and prayers are with you…. thank you for being brave to put your grief into words as a warning to others.

    September 24, 2012
  94. Reblogged this on theshipmightsink and commented:
    I hope the memories of this beautiful dog will forever stay in the hearts and minds of those who were lucky enough to meet her, and those who have read this Blog. It brings me great sadness when I hear of the cruel and uncaring nature of some humans. I hope this family receive the closure they so desperately want and deserve soon. They are in my prayers at this time as they deal with a great personal loss, which is sometimes hard for everybody to understand.

    September 24, 2012
  95. My heart breaks for you. I hope the memories of this beautiful dog will forever stay in the hearts and minds of those who were lucky enough to meet her, and those who have read this Blog. My deepest thoughts are with you at this time. I hope you find the closure you so desperately want and deserve soon x

    September 24, 2012
  96. Nothing can replace her in your heart. Prayers to make the pain easier for you and your family, and love to Bea. her trip over the bridge was sad, but she will be so happy when she is with you again.

    September 24, 2012
  97. Diane #

    As painfull as I know it was to share, you have saved the lives of many pets by informing us of your experience with United Airlines. Thank you and I send you prayers of peace and healing.

    September 24, 2012
  98. Jen Mandell #

    So sorry for your loss. Such a terrible thing. 😦

    September 24, 2012
  99. sandy #

    We are so sorry for your loss of sweet Bea. Our hearts ache for you and your family. You now have another angel watching over you from the Rainbow Bridge. Peace & Love, Sandy, Buster, Moose & Lola

    September 24, 2012
  100. I’m so sorry for your loss. This has brought tears to my eyes. I will never forget Bea. 😦

    September 24, 2012
  101. Laura #

    You should file a lawsuit! That airline needs to take responsibility for the loss of your family member. I am so sorry to hear about this and you have opened up my eyes to pet travel. Again, my deepest condolences on your loss.

    September 24, 2012
  102. rickyandrosie #

    Reblogged this on Ricky and Rosie and commented:
    An extremely hard read. I’m sad, angry, frustrated despite Maggie’s anger free post. My heart breaks for Bea.

    September 24, 2012
  103. accessiblecash #

    So sorry for your loss.

    September 24, 2012
  104. Reblogged this on a dream in the making and commented:
    This is truly terrible. Please make sure you take the necessary measures to keep your pets safe. Be aware! My sincerest condolences to Maggie & her family.

    September 24, 2012
  105. My dearest and sincerest sorry for your loss. I couldn’t help the tears run down my face as I read Bea’s story. Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue. May Bea find herself wagging her tail in dog heaven.

    September 24, 2012
  106. nettrobbens #

    Hi Maggie,

    Half way through your post, I started crying, uncontrollably–ten minutes before I have to go to a meeting. I’m so sorry for your loss. I immediatedly thought about my little furry boy at home, and what I would do if something this awful were to happen to him. Thank you for sharing your story, and may your heart heal. Bea and my cat, Cali, (who I lost three years ago) are now saying hi, and telling us they’re okay.

    Best,
    Nett

    September 24, 2012
  107. My deepest sympathy, the airlines should understand that these are not just merely pets but family members! I pray that with your unfortunate education that you can change the procedures of flights for other “animals” and/or “pets” in the future.

    September 24, 2012
  108. Receive my sincere condolensces… it´s a revolting situation.

    September 24, 2012
  109. Airlines could care less about what happens to animals they transport. All they want is money and how much they can put in the cargo hold for the maximum profit. If I had a airline company I would make sure the pets got better service than the passengers because they pay much more. Which is funny because the dog weighs less than most of the passengers. Why in the world would you charge and arm and a leg for a Family animal.

    September 24, 2012
  110. Bea was more than a Golden Retriever. She was a member of your family. In fact, she saw herself as a member of your pack and probably would have died to save anyone in that pack. Her love was pure.

    United’s actions are symptomatic of most corporations that grow so large they tend to lose contact with morality and the best side of humanity becoming more of a heartless computer like machine that cares more for profit than anything else.

    In the eyes of these corporate robots, we become only numbers. I sometimes suspect most of the upper management of corporations are type A narcissistic sociopaths that explains how they battled his or her way to the top.

    Although we may never know the exact circumstances that led to Bea’s death, the upper management at United could have handled this with more sensitivity—something most large corporations lack.

    September 24, 2012
  111. Bubba & Mama #

    So sorry for your loss. Such a tragic incident for all of us to learn from.

    September 24, 2012
  112. This makes me so sad. I know how much I love my dog and cannot imagine having to go through something like this. Rest in peace Bea.

    September 24, 2012
  113. My heart breaks for your loss.

    I just lost one of my dogs from old age but still it is never expected to lose a member of the family.

    I believe all dogs do go to Heaven and I believe your Bea has a place there, perhaps among some kids, frolicking and giving her unconditional love as I’m sure she gave you. And one day you will see her again.

    I pray my dog is the first one who greets me when I arrive.

    I will pray for your healing as you cope as I cannot imagine the stress your situation is adding to this difficult time. And I will pray for answers and closure.

    You can see my post on my dog here if you like:http://atozmom.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/ive-never-felt-pain-like-this-before/

    Excellent warning for others who fly with pets. If nothing else, perhaps Bea’s story will save another dog from such a tragedy. I know I’ll think twice now.

    September 24, 2012
  114. Shocking. Hopefully! this will be retweeted, reposted and facebooked so that the word spreads.

    September 24, 2012
  115. It was really hard to click on that like tab, because like everyone else reading your story, I obviously don’t like what has happened to you, but it is the only format available to readers to register their support for you. What is truly astonishing about yours and Bea’s story is how she was shown less regard than an item of damaged luggage, and that the staff of United Airlines seem to be just that, merely baggage handlers and not animal handlers. Anyone who has loved and lost a family member, be they human or animal, will feel desperately for you, and especially as this Airline seemed to think that in death they had ownership of Bea’s remains in order to formulate any counter action to a claim. I applaud you for your restraint in that regard; Word Press.com reaches millions of readers globally and your post makes a much more powerful and effective statement against this company than a lawsuit that may be easily forgotten by the public following a settlement. A loyal and loving animal deserves as much dignity and respect as any other family member would in such circumstances, as did you as her owner. So very sorry, and I hope you find some peace in order to remember her life and not just the circumstances of her death. Best wishes.

    September 24, 2012
  116. I’m so sorry for your loss

    September 24, 2012
  117. violetvine #

    Reblogged this on the violet vineyard and commented:
    I’m deeply saddened for this woman’s loss. Please reblog her post as I also have.

    September 23, 2012
  118. Edward J Pierce #

    Dear Ms. Rizer,

    Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss of Beatrice. I am a retired Prof. of French studies, single, and past owner of two Golden Retrievers, Chomsky and Beausky who both lived to age fourteen. I took both Chomsky and Beausky on two round trips each to France where I worked as a director of a study abroad program for a total of seven years. Thank God, all the flights (via Air France from Montreal to Paris) went without incident. My fond memories of those two big guys are as vivid as any I have. How those two buddies enriched my life. Only a dog owner can begin to appreciate your loss.

    September 23, 2012
  119. dear bea, you will be missed.. this story is so heartbreaking and my heart aches too.. rest in peace bea, i’m sure you’re in dog heaven now..

    September 23, 2012
    • I know suing the airline won’t bring Bea back, but it will be out there in the public for the next time anyone goes to fly their pet on any airline. Make the airline pay- and take the money and support local non-kill shelters, or even open one of your own. Put the money to good use, so Bea’s death can help prevent other animals from suffering.

      September 26, 2012
  120. I’m so sorry for your loss. It breaks my heart reading your post. Nothing anyone can say will reduce the feeling of loss or make you feel better. Bea will live forever in your memory, please find strength from that.

    September 23, 2012
  121. babsinradioland #

    I cannot express in words how sorry I am for your loss. It amazes me how uncaring about others people can be. Not everyone in the world has a dog in their life, but they need to understand that these “dogs” to them, are family to us. We just welcomed our first baby into the house and our 4 year old labrador, Addison, isn’t just a pet. Addison is a big sister. She’s attentive, funny, quirky and honestly..My first born. The airline would never get away with packing a child into the cargo like that, why should it be that way with our four-legged family members, why are they not checking on them? and why are they shipping them in non-climate controlled areas. There are so many wrongs to this and honestly, no way to make it right to you. But they could have at least been sympathetic. Again, I am so sorry for your loss and will keep your family, including Bea in our prayers!

    September 23, 2012
  122. In the midst of all these comments, I am not sure this will even be seen. We have our own Golden Lab and my outrage at something like this would have been the same. They dropped the ball in so many ways here, causing you loss and then compounding it with carelessness and disregard for empathy.

    I only hope other businesses can learn from this terrible example and story. Thank you so much for sharing and know that Bea is most certainly at peace in some wonderful place. If one is to believe in a God that would put the level of effort He has into creation, then one must believe He has plans for all of His creatures.

    September 23, 2012
  123. Adam #

    So sorry for your loss, as an animal lover, I am getting upset again because this is not the first time I heard stories like this. I personally know two people who suffered pet loss as a result of the air transport. A friend of mine lost his cat when he relocated last year, also on united. I am planning to move to hi, but I am thinking, I’d rather take all the pain and try to find her a new home than allow the airline to decide how long my dear furry should live.

    September 23, 2012
  124. Beth Scovill #

    Dear Maggie,
    We are horrified by your loss. This is a huge problem and I hope you can keep this in front of the media as long as you can. Maybe a civil suit that drags on would help in keeping this in the forefront. That is really the only way to inform the public. We understand that the only reward in this would be creating public awareness. In most states pets are considered personal property with little value. Whoever wrote that law obviously has never owned a dog.

    When will airlines learn that they need to add flights that allow families to fly their pets in the cabin with them? Our dogs are members of the family. It’s time! I’m not suggesting this be available on all flights but those of us with furry four-legged family members need and are willing to pay for this option. Where is Southwest Airlines on this topic? They are so customer friendly why haven’t they added flights for people and pets in the cabin?

    Dr. & Mrs. William Scovill
    Baltimore, Maryland

    September 23, 2012
  125. As United and Continental have merged, the “Pet Safe” program is applicable to both airlines. In January 2012, our only “child,” Butkis, was killed on a Continental flight from Honolulu to Houston. I also dealt with dishonest, rude and noncompassionate employees with the same issues you had – run-around answers, unanswered emails and phone calls, lies and deception. As we are a military family, we had no choice in flying Butkis back to the mainland when my husband’s contract caused us to PCS to Fort Knox, Kentucky from Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii. I say back to the mainland because he flew (via a different airline) to Hawaii in 2009 with no issues. I, too, have become an advocate of not flying pets unless absolutely necessary; being in the military, our pets are the only aspect of our lives that make a new location feel like home. I have created a Facebook page to inform others of what WILL happen if your pet dies during flight – you will not be treated with respect and dignity, nor will the truth be divulged. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I can truly say I do know how you feel.

    September 23, 2012
  126. My condolences to you and Bea. I would start a change.org petition, in case you’re not the only one. And if you do, let me know.

    September 23, 2012
    • I agree with Kitty, you absolutely should start a petition there. You are very articulate and your ability to maintain a calm factual demeanor in your writing despite your sadness and anger, makes your words all the more moving–and heartbreaking.

      September 24, 2012
  127. I’m so sorry

    September 23, 2012
  128. Martn #

    My condolences. I am terribly sorry for your loss. My cat died three years ago as well, but I still miss her every day and each year on the day of her death I give a secret toast to her.
    May Bea, your most wonderful dog, rest in peace.

    September 23, 2012
  129. Denise #

    Maggie, my heart aches for you. I am currently very involved with a local Golden Retriever Rescue League trying to raise money for them. We are offering glitzy dog bone necklaces, charms and glitzy dog bones for the golden’s collars. I would love to raise money for the organization that you got Bea from by offering you or any rescue league the same opportunity. Please email me at daisey@ ptd.net to discuss. Bea is in dog heaven playing with her brothers and sisters and loves you very much!
    Denise

    September 23, 2012
  130. I think its absolutely appalling that such a well known company can make such a horrendous mistake causing the death of an animal. At the end of the day, dogs are a member of the family and losing one in any circumstance is deeply upsetting, but losing one in this way due to the negligence of the company is unforgivable.

    September 23, 2012
  131. stella #

    This is SO sad, and nothing anyone writes here can give any comfort to a person grieving for a beloved pet. I can however completely agree that airlines don’t really take the care of our animals that we expect them to after they hold out their hands for the huge amounts of money they charge to actually fly your pet. I have used Delta (USA) Thomson (UK) and Continental Airlines (USA) and have found each service to be less than satisfactory. They tell you that your pet is “in a climate controlled area” has anyone EVER been shown the area where your pet is put? have you even seen a photograph? NO me neither. My extremely nervous 8lb Chihuahua was recently left on the apron (loading area) of Manchester airport on top of a wooden pallet in her pet carrier in the rain uncovered and un-attended with trucks and jet noise all around her! I have a photograph. I was distraught. Goodness knows what she thought or felt. I protested extremely LOUDLY at the boarding gate and the actual Captain came to re-assure me (and keep me quiet no doubt) that my pet would be boarded as soon as a ‘cargo problem’ was resolved. I was distressed and ALL of the people who were boarding could hear how airlines treat pets.
    THEY DONT WANT US TO KNOW THAT PET TRAVEL IS HIT & MISS, its a roll of the dice. WHY is it SO difficult to have COMPLETE TRUST in pet transport? If people were DYING during flights would it then become a bigger issue?
    Im so very sorry your beloved pet died as a result of a journey you took that you wanted your pet to be a part of, and you should not have been parted in this traumatic way.

    September 23, 2012
  132. Melissa B #

    First, I am sorry for your loss. Second, I agree 100% that airlines need to be held responsible for the care of our pets. As a military family we have been stationed all over the US (including Hawaii) and every time we move I stress the entire time about our beloved beagles in cargo. Airlines need to have standard rules for all carriers to follow as well as making sure that flights carrying pets have priority on the Tarmac. Again, I am sorry for your loss. In many families our pets are as important to us as our children. Love

    September 23, 2012
  133. This is exactly why I would have NEVER risked putting my Labrador in the plane’s cargo when I moved from San Francisco to Ft Lauderdale. I chose to drive with him.http://www.latingringas.com/a-latingringa-on-the-road-a-crosscountry-trip-from-san-francisco-to-ft-lauderdale-part-2/

    September 23, 2012
  134. I’m sorry for what happened to Bea, it’s heartbreaking. What’s even worse is that United is trying to cover it up. I know that no matter what they do it will never replace your sweet girl but some honesty would be nice. Again, I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    September 23, 2012
  135. Reblogged this on carlosportalupi's Blog.

    September 23, 2012
  136. Brittani Bickel #

    Maggy my heart weeps for you. There is nothing more I can say right now, I am quite shocked and speechless. As a dog owner of 2 beautiful labs, and 1 Akita I could not imagine the pain you are going through. They are our family, our children. This is devastating and I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you can find some closure out of this, and if anything set a precedent so that this does not happen to someone else.

    September 23, 2012
  137. Maria Kokkinos #

    I am so sorry for your loss…I cried reading your post…may you remember bea with a smile…

    September 23, 2012
  138. That is horrific! I hope highlighting this will prevent this happening again. Im so sorry for your loss of Bea. I know what it is to love a dog, they are precious and wonderful. My heart goes out to you, Im mortified thinking about Bea in that situation, I feel like crying.

    September 23, 2012
  139. I know nothing will ever really take away the pain. As a lifelong dog-owner, I know the special love a dog can give. I won’t talk about United because, quite frankly, I’m too livid, and anything I say will only be hateful, and it’s much better to think about Bea and the wonderful dog she was and how happy her life was. Let the internet rage (as it will) and think of sweet Bea.

    There’s a poem that my family and many of the people we know have shared in times like these. It’s called Rainbow Bridge, and my mom always talks about how it helped her when we lost my childhood dog, a wonderful Cocker Spaniel that wouldn’t even bite a chew toy. I’ll leave the link at the bottom of this post.

    I’ll keep your family and Bea in my prayers.

    http://petloss.com/rainbowbridge.htm

    September 23, 2012
  140. Thought it might be some comfort to know that your story reached the Sydney Morning Herald Website, One of Sydney Australia’s largest newspapers. If you aim was to raise as much awareness as possible for the safety of dogs in transit, I think you have done a remarkly wonderful job.

    Sorry for your loss.

    September 23, 2012
  141. thesluttyspoon #

    I am so sorry for your loss. Dogs really do become a part of the family. That must have been so devastating and the lies and deception of the airline would have just added insult to injury. I can’t even imagine what you must have gone through.

    September 23, 2012
  142. There’s no words here. I know your pain is awful. I’m so sorry. I believe Bea is in Heaven with all of the other beautiful Goldens that have passed, including our Buddy. Tomorrow we are participating in the Humane Society’s Walk for Animals, and we are walking our own Golden, Abbey. Abbey seems like a puppy still to me, but she is 4; twice as old as Bea…I’m just so saddened that she couldn’t live a full life. But, though her years were not many, Bea’s impact was great. She had a purpose in this life; a part only she could do (through you in so many ways). Again, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that soon your burden can lighten, and I’m sure you will always remember and be thankful for Bea’s time here on earth and the difference she has made (in so many ways) in others’ lives.

    September 23, 2012
  143. I’m so sorry for your loss! I can’t even imagine what you and your family are going through right now.

    And thank you for posting this. People need to know that this sort of thing happens far too often.

    We travel with our two cats not infrequently, and we would NEVER check them as cargo because of what can and does happen.

    Again, I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope you and your family are able to find some peace.

    September 23, 2012
  144. Many people consider their pets as family; I know I do. If an Airline was to do this to a pet of mine I would be devastated. United Airlines should act according. I’m so sorry–what a beautiful dog she was!

    September 23, 2012
  145. My heart is breaking for you… I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Bea and so saddened to read that her death was preventable…
    My thoughts are with you at this terrible time…

    September 22, 2012
  146. Geir #

    Sorry that you lost your dog.

    However, the way you blame United Airlines seems really unfair – and frankly a bit childish. Get a new dog – and get on with your life. There are a lot worse tragedies happening every day around the world. Keep the perspective and move on.

    September 22, 2012
    • Adrian Kleinbergen #

      Thanks for your practical insight… you’re a real human being.

      September 26, 2012
    • TJ #

      Really??? Keep the perspective and move on? Clearly you have never had a pet or dog in your entire life. Losing a pet is like losing a child. Would you tell a mother to get/make a new baby and get on with her life? You are so inconsiderate and people like you disgust me. To you he might just be a “dog”, but to pet owners they are a part of our family. I used to make fun of other pet owners for being so obsessed with their dogs, until I raised dogs of my own. The love, connection, humor and all-around fun they bring is irreplaceable. Sadly, you would never know. Human life isn’t above animal life, just because they can’t speak doesn’t mean they don’t suffer just as much as we do. Grow a heart!

      September 26, 2012
  147. altmehere #

    I saw this on Twitter and just had to read the story. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Although I know you intend for this to be the last post, I hope that at the very least you can find some of the answers you’re looking for.

    September 22, 2012
  148. I’m so sorry for your loss, Maggie. *hugs…

    September 22, 2012
  149. Marcy Covarrubias #

    Thank you for posting this. Will never use this airline so called ‘carrier’ United to transport my beloved pet.

    September 22, 2012
  150. Diane Dalmy #

    United Airlines sucks. Although I did not loose my beloved dog, I had saved my money to take a weeks vacation in Paris. I arrived with NO luggage — my little life with all my belongings was in that suitcase. United still has yet to locate it — in fact, they have NO idea where it is. I got to spend my week in Paris for the first two days running to the airport to see if my luggage showed up and then the rest of the week basically in the same clothes I arrived in. And there has been No remorse or regret by United. I am truly sorry for the loss of your dog as I just had to put my golden retriever down after a wonderful relationship of 12 years. I understand your loss and I understand the total lack of compassion and understanding by United. All they care about is $$.

    September 22, 2012
  151. I don’t know what to say. What a horrifying, heartbreaking experience. I have two mini schnauzers of my own and I can’t even imagine that happening to them. How could United be so heartless and negligent? I’m so sorry for your loss – Bea deserved so much more. I will never put my Curie and Voltaire on a United flight after reading this story.

    September 22, 2012
  152. I am so sorry to hear about your precious Beatrice. It is heartbreaking. September 19th I shipped a kitten on a Untied flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong. He arrived safely and is doing well. How scarey………

    September 22, 2012
  153. I once had a golden that looked like Bea, beautiful dog. I can only imagine the grief I would have felt had I lost her the same way as you lost Bea. I am so sorry for what happened.

    I have not traveled with a pet before, but will now be very hesitant to do so. Unfortunately, though you mentioned your intent is not to file a lawsuit, money, bad press and regulation, brought about by legal action, may be the only way to make airlines change. The way airlines evidently treat pets has got to change, your case just may hold the leverage to begin that change.

    I hope you find answers and peace.

    September 22, 2012
  154. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of Bea. It made me cry to read your story. Our pets become family members and a loss hurts deeply…but a loss like this is just devastating. My heart aches for you. My father (now deceased) worked in reservations for United Airlines for 35 years. I know he would be shocked and extremely upset to hear what happened to you. We need to have much better standards for pets that fly. This should never have happened.

    September 22, 2012
  155. the headmaster's handbag #

    So desperately sorry to hear of your loss. I know how hard it is to trust an airline with your dog in the first place. I can’t imagine your agony but I hope that you find peace and answers. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    September 22, 2012
  156. I’m so sorry for you loss.

    September 22, 2012
  157. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. There are no words that can make the hurt any less. I would be devated. My heart goes out to you and your family. Anyone who needs to transport their animals should consider Pet Airways–they only fly pets in a main cabin with an attendent to take care of the pets.

    Once again so deeply sorry for your loss.

    ivonne

    September 22, 2012
  158. Lee Ann LaVanchard #

    I can’t imagine what you must be going through. It breaks my heart to read this story of your beloved Beatrice. I am passing this story on to my friend Brenda who makes a trip from Alaska each year with her pets. I have always been fearful of this. Please know that my heart will greive along with yours. I’m so sorry for your loss. Take care, love, Lee Ann

    September 22, 2012
  159. Oh My God. A tragedy.

    I was a flight attendant in Australia for 7 years, and I have to say I would not trust the airlines either. It’s just the baggage handlers that handle them, and if a plane is delayed they are often left on a trailer in the sun to wait. I have several times gone down to the tarmac myself when I have seen them out of the window to push the trailer into the shade. My mothers dog was left in a hot shed in the hot Queensland summer (by the airline I worked for) because someone had tried to shade her, but didn’t tell anyone and she was left there! She was dehydrated when they finally found her and she was ill for a couple of days after.

    There needs to be an overhaul on how they transport animals, and if they can’t do it properly and safely, they should not do it at all.

    I am incredibly sorry for you and your family. I’m sure this is not an isolated incident.

    September 22, 2012
  160. Rachael Estes #

    I am so sorry for your loss. United did the same thing to me as I was returning from an overseas assignment (I’m an Army veteran). They left my dog in a hot van on a runway in Houston, TX in August.

    September 22, 2012
  161. b #

    During a college internship at one of the nation’s top international airports, I observed the handling of animals by airline personnel. The animals are handled the same as baggage. They are tossed on and off baggage belts, in and out of baggage carts, and into the belly of the aircraft along with the baggage. Crate doors would often come open when the crates would get banged about and sometimes pets would get loose and airport personnel would have to assist in recovering the animals. It was heart-wrenching to find out this is how our pets travel. The only thing that surprised me is that the dog died of heat stroke. Usually they freeze. Must have been on the tarmat for a long time, and by the way Maggie, you are right! They do STACK the bags all around the animals. Please people, don’t send any living thing on any airline. They all have this same policy!!!!!

    September 22, 2012
    • This. Airlines put what goes on their planes into two categories — people and luggage. Since people never travel in the cargo hold, that tells you which one they consider a pet to be. I had already decided to never ship my dog anywhere by plane unless absolutely necessary. Now, thanks to this blog post, I understand that there is never an absolutely necessary. To the author of this post, I am sorry for your loss, but thanks you for writing it. It had to be difficult to come forth with these feelings, but getting the truth out there is a service to us all.

      September 24, 2012
  162. Bob Weldon #

    That’s incredibly irresponsible & negligent and United airlines should fire all those people involved. If you place your trust in them they should take care of your dog. They should provide you with a written explanation. you may have to consider legal action to force them to answer. We sympathize with your loss as we too love dogs. Bob & Beth Weldon & family.

    September 22, 2012
  163. That is heartbreaking. I would be livid in your situation as well. I’ve lost a dog before, but it was because she was old and her age caught up with her. I couldn’t even imagine having someone else’s actions result in my dog’s death. Truly sorry

    September 22, 2012
  164. Katie #

    I’ve never read your blog and I am heartbroken. This is terrible and I can only imagine how much it hurts, the stuff you can’t get out of your head, the specifics. Allow yourself to forgive yourself. You didn’t make the mistake. They did. Bea knows you love her and wouldn’t want you to be sad. I will never fly United again. The dishonesty is astounding.

    September 22, 2012
  165. I can not stop crying for the loss of your precious angel.How careless and heartless of United Airlines. I am very involved in Golden Retriever Rescue and have 3 darling fur babies of my own. My Chelsea is 1 1/2 and to honor “Bea” I am giving her Beatrice as a middle name. I know you will always have her pawprints on your heart. Please know you are in my thoughts

    September 22, 2012
  166. Freedom, by the way #

    My heart is breaking for you. I have never flown my dogs and after reading about your tragedy and the experiences of many of the commenters here, I never will. May it be a small consolation to you to know that your sad tale has served as a warning to other pet owners.

    September 22, 2012
  167. yournotmonalisa #

    I am so sorry for your lose. I have a cat that I absolutely love with all my heart and I can’t even imagine losing her like that. That’s horrible of Untied Airlines to not take responsibility for their actions.

    September 22, 2012
  168. I am so incredibly sorry to hear of your loss. An absolutely heartbreaking story. I will be keeping you, Bea, and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    September 22, 2012
  169. I was so sorry to hear about you losing Bea. Pets & our animals have rights. Let’s take a stand & say no more animals being put in the hold on these flights. Our pets are left in the dark, frightened, abandoned for hours on end & nobody can hear their cries for help.Our pets are part of our family. Airlines charge big bucks for transporting them, mishandling them & really it is animal abuse. I have seen these dogs/cats sit in crates being left in the scorching sun or rain on the luggage racks waiting to be loaded onto the plane. They are handled the same way our baggage is – no care & just flung on the conveyor. We do not pay to sit in the hold yet these animals have to. We would not let our kids sit in there so why are we forced to check our pets in & then have to walk away leaving them unsupervised? It is bad enough being separated from them putting them at risk when at home we treat them as one of the family. Animals need to be treated with more kindness & respect. Shame on these airlines.

    September 22, 2012
  170. Lori #

    I am so sorry about your beautiful, precious Bea. This is not the first time that a dog has died of heatstroke on a flight. Thank you for sharing Bea’s story. It will help save many other dogs lives. My prayers are with you!

    September 22, 2012
  171. WB #

    I am so sorry for your loss. Nothing will replace your beloved doggie. As for United Airlines, they are the worst service provider ever. I just had to fly with them, along my two service dogs, and it was a nightmare! They made me miss my plane, wouldn’t allow me to get into the plane with the two of them even though it is allowed by law and had all the papers in order, they were rude, incompetent…you name it! Their staff was Insensitive and just plain awful. I can only imagine what you went through. God bless you and your family.

    September 22, 2012
  172. Melissa Acton #

    Thank you for sharing this with us, I will never put my dog on an airplane again! United or any other. In addition, their response to the situation was beyond unacceptable and they will no longer get any business from me or my family.

    My heart aches for you and your family. I cried after reading your story and seeing pictures of your precious Bea.

    September 22, 2012
  173. Guillermo Montes #

    I am so sorry for your loss…. I would be in jail – I would have killed someone at United Airlines. I have always flown Virigin Airlines – I will never fly United even if they were to give me complimentary tickets for the rest of my life. You should sue them into bankruptcy!

    September 22, 2012
  174. Mary Kay #

    Maggie, I am so very sad for the loss of your amazing, much beloved Bea. Her photos made my heart melt, which is why I cannot help but be livid after reading about your experience. It seems that you did everything possible to ensure a safe outcome for Bea and it made no difference because the value of your pet’s life was not a priority with United. Their dishonesty comounded the problem. What is hell is happening in this country? We no longer place a value on most of the things we used to hold dear. Now it’s all about profits and convenience and minimizing liability instead of caring and doing the right thing. It’s high time we finally got a ‘Bill of Rights’ for pets who use U.S. air travel and there is surely enough public support to make that happen. Where is Peta, the Humane Society, the ASPCA in all of this?

    What happened to Bea was inexcusable. In this country we prosecute people for lesser animal neglect and abuse and there is no doubt what happened to your beloved family member was horrific neglect and abuse. For anyone who follows the news, it is not rare that this happens anymore. You absolutely should sue, tell your story again and again and again. Never stop telling Bea’s story. Lost profits and bad publicity are the only way United and the other airlines will begin to change their callous policies. I wonder if you can sue not only for the unspeakable way your pet died, but also for your own pain and suffering: the unbelievably cruel way it was handled afterwards, your being told with such indifference and then lied to and not being allowed immediate access to Bea’s body. No pet and no human being should ever be treated with such disrespect. It’s like being mortally wounded once and then all over again. I have plans in place to soon adopt a pet from the west coast, which is a very long distance from I reside. I will NOT be trusting my new family member to the airlines. You are doing a wonderful service to let people know and I hope that everyone who reads this spreads the word. I hope that your heart will one day fully heal and in the meantme keep moving forward and never question what you did or might have done to have prevented this terrible tragedy. You did everything possible and then some for your beloved pet. She didn’t deserve what happened to her and we need to make it right.

    September 22, 2012
  175. Dear Maggie, I don’t know you, nor are we likely to meet, and yet I felt such a kinship when I read the post about your dear Bea. What happened is so horrible and wrong. We lost our Golden, Boomer, five years ago, and there is nothing like that pain and wrenching sadness – made worse by the airline’s neglect and disregard. May the sweet memories of Bea sustain you and soothe the pain and anger, over time. Blessings, Charlotte & Cosmo, our Golden furball of love

    September 22, 2012
  176. MEM #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I thank you for sharing your story and it confirms my worst fears. Having lost a dog just this past May to a sudden illness, I will not take a chance with my other precious girl. Those airline employees are simply idiots and I hope you don’t give up your quest to find the answers, if nothing else to simply put some heat on the airlines. Again, very sorry for you loss and thank you for letting the world know the dangers.

    September 22, 2012
  177. Nuna Teal #

    Your story touched me deeply, reminding me of close calls we had traveling with 2 of our dogs. My earliest memory is of drowning in our farm’s pond at 18 months and being saved by our first golden retriever, Tundra, who dove 9 feet down, pulled me from the pond’s murky bottom and brought me to shore. Needless to say, she was treated as a heroine throughout her long life – often in the company of 4 other goldens.

    When she was 16, we moved with her to the West coast from Vermont. When we got off the plane, Tundra had vanished without a trace! My father searched frantically, and as the days passed, we grew increasingly desperate about her fate – as you may imagine – wondering if she were being cared for, knowing she must be lonely and terrified. A full 3 weeks later, we received a call from Tokyo! Our golden retriever had been in a crate in a hangar there all this time, poor thing… Our eventual reunion was emotional for all (and she scrambled around joyfully, like a puppy – in that wonderful way).

    The next of our dogs was put on a plane with some trepidation. Long story short, they dropped his crate at Kennedy; it somehow broke open and he took off across the runways. Fortunately, he was eventually found cowering in a light well. A traumatic move for dogs who had known only a peaceful farm in the country! Needless to say, we never again put a dog on a plane…

    I share my story only to warn others that some of the major airlines are reckless and irresponsible when it comes to our animals, not caring that they are devoted and beloved members of our families. The response to your loss was cowardly and heartless…

    A solution? I’m seriously tempted to start my own pet travel company…

    Best wishes to your family and all its furry members

    September 22, 2012
  178. So sorry for your cruel loss. It’s so sad that the philosophy of most businesses seems to place profit and “corporate liability” higher than compassion and respect. I hope your publicising this will do some good and stop others from having to go through the same ordeal.

    September 22, 2012
  179. Breaks my heart.

    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France

    September 22, 2012
  180. You poor things! I will be praying for you and your family at this time…

    September 22, 2012
  181. I would be absolutely crushed if I were in your situation. I am so sorry to hear that the airline was so negligent and then so callous in dealing with the aftermath.

    September 22, 2012
  182. Sheri #

    Heartbreaking…. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 22, 2012
  183. Ramon Lopez #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience no matter how painful. I will never trust an airline with my dogs based on this. I can’t even imagine what I’d do…I know I wouldn’t have handled it with the class and fairness you have. I’d probably be in jail.

    Take care and thanks again

    September 22, 2012
  184. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. RIP Bea

    September 22, 2012
  185. Maggie, I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. I cannot even imagine how devastating it was to receive this news and the way it was handled by United is unforgivable. I also wanted to write to thank you for sharing your story. Many people do not realize how traumatic and dangerous it can be to transport our beloved pets in the cargo bay of airplanes. Of course it can be done, but many things can go wrong as well. When we moved to Sydney, Australia, from the San Francisco area we made the very difficult decision to leave our beloved Bernese Mountain dog, Lulu, with family members in Idaho. It nearly broke our hearts to leave her behind, but after many conversations with our vet as well as the professional pet shipping company we had hired, we decided we simply could not risk her health and take her with us. I honestly believe that even if she had survived the flight — and stories like yours do make me question whether or not she would have — the 30-day quarantine would have been too much.

    September 22, 2012
  186. JULIEBOZ #

    Dear Maggie,
    I read about Bea this morning and my heart has been heavy all day for you and your family. Our 8 year old golden has been spoiled all day with extra hugs and chasing
    balls (her fav thing) in honor of Sweet Bea.

    September 22, 2012
  187. Let’s all do something to United Airlines! I don’t know what but I will contribute in a monetary way or in a time and Letter Writing or emailing campaign to install an Embargo on United Airlines. Anyone with any Ideas?

    September 22, 2012
    • Rachael Estes #

      If you come up with something, please let me know! United did the same the same thing to my dog last month!

      September 22, 2012
  188. GEORGE PEARSALL #

    AFTER READING YOUR POST I WAS DEEPLY SADDENED, AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND BEA. HER DEATH AND THE WAY SHE DIED SHOULD NOT GO UNPUNISHED.HOW DARE UNITED AIRLINES BE SO CALLOUS AND UNCARING ABOUT SOMEONE’S LOVED PET.WHEN READING YOUR POST I FEEL UNITED AIRLINES KNEW THEY WERE IN THE WRONG AND BY STALLING AND DECEIVING YOUR VET I’M CONVINCED THEY WERE AT FAULT.I KNOW YOU DONT WANT TO SUE BUT WHO’S GOING TO SPEAK FOR SWEET BEA AND THE OTHER DOGS OR CATS THAT FLY UNITED AND ARE KILLED .SWEET BEA WASN’T JUST A STATISTIC SHE WAS A BELOVED MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY AND UNITED MUST BE TAUGHT THAT THEY CAN’T SWEEP THIS UNDER THE TABLE. I URGE YOU TO RECONSIDER AND SPEAK FOR BEA.I KNOW THE FIGHT WILL BE HARD IF YOU CHOOSE BUT IF BEA’S DEATH CAN SAVE ANOTHER DOG OR CAT FROM THE SAME FATE IT WILL HELP HEAL YOUR BROKEN HEART AND BEA’S DEATH WILL NOT GO IN VAIN.

    September 22, 2012
  189. Dennis #

    They should be sued. The HVAC on the air craft was not maintained. That system was down for more than 15 mins. I know how those systems work.

    September 22, 2012
  190. I am soooo sorry for you and for Bea. I wish I could say something useful. My deep condolences.

    September 22, 2012
  191. I am so sorry for your loss. Believe me when I say I will never fly with them again. Their heartlessness goes beyond belief! Just in case anyone needs another reason to not fly with them and a handful of other airlines read this article:
    https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3888
    Almost every major airline in the world refuses to transport monkeys for cruel experimentation, except guess who?? Yup- United Airlines.
    They only words I have to describe them are spelled using 4 letters.
    Again, my heart breaks for your loss and your story. I cannot even wrap my head around the absolute cruel way they treated you and Bea.

    love,
    Christie Bea (no relation to your sweet Bea, but honored to share the name) 😉

    September 22, 2012
  192. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Sweet Bea. Nothing anyone can say can make this any easier, but I would think there would be one copassionate person at United that could show some empathy. Take comfort in the fact that she knew your love for her.

    September 22, 2012
  193. I am so incredibly sad to read about your loss. I just reposted to my FB page and will spread the word about United. Bea is in my thoughts and your family in my prayers.

    September 22, 2012
  194. Cynthia Simmons #

    As an animal lover, I am so sorry for your loss but I see you flew from Newark. Be not mistaken, this was Continental Airlines with the United name only. The ‘new’ United (i.e. CO) simply does not have the safety regulations which legacy UAL demanded…AND this incluedes animal travel.

    September 22, 2012
  195. Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I have discussed if we would fly with our dog many times and have made the decision not to…yet, but there was still discussion. Because of your story there is no doubt that you have saved other families from the extremely heartbreaking experience of loosing their four legged family member. My husband and I will never think about flying our dog ever again. It won’t happen. Thank you. Our very most sincere condolences to you and your family for your loss.

    September 22, 2012
  196. Bev McMullan (Canada) #

    As an animal lover (especially of dogs) I am so sorry to hear of the untimely death of your dog, Bea. She looked like an amazing dog and, yes, you should have had many more years with her. What infuriates me is that United is not taking any responsibility for her death. The fact that you have caught them in lies leads me to believe that there is a lot more to the story. They are basically running scared and covering their butts!!

    September 22, 2012
  197. Karen Spisak #

    So very, very sorry for your loss.

    September 22, 2012
  198. I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words.. I am just so sorry that this happened to Bea and to you.

    September 22, 2012
  199. Brandi Lomeli #

    Maggie,

    This is incredibly heartbreaking and SO scary! I have traveled with my animals on planes before when it was a necessity and we were moving accross country and again to Hawaii. I wish there was another mode of transportation for our furry pets when we are stuck between a rock and a hard place! I have read stories like this before and it makes my heart pound. This story struck me because of your beautiful and heartfelt words in your blog. I can feel the love and pain you are experiencing through every word you wrote. I have lost 2 of my babies, but only after they lived a full and happy life. The pain you experience from that is not one we can describe as pet owners. Most people don’t get how these angels really do feel like children to us, and to have your baby taken at such a young age is simply unfair and not acceptable! I really hope that through your efforts and bringing this story to light, more airlines will start to ensure the safety of our PRECIOUS cargo. Don’t give up and never stop speaking out on this matter…your words might possibly make a difference. Prayers and hugs to you and thoughts of sweet Bea playing up at Rainbow bridge with lots of friends, I’m sure of it. XO

    September 22, 2012
  200. stephanie conner #

    My deepest sympathies! I flew here to Georgia from Maryland in 1974 with our poodle/spitz on Delta and did fine. Some airlines are negligent, though. Rest assured your dog is in heaven and is awaiting your reunion if you are a born again christian. Take care and again my deepest sympathies!

    September 22, 2012
  201. I am so sorry for your loss Maggie. This just saddens me that this happened to you and your family. I had to fly my 3 dogs cross country from IAD-DEN-PHX in crates 8 years ago on United Airlines and luckily they were well taken care of and survived the 10 hour trip so I know the anxiety that goes into planning their safe trip. This still just breaks my heart for you and so sorry.

    September 22, 2012
  202. So sorry for your loss, and so upset with United. My mom and I flew with our English Setter when he was 5 months old and could hear him barking from the cargo hold the ENTIRE five hour flight. I told myself I’d never make another dog fly after that. I would love a family dog, especially for our 4 year old, but with all of the international travel we do every year (my husband plays ice hockey in Europe), I guess don’t feel it’d be entirely fair. Sending lots of love from Germany.

    September 22, 2012
  203. What happened to your dog, Bea is truly heartbreaking. I had heard before that it is dangerous to give your animals to the airlines, especially in the summer, but this story is unbelievable. Especially that United could lie and be so heartless and concerned about covering their own mistake. Thank you for telling your story. I am sure you just saved countless dogs, and their families, from the same tragic loss.

    September 22, 2012
  204. Victoria Miller #

    My heart just aches for you…I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful Sweet Bea.

    May the long sun shine upon you
    All love surround you
    And the pure light within you
    Guide your way on

    September 22, 2012
  205. I am so sorry for your loss. Bea seemed like a very lovely dog. Thank you for sharing your story. I will never entrust United Airlines with one of my pets. Their behavior was appalling.

    September 22, 2012
  206. I am so sorry what happen to Bea. Our hearts go out to you and yours for your loss. I just found your blog and I wish this wasn’t your last post, but I understand.

    We have a family blog: http://www.Cop-A-Squat.com There are two stories about dogs. A sad one, titled REX, is about how I lost my dog when I was younger. And a funny story, DOGGONE, I wrote in Rex’s honor. Please stop by when you get a moment.

    Paul

    September 22, 2012
  207. Stephanie J #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I do hope you file a lawsuit against United. Unfortunately, reform will only happen when more and more airlines are held accountable for their actions. I have a similar story and regret not taking more action. Airlines only feel things in their wallets not any place else. Thank you for share your story and raising more awareness on this issue.

    September 22, 2012
  208. I am truly sorry about that. Its one of those things I hate about some people. All I can really do is say for Bea to rest in peace.

    September 22, 2012
  209. Oh I am so, so sorry for your loss. You did all the right things and still you lost your soul mate. I am praying for you and your family. God give you strength to deal with this cruel loss and find some peace in that you have raised awareness and that Bea’s death may not be in vain if this stops one more pet suffering in this way.

    September 22, 2012
  210. Oh my God! this made me cry & i’m heart broken! May God give you & your family the strength to overcome this tragic loss…

    September 22, 2012
  211. I am writing this comment through tears, as my heart aches for the loss of your little bea. I am so sorry that this happened to you, and will spread the word to everyone I know to try to prevent another loss of a precious friend in the future. My own experience with them was horrible, as my dog showed up to me with pnemonia and shivering after a winter flight, less than 2 days after a clean health certificate from the vet. I have read several horrible stories of dogs who suffered the same fate as Bea, due to negligence of their airline and others like Continental. I know you said you do not want a boycott, but I personally will not fly united or continental ever and will urge everyone I know to do the same. Again, I am sending you love, prayers and heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beloved friend and companion. Nothing will fill the void of Beas absence, but please do not blame yourself, and know that you gave this dog the best possible life, and this is not your fault. She shines down on you, from wherever she is, and will give you a sign that she is ok. Animals are strong spirits, and always find a way of showing up in our dreams or paths again, when we have bonded so closely with them.

    September 22, 2012
  212. You need to be vocal about this and make sure you advocate for better conditions for pets flying on airlines. I don’t understand why the airlines can’t allow for space in the cabin of the plane. Pet owners will pay the extra cost to have their pets near them. I’m not rich, but if I had to fly my beloved dog, I would pay whatever was charged to ensure this safety.

    September 22, 2012
  213. This is heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 22, 2012
  214. This is so sad. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve always been too scared to fly with my cat. It definitely makes me think it’s not worth the risk.

    September 22, 2012
  215. Gretchen #

    Please start a petition on change.org so we can all sign and force the airlines to change their horrible way of handling animals!

    September 22, 2012
  216. G.F. #

    There is never enough justice for animals, it sickens me tho think that these beautiful creatures are tossed aside like garbage, A law suit won’t get your beautiful bea back but may prevent others from losing a family member to a sensless act of irressponsibility and maybe some commen sense will prevail, so please do sue in hopes that you get justice for bea and maybe the laws will start to recongnize this as being no different than animal cruelty…..so sorry for your loss.

    September 22, 2012
  217. DogMomInSeattle #

    So sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine after all the horror stories people still continue to fly their pets. It is a selfish thing to do, you wouldn’t do that to your child would you? I can’t understand why people who take such good care of their dogs fail are willing to take such a huge risk by flying them. I have 2 dogs (my babies) and as much as I would love to take them with me when I travel, I realize it is selfish and dangerous. Unless you have them in your full view at all times, DON’T FLY YOUR PETS!

    September 22, 2012
  218. I am so sorry for your loss. I know what it is like to lose a pet in a tragic manner. Thank you for having a voice and for standing up for what is right. I hope you find the answers you deserve.

    Your sweet blog will serve as a beautiful tribute to your sweet Bea. I saw another commenter say that Bea is at Rainbow Bridge now…it’s true.

    September 22, 2012
  219. Andrew Rozmiarek #

    I am so sorry for the loss of Bea. And I am so angry at United Airlines in how they are trying to spin this. The fact that there were other animals on the plane that did not die does not mean that the conditions were acceptable. It means that all the other pets were in the same inhumane conditions that killed Bea, but managed to survive somehow. I would be willing to bet that every pet on that flight would show signs of dehydration and hyperthermia. Unlike your human friends, animals can’t complain about the awful conditions on a flight.
    A number of years ago, I needed to take my pet with me on a flight. I talked with United before the flight to see what kind of conditions she would be subject to, and I was surprised at how uneducated and callous the people at United were with respect to caring for animals.
    USAirways, by the way, does a fantastic job with pets, I found out. It turns out that a big part of USAir’s business is transporting animals for zoos, collectors and the like, and they take their responsibility very seriously. I was very impressed with them. (and no, I don’t have any connection with USAir or any other airline. I just like for animals to be treated humanely.)

    September 22, 2012
  220. karenee #

    I am so cross at the airline for allowing this to happen. Lots of animals travel this way….
    God help them.Time to change. I think animals deserve better. Lastly, I hope time will heal your pain….and your family’s loss of your precious dog.

    September 22, 2012
  221. TS #

    I am so sorry.Dogs are special people. ❤

    September 22, 2012
  222. we have flown our husky/lab/mutt in northern canada many times without incident, but flying her into toronto several years ago was enough to convince us we would never put her though a flight again. after we waited almost an hour at the cargo counter (staffed by the least responsible agents we have ever encoutered), she was finally returned to us seriously distressed, scared and dehydrated. we had taken every precaution, as you had, but learned then that our diligence wasn’t enough to ensure her safety. i’m so sorry for you and bea. it’s such a traumatic loss. i hope your many warm memories of your time with her are comforting you now.

    September 22, 2012
  223. Scot #

    So sorry for your loss. Anyone that has ever lost a pet can sympathize with you. They are not just animals. They are family members. Shame on United for lying to you.

    September 22, 2012
  224. I’m so sorry for your lost, I hope no one will have to go through this ever again.

    September 22, 2012
  225. Susan #

    I have followed your blog since the beginning and looked foward to reading your posts. When I saw a new post the other day, my excitement quickly turned to sadness as I read the title. The love that we have for our animals knows no bounds and the sadness that we feel for others that have lost a pet, even when we do not know them, is very real. I am so sorry for your loss and have thought about you and your family often over the last few days.

    September 22, 2012
  226. Robin #

    Like you, our pets are our lives. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 22, 2012
  227. Your story actually made me cry. I could not even come close to imagining the huge loss and outrage you and your poor family are going through. Bravo for posting this blog post about it. It is unacceptable and unforgivable for any company to handle such a situation with the callusness and just sheer cruelness! My pet IS a part of my family and they have always been (all throughout the years.) I see them as equal as a child would be. It took me almost 3 years to get over the loss of my kitty of 14 years, but he was 14. At 2, no one should have to prepare for that poor animal to be lost. I can hardly imagine. The suffering especially. My heart goes out to you SO MUCH!! I AM SO SO SORRY!!

    September 22, 2012
  228. Karen Winey #

    I had UA transport our two cats overseas. I was stressed to the max during the entire time they were in the hold. As it turns out, they were never watered or fed during our 8 hour layover from Detroit to DC, so they had no food or water in over 20 hours, when we arrived overseas. When we went to retrieve them at the airport, they were just sitting along side unclaimed luggage. I see by the food that I had sealed on their cat carrier, that it was never fed, and they didn’t have any water. We immediately got them water, which one cat drank, but the other was so lethargic, I was panic stricken. We finally got them home, but one has never been the same. UA was apologetic, but just sent us some stupid voucher. It will never help my cat that shall remain skitish for the rest of her life. I hope no one ever has to experience anything like this for a pet they love.

    September 22, 2012
  229. So sorry for your loss!! I have been running a pet ground transportation company for some time now because of the higher risks of airline travel. Their response to the death of a loved one is unacceptable! These are family members to us and just another paycheck to them. I hope you would consider finding a ground transporter next time. It may take longer but be more

    September 22, 2012
  230. Larry #

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is inexcusable. While a boycott of United won’t bring her back, it would send a powerful message that our pets (indeed, all animals) are feeling creatures who deserve our care and respect. You did all the right things. If you could turn back the clock, you would. Just know that Bea knew she was loved (how could she not?) and is not in pain. Shame on United!

    September 22, 2012
  231. Oh my gosh. I am so sorry for your loss – I can’t even begin to tell you. Thank you for sharing this story, and I sincerely hope that justice (and your peace of mind), in some way, will be found. I’m utterly horror-stricken.

    September 22, 2012
  232. Oh my goodness, this is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever read. Making me think about all the times I almost flew my dearest Spaniel, and being so glad that I never did. I would never have considered flying a pet to be so dangerous, you assume airlines to care for our pets as we do…

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what state I would be in were I in your position. Looking at the pictures of your beautiful Bea and reading that story has me in tears. At least it’s clear that she was a truly beloved and happy dog.

    September 22, 2012
  233. Sorry for your loss of Bea. I hope the UA employees involved will be held accountable, but that won’t bring Bea back. When I fly my dogs – Great Danes – I use American. They have a very strict policy on flying animals. If the predicted ground temp is 80 degrees or higher along the flight route, including layovers, they will not put a pet on the plane. Ive experienced this myself. I had to wait over two months to get my Great Dane, Grace, as a pup out of Texas to Sacramento. I could have had her put on another airline, but chose American for their record and safety policies. She got here safe and sound and now stands 34″ at the shoulders and still growing. Again, very sorry for your loss, but I think, youll still feel her close to you when you need her most.

    September 22, 2012
    • My experience with American is the same as yours. They have very strict policies in place on ground temperatures – both hot and cold. I only flew my cat on United once. When I picked him up he was covered in blood! I’m still not sure how he could have been cut like that, but it ended my relationship with United.

      September 22, 2012
  234. same as my story but my dog survived.So sorry for your loss ! My name is barbara listenik and Delta lost my dog Boris. I got a bill passed the Boris Bill in 2001 The Safe Air Travels for Animals Act and nothing has changed! The airlines need to take care for our loved ones! They are not reporting correctly and have not for a long time. There is a loophole in the Bill , please help and make an ammendment in the Bill so the airlines have to take respondsibility!!!!! google The boris bill

    September 22, 2012
  235. I think it’s unacceptable that animals are packed into the plans like if they were some kind of bags or boxes, and not breathing beings, who have hearts, brains, and souls. The fact that they can’ talk and express what they think and feel is not an excuse to treat them as anything less than alive creatures – on the opposite – human have to be more attentive to their needs and, yes – pains and fears… I am sorry for what Bea had to go through alone. Something has to be done – there should be some room in the air-plains equipped for transporting pets – there must be an air conditioner there at the very least. And, perhaps, eventually, it would make sense if the owners could monitor how they beloved pets doing through monitors either installed on the front seats, or through laptops. The contemporary technology makes it possible nowadays! It should be available as an option, even if pet’s owners will have to pay some extra money for this accommodation!

    September 22, 2012
  236. It is untrue that cabins are unpressurized. Of course they are pressurized….its the heat that is unsafe and unbearable. The cargo hold of a plane stays open while they load the luggage. the last to go in the cargo hold is the animals. This means that the cargo hold is the same (or hotter) temperature as the outside air. The cargo hold doors then get closed. So the air inside is at least the same temperature or hotter at this point. The air does not circulate in the cargo hold until the plane is airborne. Unfortunately, rules state that planes can taxi for as much as 2 hours before returning to the gate to remove animals. This means that if the outside temperature is within acceptable limits prior to take off, the plane cargo hold can go even higher considering that there is no circulated air AND heat from the tarmac can also increase the temperature inside. Even when the plane is airborne, the air being circulated in the cargo hold is circulated around electronics and other mechanical systems which produce heat. This means that the air is never a comfortable 72′. Add to all this, being surrounded by baggage which reduces air circulation even more. Think about sitting in a stuffy, cramped space for 6 hours at a temperature that is unbearable. I cannot imagine how terrified pets must be. Sixteen years ago, I flew my pup and thought something seemed off, so the next time I considered flying him, I was relentless. I called everywhere I could and wound up speaking to baggage managers, handlers, etc., off the record of course, and was told the horror that pets go through when flying. I then made the decision to drive with my pets on the cross country trip from AZ to NJ. I did that trip many times in the past 16 years. I never flew my pets again. When you know better, you do better….I have been trying to tell people for years, but most people think that since they don’t hear about it, it doesn’t happen. The fact is that the airlines consider pets luggage and the news doesn’t report lost or damaged baggage. I tell people this information all the time when I hear they are about to fly their pets and I cannot beleive that they choose to either ignore or not believe the facts that I tell them. OR that they don’t even care to find out for themselves. I can unstand ignorance, but once you know of a problem, you can’t continue to stick your head in the sand. The best thing to do is spread the word and hopefully save another pet from the same fate.

    September 22, 2012
  237. Di #

    I am very sorry that happened to Bea. It is a disgrace that airlines treat animals like objects. There is no data available that shows that they track animal flying conditions.

    September 22, 2012
  238. My heart goes out to you and your family, Maggie. I’m so sorry for your loss!

    September 22, 2012
  239. I am so sorry for your loss. It’s such a sad story, however, it’s commendable that you are sharing your story to help prevent others from suffering the loss of their pet at the airline’s hand. There should be zero percent of this happening.

    September 22, 2012
  240. I am so sorry for your loss. Such a tragedy.

    September 22, 2012
  241. My heartfelt condolences. So sad.

    September 22, 2012
  242. Shauna #

    I am saddened by your loss. The unconditional love and joy that a “golden” gives is unmeasurable…Know that Bea was so very lucky to have what short amount of time she did with you and your family. We have a 4 year old golden, and she is the light of our lives!
    Take care…..

    September 22, 2012
  243. I read your story and appreciate you speaking out against United Airlines and bringing attention to the fact that one employee’s error can cause the death of a beloved pet. I used to use Continental (now United) several times a year to transport my dog back and forth from Geneva and I was lucky that she made it but the trip always exhausted and stressed her. When I returned to the USA full-time two years ago, I decided to stop flying my animals (we added a rescue kitten to our family) and I now drive them from NY to Florida or CT to Florida. It takes time but it’s worth it.

    So sorry for your loss. I had a golden retriever for 14 years (and referred to her as my first daughter) and still miss her everyday.

    September 22, 2012
  244. Such a terrible tragedy…my heart goes out to your family.

    September 22, 2012
  245. I am so so sorry for your loss… May Bea rest in peace… (((Hug)))

    September 22, 2012
  246. C J Hayden-Williams #

    My family & I are so saddened by this tragedy. I just saw your story & hope that you post results as to what happened to Bea. Our Grand-doggie, Bella is a GR & thou Ive had dogs all my 54 years I have seen why GR’s are so special. My son & wife travel & we keep Bella at least 1 weekend a month and at times for full week. Just 2 years ago we lost our Peke mix of 13 years and it hurts so bad. Please know you have so much support and HOLD the airlines totally responsible for this tragedy. GR’s have won our heart, I have an illness and spend more than an usual amount of time in bed, Bella knows and adjusts from play mode to laying againts me like my very own living cuddle bear. I love her so much and having lost our ‘Lady’ 2 years ago your story brings back that heartbreak that I know your family feels. She deserved MANY YEARS with her family as HER FAMILY deserved MANY YEARS WITH HER! Again..we are so sorry.

    September 22, 2012
  247. This is so sad and I completely understand how you feel. 😦 A similar thing happened to us.

    September 22, 2012
  248. I agree with John Bell Young and think you should take him up on his offer.
    The loss of a pet is just as devastating as any family member. I have a Golden (rescue) and though I don’t think it really matters WHAT kind of dog it is, United failed her and it cost her her life. They should be held accountable and I do think you should take legal action – for Bea’s sake. In memory of her. Specifically because United tried to cover up, deny, lied and used unscrupulous tactics to get your Veterinarians results. Will it be hard on you? Yup it will. It’s your choice, but if it were me…..my Golden is my life and I could not NOT hold them accountable.
    Lastly, I hope that some day your happy memories of Bea replace the loss and sorrow and pain. I hope that you will change your mind and continue your blog once your pain is not as raw. I am very sorry for you loss.

    September 22, 2012
  249. P Des #

    Not that this will even remotely make up for your loss…. But I fly almost every week and I DO have a choice in what airline I use…. I am DONE giving them one more dime…. Hear this United, I will get up at 4 AM if I need to to make sure United NEVER gets my business again… Want it back? Acknowledge the ignorant way you handled this situation and take responsibility. What’s sad is, United won’t… Instead United will listen to it’s lawyers, clam up and wait for this to blow over…. unfortunately for you United, the world of Social has changed the rules while your lawyers were on the back 9…. Just estimated my travel, United will loose $14,000 from me… Just one guy.. Now call in your actuary and run the profit loss on that multiplied by all those who will read this story and do the same thing…. one family, one situation… Wake up.

    September 22, 2012
  250. I am moved to tears reading your final post. I am so sorry for you loss.

    September 22, 2012
  251. …well, as dog owner myself…i must tell you i hesitated to click the “like” button on your blog….how could i like something like that.
    anyways, a deeply terrible thing has happened to your precious Bea…whether its due to negligence from the airline or whatever, the fact is that your companion is gone.
    and how hypocritical they are trying to shrug the blame off…although thats not surprising in this day and age…everyone just cares about themselves and screw the next person….pardon the swearing….
    im offering you a big hug from the UK….and my deepest condolences…..

    September 22, 2012
  252. Hello Maggie, I just want to say, please don’t stop writing although Bea is already gone. She’s happy and safe now in heaven 🙂

    September 22, 2012
  253. Kim Gebron #

    I am so, so sorry about Bea and the way in which she died. I am outraged by the horrific way in which United Airlines handled this. I am writing them an actual letter, not an email, to express my dismay and concern. I appreciate your desire to educate and inform those of us who travel with our animals (and I always drive so they are with me). I also believe that United should be fined and the responsible employees terminated for cause as well as both the airlines and emloyees be charged with criminal negligence and animal cruelty at the very least. My heartfelt condolences.

    September 22, 2012
  254. Jen #

    This is awful awful awful, and I am so sorry for your loss. I hope this motivates the airlines to reconsider their pet transport policies, because the current situation is completely unacceptable.

    When you are ready, please consider adopting a dog from a shelter. 25% of rescue dogs are purebreds, and it’s not difficult to find a puppy. Over 2 million pets are euthanized in the USA each year for no other reason that there is no one to adopt them.

    The SF SPCA is a great organization and I hope that you will consider them for your next canine companion.

    September 22, 2012
    • Thank you for your advice. We adopted a little guy named Jack from an East Bay rescue facility last week. Keep up the good work!

      September 22, 2012
  255. sporadicblogger #

    It’s heart breaking what happened to your dog. People who haven’t had a pet don’t understand it but losing a pet is just like losing a close relative.
    Thanks for writing this post and bringing the negligence of aviation industry to the fore.

    September 22, 2012
  256. This is so sad to hear, I completely understand what you are going through as the loss of a pet is devastating. We lost our cocker spaniel due to negligence by the vet 6 years ago & it took a long time to come to terms with it. May God give you strength to cope.

    September 22, 2012
  257. What an awful thing to happen – and then for the airline to block and stall and lie and disclaim responsibility as they did – bloody shameful. My heart goes out to you.

    September 22, 2012
  258. Yogurt #

    Stop locking your pets in boxes over such high altitudes, humans have heart attacks on planes, in presence of others, what do you expect? Drive if you value their lives.

    September 22, 2012
  259. Hara Baka #

    i can’t stop crying… so so sorry for your loss… everybody who loves animals can understand what you feel. please receive my condolences. There is nothing more to say to say to you.

    September 21, 2012
  260. AVS #

    My sincerest condolences. As a dog lover, I will never fly United Airlines again.

    September 21, 2012
  261. I am so heartbroken for you, I can’t believe the gross negligence that must have taken place for Bea to lose her life. Thank you for sharing, I will spread the word, and I most certainly will never fly my beloved dog, Annie, anywhere after this. Hugs to you…

    September 21, 2012
  262. So sorry to hear this.

    September 21, 2012
  263. movingmountains1 #

    Hi there. I am sorry to hear about your loss of Bea. That is horrible and not acceptable. I agree with you in that some closure should have been given. Honesty and compassion to a human being. Not just a paying customer either. But unfortunately this airline staff couldn’t even give you that simple empathy. I can’t imagine losing my pet, and especially in that way. My heart goes out to you and may Bea rest in peace.

    September 21, 2012
  264. pam thomas #

    Heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss. I will never, ever, entrust any airline, United or otherwise, with the care of my pets. Thank you for sharing your story. best, pam

    September 21, 2012
  265. Oh my goodness. My heart goes out to you. Losing a pet is always hard, but when you did everything you could to ensure her safety and then lost her to someone else’s fault, it’s nearly unbearable. I’m so sorry you had to go through this and I hope one day you’ll get the closure you need, and honesty from United. I already dislike United for other reasons, but now I can say I won’t fly with them again. Good luck to you.

    September 21, 2012
  266. Goldens are the most gentle souls ever sent from heaven. My heart goes to you and yours, and hope that you will soon find peace in sweet memories.

    September 21, 2012
  267. I don’t even know what to say. This is a horrific tragedy, and I’m so sorry to hear about it. I work in a vet clinic, so I have the pleasure of working with these wonderful animals on a daily basis. There’s nothing that can replace the companionship of a dog. I know that my own dogs hold a special place in my heart, and I would be devastated if something like this were to happen to one of them. It’s too bad that someone’s mistake can come at such a great cost. Thank you for writing this to raise awareness about this problem. Rest in peace Bea!

    September 21, 2012
  268. Ann Bierman #

    Maggie,
    I have never responded to a blog before but I just had to write regarding the circumstances of losing your beloved Bea in such a tragic, preventable circumstance. I, too love golden retrievers for 37 years now. My husband gave me my first golden as a wedding present (he didn’t like animals much, especially dogs that were allowed to live in the house).
    eventually I began training in obedience and tracking and wanted a show quality dog for conformation. Long story short, I began travelling (flying) to the Golden Retriever National Specialty, which rotated annually around the country. I remember in particular one golden ariving dead at the airport in Denver; ironically I believe her name was Flight After Dark. This prompted many conversations over the 5-7 day period of the national specialty and since these dogs were the best of the best, they and their handler or owner usually flew with them. I learned it was very bad to have several dogs flying in cargo at once because they were all competing for the same air, and the only air they received was from the leaks of the cargo doors. I am down to one golden from five when I showed frequently. This is mostly because I can not deal with the heartbreak of losing them. But paraphrasing Shakespeare, it is better to have loved and

    lost, than to never have loved at all. We also learned to stay by the airport windows and WATCH them load the dogs in, and several other item. Like LOCK the kennel because many have had doors fly open and door runs out never to be seen again.

    I do feel your pain, because the loss was so unnecessary. Because dogs are considered property, we do not even have that option of getting the airlines to address their practices of accepting live animals. If they can not guarantee their safety, they should not assume the responsibility. Your girl was absolutely gorgeous. Let her life stand for something – educate dog owners of the dangers of flying their pets. I have heard about an airline that flies ONLY pets – maybe that is what it will come to . They make special provisions for
    their passengers.”

    September 21, 2012
  269. Louise #

    I’m so very sorry for your tragic loss. This was an unnecessary loss. How did she die from heatstroke, was it hot in the cabin of the airline? Was she left outside the plane in the sun? How long was the flight?

    This will now caution people about flying their dogs, do not ever assume it is safe. Some good must come of this but it is so incredibly unfair that you should go through so much pain and heartbreak.

    Louise from Australia

    September 21, 2012
  270. Words are completely inadequate at times like this. What a horrible occurrence, handled even more horribly. I am so sorry for your loss and know that Bea has crossed the Rainbow Bridge years earlier than she should have.~ Kat

    September 21, 2012
  271. this almost made me cry…i can feel the pain, when i lost my 10yr old Ashleigh (terrier breed) 2yrs ago, staying at home specially on weekend has never been the same.

    September 21, 2012
  272. Maggie — My heart goes out to you; I cannot imagine how painful this must have been for you. . Given how utterly devastatng this tragedy was for you and yours, it is extraordinary that you have made an effort to set aside anger in favor of reason. That said, you have every right to be angry, as any empathetic individual would be, especially those of us who love our dogs. i don’t even know you, but *I* am outraged to learn of Bea’s cruel and painful death at the hands of irresponsible and decadent baggage handlers. At the very least, United and its employees ought be cited and charged with animal cruelty; indeed, that is hardly unreasonable given that anyone else who would allow a dog to die in an overheated car, for example, would face stiff fines and possible jail time. United Airlines must be held accountable for your loss, but also for the breach of trust they now dismiss with such cavalier and even decadent dispatch.

    As a prominent and widely published writer, columnist, and author — among other things — I enjoy a substantial media reach; I write often about dogs for a number of major publications. in my view, your experience really ought be chronicled, and be brought into focus with the brightest public light possible, so as to expose the shoddy and uncaring practices that led to this horror in order to prevent future incidents. Bea was a beautiful and gentle soul and obviously very much loved; I can discern as much in her photographs. To do what we can to fully investigate and convey this story will not only serve to hold accountable those responsible, but would also honor Bea’s brief but wonderful life. If there is anything i can do to help, do not hesitate to let me know;
    -John Bell Young

    September 21, 2012
  273. My heartfelt condolences, so sorry for your loss…

    September 21, 2012
  274. So sorry. I hope this goes viral.

    September 21, 2012
  275. I couldn’t even imagine. My sincerest condolences for your loss. Thank you for speaking up about this. I believe owners need to be advocates for their pets. I’m sorry she didn’t get to be yours for longer. HUGS

    September 21, 2012
  276. I’m so angry and heartbroken by your story. Thank you so much for sharing.

    September 21, 2012
  277. Joseph Mallozzi #

    Heartbreaking. And the fact that United Airlines lied to cover their asses is infuriating. Will spread the word.

    Condolences.

    September 21, 2012
  278. Constanza #

    I am terribly sorry about your loss. I cannot imagine how hard it has to be to not only lose your baby but also to find such a dishonesty in the company that was supposed to care for her in your behalf. I can’t believe that they tried to lie you and your vet so much! I hope you find some answers in time, I hope you find closure.
    Much love,
    Coty.-

    September 21, 2012
  279. Reblogged this on bookblogblog and commented:
    This is so sad, and I want to spread the word to ensure it never happens again. Bea will be remembered!

    September 21, 2012
  280. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    http://shawprophoto.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/one-of-them-is-dead/

    September 21, 2012
  281. This is so sad… I have a dog and would be devastated if anything ever happened to her. I most definitely will never put my dog on a plane now. It breaks my heart that Bea died in pain and not surrounded by her loved ones. So so sorry for your loss!! Bea will be remembered!

    September 21, 2012
  282. I read about this story on People.com yesterday and my heart goes out to you. I forwarded the article to my mother who works in the travel industry and whose company partners with United. As dog owners, we were both so saddened to hear your story. I hope you can find some comfort eventually and that Bea will never be forgotten.

    September 21, 2012
  283. Seftratocaster #

    Reblogged this on Ridiculous Secrets and commented:
    This story about a very loyal dog is very sad… I would love to play with Bea 🙂 But sadly, she died.

    September 21, 2012
  284. This is why I heart-brokenly left my dog at home during our summer vacation. It’s so hard to leave her but it would be worse to face this sort of situation. I’m very sorry for your loss, I pray you find peace.

    September 21, 2012
  285. Dusty King #

    Maggie, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing one of your little babies, it’s a feeling that is especially poignant and painful. I know that nothing can replace her little face and your strength and calm is monumental, I wish you are granted the truth and closure from such an odious company. Be a was a beautiful baby.

    September 21, 2012
  286. I like to see the world one day, but I dread flying on any airlines. I already did one time over 10 years ago and I am in no hurry to do it again since.

    September 21, 2012
  287. My heart is crying for your sweet golden. Rest assured she is no longer suffering. I lost my golden 5 years ago, not to anything as tragic as your loss. He had cancer and died when he was 4 years old. I am sure my Rustee was there to meet your Beatrice and they will both be waiting for the day when we will all be reunited.
    As someone else said maybe some good will come of this if enough people become aware of the terrible treatment pets get on airplanes, it can be changed before too many more dogs have to die.

    September 21, 2012
  288. This is so infuriating, and so so sad. I feel so bad for you and for Bea, truly. Golden retrievers are my favorite dogs….I do hope you plan to sue United. I hope you make a really big deal out of it so people know what happened. In the interests of saving other pets, but also just to achieve some kind of justice for Bea. They really have a nerve. How awful. Accept my heartfelt sympathies.

    September 21, 2012
  289. I am so very sorry – at your loss, the cruelty to Bea, the utter lack of regard by United personnel for Bea and so many other animals that travel by air, and United’s coldness to you. I am outraged and sad and so very sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  290. Tom Jones #

    This is horrific and United is a disgrace. Bea will be a part of you forever, and may she rest in peace. No words can make this ok, but I will never fly United again. My dog is my son, and I will never put him in a situation like this. Thank you for sharing this – I can’t imagine how painful it was to put into words. My thoughts are with you.

    September 21, 2012
  291. Loren Gomez #

    In the past year, my husband and I lost our two beloved female Labradors. While we can sadly empathize with you in your loss of Henry and then Bea, we are speechless and horrified that, in addition, it had to come about in this way. From your description here and in earlier posts, you were as conscientious as you could have been and she was so fortunate to be so loved. We are friends with a man who experienced a similar tragedy when he emigrated from Asia. One of his beloved dogs was placed in an unsafe area of the plane they were on and died of exposure to low temperature. It is so wrong that you were both punished when there is no lesson to be learned, when you had both done everything right for your dogs.

    While nothing can make this right, I do believe that there can be some solace, and some good when the memory of one dog can help another. Stories like the ones on this lovely blog and supporting other dogs will, in some not-good-enough-but-still-something way keep her legacy and spirit alive. Is there an animal charity that you prefer that we can make a donation to in Bea’s name?

    Thank you so much for sharing your blog with us. I hope, in your time of sadness, we can share enough compassion and comfort to repay you for the smiles your posts and anecdotes have brought to your readers.

    Rest in peace, beautiful Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  292. I’m so very sorry Maggie. My heart breaks for you and your family. I believe in Rainbow bridge and I’m sure you do too. Know that Henry is with her now. She was beautiful like her two legged Mommy who loved her so. I will think of you as I go and cry holding on to my golden. All the best to you and I’m sorry that I only found your blog now, maybe someday another golden ball of fur will dance and wiggle their way into you heart again. You have your own golden angel now, and someday that angel will let you know its time.

    September 21, 2012
  293. My praryers are with you! Bea is in a much happier place than all of us. This world is full of evil and hate. She’s up watching over you with a smile and grace with her. Lord take care of little bea!

    September 21, 2012
  294. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Bea. United then compounded the pain you feel by refusing to be honest about what happened. I agree with the others who have posted comments; keep pushing for answers and get animal welfare agencies involved if you have to. It’s unacceptable that any animal should die during a routine flight.

    September 21, 2012
  295. Re3ecca #

    I’m sure this is the worst way possible to be on freshly pressed but I hope the publicity and awareness will drive the airline to action even if it should be the death of bea that did. I’ll remember not to fly with them at least if that’s how they behave. I’m sorry for your loss x

    September 21, 2012
  296. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Pets are part of the family, this breaks my heart.

    September 21, 2012
  297. What a terrible way to lose a pet. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  298. JV #

    This story has broken my heart and infuriated me. Rest assured it is being spread around and shared by multiple individuals. No doubt your warning will be heeded by many.

    My condolences on your loss. And to add to a previous comment: If this was destiny then maybe it happened to prevent further losses. One life was lost so that many would be spared, one family was put through anguish so that many would be spared the same fate. Take whatever comfort you might from that.

    I have faith that she’s in a place free of pain now. Stay strong and remember that you are not alone.

    September 21, 2012
  299. I am really sad and sorry about your loss… ofcourse nobody can understand your pain and agony of knowing what would ve possibly happend…this is complete injustice…you deserve to be at peace…
    But there is always that other way to think about it… may be it was destiny…it was fate… may be her life was planned as such…may be she was only gna live for that long… spread joy on ur end for that long…and then in the bigger scheme of things she had to leave you guys behind… and so be glad that she was sent into your life … to give you the time that you had…to give you all the love…and teach you another meaning of love and pain… you ‘ll get through this …. may you find your peace …

    September 21, 2012
  300. Andie Desforges #

    With tears steaming down my face, I just wanted to reach out to you from Canada and let you know how incredibly sorry I am for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine how you are feeling.

    Know that Bea knew how deeply she was loved by you and your family.

    My deepest condolences.

    September 21, 2012
  301. I am so sorry for your loss. What United did was horrible and unforgivable. I’ve always been leery about putting my dog on a plane and after reading this, I know I never will. Thank you for telling your story as hard as it was to write. My heart breaks for you and your family. ((HUGS))

    September 21, 2012
    • This is terrible! Much like you mdog32, I’ve always been afraid to put any of my dogs in an airplane and after reading this I won’t ever do it. Maggie, stick it to United Airlines!

      September 21, 2012
  302. Fay #

    Reblogged this on Blog A Book Etc . . . and commented:
    This is terrible and my heart goes out to Maggie and her family. I honestly do not know what I would do if Hector was taken away from me.

    September 21, 2012
  303. I am so sorry for your loss, this was such a heart-breaking post to read, tears are in my eyes….

    September 21, 2012
  304. Sorrow. That’s all I feel. Then, complete and utter anger. My mother went through something similar with her dog–not an airlines but an actual doctor. I’m going to read this to her. She doesn’t understand the value of the internet or even WordPress yet. You’re a hero for speaking up, for fighting for your baby, for being angry. My love and best wishes to you.

    September 21, 2012
  305. Fay #

    Oh my sweet lord. I actually cannot stop the tears from coming. Please like many others have said reconsider sueing the airline as there must have been something that was not done correctly that contributed to your beautiful beloved dog not being with you today. As I am typing this I can only offer my condolences for your terrible loss and cry as I think of what I would do in your situation. In your situation i think you have stayed remarkably calm and collected and American Airlines should be thankful to you and ASHAMED of their APPALLING behaviour with regards to the treatment you have received.

    Sometimes I think people do not realise the impact animals have on their owners lives. I would be lost without my boy and again am heartbroken for you. Please find peace in knowing that Bea loved you from day one and that is how it will always remain.

    I really hope you get through this extremely difficult time and maybe even continue to blog.

    😦

    September 21, 2012
  306. amb #

    I’m so sorry for your loss! *hug*

    September 21, 2012
  307. Honestly, I couldn’t even read this because I knew it would be too sad, and I can’t bear the thought of an animal suffering. I’m so sorry you lost your Sweet Bea, and I hope you’ll give a loving home to another dog who needs one.

    September 21, 2012
  308. This story is so sad. My heart is breaking for you. It is so important that people hear about this though, so I commend you for that. I know that writing this must have been very difficult, but it is beautifully stated. Hopefully someone behind closed doors will be held accountable and this tragedy will not happen again. Rest in peace to your beautiful Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  309. I am so sorry about this. So very very sorry.

    September 21, 2012
  310. I am so sorry about your loss. There is nothing ok about letting an animal suffer in any way shape or form. This brought tears to my eyes and I will never think about letting my dog fly United.

    September 21, 2012
  311. Pat McGuire #

    Nothing the airlines do can repair your loss. You won’t ever stop missing her. But as time goes by the pain will ease and with a good eye and warm heart, you will likely find your next companion animal. In the mean time, do follow up with the FAA, ICC, HHHS, SPCA, and other groups to make sure the airline learns from the problems. I am sure some body there must have wanted to say, “sorry” but was not allowed by edicts from corporate lawyers.

    September 21, 2012
  312. My heart goes out to you, and I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  313. Devastating.

    September 21, 2012
  314. Oh my goodness. My heart hurts for you and your family, but mostly for Bea and her last hours on this earth. I have tears in my eyes and wish you the best to get through this tragic, horrific loss.

    September 21, 2012
  315. Zeugmatronic #

    So sorry for your loss. I flew my cat via petsafe twice, when it was Continental, and the service was actually great; the pilot even told the flight attendant to let me know my cat was safely aboard right before we took off. Unfortunately, it does not surprise me that things have gone downhill since United took over. Truly, the worst airline in the world.

    September 21, 2012
  316. Susan Gort #

    I am so very sorry about your beautiful Bea. That is the reason I have NEVER put any of my beloved companions on a plane. I have seen very few airline employees who have the love and compassion for the pets and those who love them. My prayers go with you.

    September 21, 2012
  317. Debbie L. #

    I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Bea. This airline and the way they handled things disgusts me. I will never travel with my dogs on an plane. I think that airline should be accountable and sued so that they will think about being less careless in the future. 😦

    September 21, 2012
  318. Dear Maggie,

    Being a fellow animal lover – this is so much more than the loss of just a dog – they are such amazing spirits in our lives and to have yours taken away in such a cruel and sudden manner is unforgivable. Nothing will ever replace your sweet, beautiful Bea but you can take time to reflect on this and fight back. United Airlines should be held accountable for their heartless and negligent actions so that other innocent, trusting animals and clients don’t suffer the same fate. I truly wish you strength through this horrific ordeal. And I hope someday you find some peace with Bea’s passing. She will always be with you I’m sure.

    September 21, 2012
  319. Nick #

    I will never fly with them again. Neither will anyone internal or external within my company. I hope they can see this.

    September 21, 2012
  320. Kim #

    I am sorry for your loss, my golden lived in 4 different countries, I worried ever time I had to place in her in cargo 😦

    September 21, 2012
  321. Rich M. #

    Such a tragedy. Our pets are like our children so i can only imagine the impace she had on your lives and what an empty void there is now. I hope you can somehow focus on all the wonderful memories you had with her and the joy she brought to so many. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    September 21, 2012
  322. Your story was hard to read. Sorry to hear about your little friend. United Airlines should be held responsible for their service failure.

    I have a six year old female Golden Retriever who is my best friend. I feel your lose, as my family had another Golden Retriever that lost her life to Pneumonia last year during Christmas break. It was tragic and extremely sad.

    September 21, 2012
  323. Wow this post truely hit me hard. I travel a lot and the thought of bringing my dog along on trips has always been apealing. Lucky for us we have an English Bulldog and it is common knowledge in the Bulldog world to not let them fly…After reading your post I don’t think I would ever fly with one of my animals…I love them too much…thank you for sharing your story!

    September 21, 2012
  324. Julie #

    I have tears in my eyes. So sorry for your loss, it is tragic what happened.

    September 21, 2012
  325. So sorry about Bea. It’s clear how much you loved her.

    September 21, 2012
  326. Mike Harmon #

    What a tragic story! Unfortunately still not an uncommon story, though. In the past airlines would do such things as ship live animals in unpressurized, unheated cargo bays, leave them in their crates out on the tarmac in the sun, damage crates to the point of animals escaping, mis-direct crates along with other luggage to holding areas to be left alone for days. Now, due to large numbers of complaints and negative publicity by pet owners, supposedly our critters are to be shipped in “livable conditions”- pressurized, heated/cooled compartments, and are supposed to be checked on and cared for at both departure and destination points.

    There has to be a place in officialdom where an official complaint can and should be registered where it might make a difference- maybe the FAA, or the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission). At least the national Humane Society and other animal rights groups. A positive difference can be made- case in point being the positive changes over past few years in the handling of livestock at stockyards and processing plants, due entirely to the expose’ by concerned groups of bad practices. Please consider at least filing some official complaints.

    September 21, 2012
  327. I am so sorry. This story touched my heart as we have a Golden whose middle name is Beatrice. That was very brave of you to tell your story. It’s never easy to lose a pet – especially in such an unexpected fashion.

    September 21, 2012
  328. mdprincing #

    my heart breaks for you. I am a Golden lover and currently have two, a 10 year old girl named Lucy, the love of my life and a 3 year old whirlwind named Sam. All of our Golden’s have been the best friends you could ask for, very different from each other but intelligent, loyal and loving.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  329. Jeff #

    I am very sorry for your loss, and I very sorry this tragic event happened. From your writing and photographs, it appears that Bea was a beautiful creature and a marvelous companion. Please know that my family and I are thinking of you and your loved ones.

    I will NEVER trust any airline worker or airline with the care of my nine year old cocker spaniel.

    Just awful and so terribly sad!

    September 21, 2012
  330. mairzeebp #

    I’m not sure what to say other than I was truly moved by your story and am so sad to hear it. Those moments in life where something happens to you that is undeserved that you then have to find a way to get through can be so incredibly difficult and unfair. They are my least favorite of all of the moments I’ve been lucky enough to have and I’m very sorry that you are experiencing that now. I hope you find some comfort in knowing that your story and Bea have touched a number of folks who will think twice before they dismiss a pet as anything other than family.

    September 21, 2012
  331. Chelsea #

    I am so, so sorry for your loss! This is one of my worst nightmares come true 😦

    September 21, 2012
  332. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a precious pup and such a heartbreaking story. I know you mentioned this was your last post and perhaps it hurts right now. But maybe, just maybe Bea would want you to continue writing…for Bea, for you and for all of us! Hope you find peace in the days ahead! Dearest sympathies!

    September 21, 2012
  333. I am so saddened to have found your wonderful blog at the end of your journey with Bea (it ended to soon.) My thoughts are with you as you heal – I could not imagine the heartbreak and anger you have felt.

    September 21, 2012
  334. I think you should be suing United and getting folks to stop flying them. They have bent over backward to have the truth kept from you, you should bend over backward to make sure others know the truth about United. As someone who flies United regularly, this makes me question whether or not I want to continue patronizing them.

    September 21, 2012
  335. Absolutely heartbreaking. How cowardly and insensitive (to say the least) of the airline and employees involved to put their attempts to dodge liabilty over basic humanity and goodness.

    September 21, 2012
  336. Interesting column I am also in love with two golden retrievers. I am sorry for your lost that should feel like a heart break.

    September 21, 2012
  337. GiRRL_Earth #

    Just like all the other posters I am deeply saddened by your loss and my heart goes out to you – from one animal owner/lover to another.

    I cannot comprehend the anguish you are going through. That said, I do agree with the few posters who feel you SHOULD make noise. In fact, you should make as much noise as possible so other 4-legged fury (or feathered) travelers do not fall victim to this egregious treatment. In fact, if you started a campaign about animal airline safety, I would be first in line to join. Maybe laws need to be written to protect the voiceless. Thank you for sharing your story.

    If when I need to fly with my pets, I may just drive or take the train…

    September 21, 2012
  338. Andrew Thompson #

    I was in tears reading your post. What a horrible, tragic loss and I am so sorry for the suffering Bea endured and for the loss of your friend and family member. One of the remarkably cruel things about Bea’s death is the lack of basic humanity and genuine decency on the part of United Airlines. What should unite us as humans is the sense of compassion for others, but the namesake air carrier has obviously lost any sense of that. Best wishes and you are in my thoughts.

    September 21, 2012
  339. I am really sorry to read about the loss of your beloved dog Bea. Thank you for having the courage to write this post and share awareness.

    September 21, 2012
  340. so sorry for your loss…I truly feel your pain

    September 21, 2012
  341. I am so sorry for you loss.

    September 21, 2012
  342. This post brought me to tears. I am so sorry for your loss, and I am so sad that your baby Bea suffered the way she did. I hope justice is served, and this company and the people that were careless get what they deserve. Nothing makes up for a lost family member. My prayers go out to you and your family.

    September 21, 2012
  343. Sorry to read about your loss… truly tragic.

    September 21, 2012
  344. I also have a Golden Retriever, and I can imagine what you are going through, I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  345. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts just reading this, I can only imagine how you feel. And just for the record, you are a much better person than I am because I would have absolutely written this post with the sole intention of trying to negatively impact United’s business as much as possible. And you should absolutely sue them. How is an animals life worth less than a humans? Especially if there is human negligence involved. There is definitely something shady going on here.
    On a side note, it is such a travesty now-a-days that no one seems to care about anything anymore, all people care about is collecting a paycheck. You probably ran across one of those people who was listening to his ipod and just carelessly put Bea wherever in the bottom of the plane with no regard for her life.
    My heart goes out to you, not only is it tough to lose a loved one, you now have an uphill fight ahead of you when it comes to dealing with the airlines.

    September 21, 2012
  346. I’ve had my own complaints about United Airlines lack of courtesy and honesty in the past, but those pale in comparison to their treatment of you. Deepest sympathies for your loss, Maggie.

    September 21, 2012
  347. I am so very sorry for your loss, and thank you for rising above your pain to offer the valuable information in your post.

    September 21, 2012
  348. I was heartbroken and angry just reading the title. I refuse to fly United just because their customer service is the worst. They lie a lot. I am so sorry for your loss. There’s a website: http://www.untied.com about all the horrific things that United Airlines does — including about their treatment of animals.
    Again, so sorry about Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  349. I saw this story on People.com and was just horrified to learn about Bea. I have never flown with a pet in cargo simply because it always seemed like too much of a hassle. Our bichon frise Milou is 13 and has never been put in a plane. He might be small enough that he could actually fly in the cabin but we always left him with friends or family or a kennel whenever we went on vacation and he couldn’t come (which usually involved family trips to France where my father is from). I’m not saying flying with pets in cargo is a bad choice–however it just made more sense for Milou to stay behind whenever a flight was involved. We found a place that boards dogs that he just loves whenever we have to leave him behind and we are pretty happy with that. I hope United learns from this egregious error. Pets are part of our family.

    September 21, 2012
  350. I am so deep sorry for your loss …

    September 21, 2012
  351. So sorry to hear of this awful event.

    September 21, 2012
  352. But that’s precisely why Petsafe charges a premium and people are willing to pay it! The program has stricter rules about the timing and information on the pet’s health certificate, keeps pets in climate-controlled locations, boards them last and walks/waters them as needed. It will also fly pets if you’re not on the plane, which is sometimes necessary. Unfortunately, what worked pretty well under Continental has now become a mismanaged (and now fatal) mess under United.

    September 21, 2012
  353. This is heartbreaking, I’ve known and loved several dogs in my lifetime, including two golden retrievers, and the ache of losing them through natural causes is hard enough to bear…. let alone under suspicious circumstances like you experienced. And then to have the lies and lack of empathy on top of that…. shameful behaviour. I hope you will get some kind of information that will help with closure. Thank you for sharing your story, maybe it will help prevent a similar thing happening to someone else.

    September 21, 2012
  354. changeforbetterme #

    I”m so sorry this happened to you, your family and Bea. I’m in the camp of asking you to please re-consider your choice of not suing. Usually I’m not one to push suing someone, but if you don’t then this will keep happening to other pets and other families. Sometimes it just does really take one voice on an issue to make a difference. My heart goes out to you. I know that pain of losing a friend so suddenly and from something that was so very preventable. If airlines are going to accept taking pets on flights then they should be responsible for their actions or inactions. Please please take some kind of action towards them! Don’t let them do this to another pet.

    September 21, 2012
  355. Dear Maggie –
    I was so sad to read of Bea’s death. We went through a similarly horrifying situation last year when Karen Pascoe’s cat Jack was lost by American Airlines. He was lost for 61 days before he fell through the ceiling at JFK (he had been hiding the whole time but American wasn’t interested in looking for him). He was in veterinary ICU for 12 days after that, but he was too sick from starvation and dehydration to recover, and Karen had to let him go.
    We’re trying to honor the legacy of Jack (and now Maggie) and all the other furbabies that have died at the hands of the airlines – we’ve formed a non-profit organization called Where Is Jack? Inc. to advocate for safe air travel for pets. Please check us out at http://www.whereisjack.org and please feel free to contact me (I’m the “CEO” and founder”) at 305-582-5884. We’re trying to spread the word about how irresponsibly the airlines treat animals, and if you’d be willing to help us out, we’d be honored to add you to our family!!
    Love and blessings to all of you, and we hold Bea in our hearts –
    Mary Beth Melchior

    September 21, 2012
  356. J.R. #

    I am a total stranger and was directed here by a link a friend posted on her Facebook. I am so deeply, deeply sorry for your loss. I have a 6 year old Basenji (I call her my “Sweet Pea”) and she and my other Basenji are my world. I cannot imagine the pain you must be going through.

    I cannot say it enough, I am so very sorry for your loss. However, I find it so honorable that you are not seeking revenge on United. Just that simple fact will make others stop and think about United and other airlines when it comes to transporting their pets. I know sometimes it’s unavoidable and you have to put them on planes, however, I hope your story shines a light on the subject and airlines will review and revise their policies and procedures with regard to transporting animals.

    Rest well, Sweet Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  357. Sumi Lee #

    Thank you for sharing this tragic story. I am so sorry for your loss; it’s like loosing a child.

    It sounds like you did everything right and beyond (ice in bowls). Very thoughtful like a dog mom. I have always suspected that airlines cannot be trusted with my dogs and will not put them on a commercial flight. Unforgivable. Your sad story confirms my suspicion, and I’m sure will alert many dog lovers. Dogs, if transported by air, need to ride on the passenger part of the plane!! Again, very sorry for poor Bea’s suffering, and your huge loss. RIP sweet Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  358. I’m so sorry, may she rest in peace.

    September 21, 2012
  359. I was just commenting on Facebook that we should be allowed to buy a seat (or two in necessary) for large dogs. Provided the dog is in a large crate or muzzled, it shouldn’t be a problem. Considering the behavior of some human children in planes, dogs would be better behaved.

    September 21, 2012
  360. May #

    I had been searching for days which airline is best to transfer my 3 yr old golden, Perry, to the US from Europe when I come over for a few months. Now I know none. Having read your story and cried, I can’t go through with it. Thank you for sharing. It is simply heartbreaking that sweet Bea’s life ended that way.

    September 21, 2012
  361. mary #

    terrible, terrible tragedy. We lost our 15-year-old Golden, Sunny, this August and no matter what the circumstances are, it’s heartbreaking. Sorry your circumstances happened to be so crappy and the people responsible so disingenuous. All you can do, and should do, is remember every happy memory with your dog. Don’t blame yourself for what happened–it is unacceptably awful, but telling people this info will help them make decisions about boarding, etc. that could save their loved one’s life. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    September 21, 2012
  362. As if we needed yet another reason to hate airlines and airports!

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My sympathies.

    September 21, 2012
  363. I’m sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  364. oh, how very sad .. poor little darling . .this should not have happened. I am so very sorry about your lovely dog…. I know that he will visit you in your dreams .. that is where I reconnect with my most precious dogs and cats .. they are physically real and I pet them, play with them, talk with them … this makes me happy, to reconnect with them.

    Sending my love to Bea, precious darling dog …

    September 21, 2012
  365. Hi Maggie,

    I am very saddened to hear your story and think it’s something that could have easily been avoided. I do agree with other commenters that pursuing legal action is a way to go. If these airlines offer services to transport pets, then they need to have properly trained personnel.

    In talking with my friends, I hear this is a great risk when flying pets in people-focused planes, as pets are simply treated as cargo. A friend of mine then mentioned Pet Airways, a company that was started in 2009 and just flies pets. Unfortunately, it seems they aren’t doing so well as outlined in this article. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/business/pet-airways-in-financial-straits-is-canceling-flights.html

    September 21, 2012
  366. Truly heartbreaking.

    September 21, 2012
  367. =(

    September 21, 2012
  368. This is horrible. I am deeply sorry for your loss. What makes matters worse is the sheer ignorance and dishonesty from United’s ground crew. You will never again have Bea with you, but should be compensated a full refund and a written letter of apology. Blessed be.

    September 21, 2012
  369. Regina Melton, Gulfport, MS #

    My heart is absolutely broken for you. You did everything in your power to assure a comfortable trip for Bea and United is totally to blame. But that does nothing to help a broken heart. My Golden named Tiki died one year ago today due to complications from diabetes. I’ll bet she finds Bea and befriends her in heaven… just know that she’ll be waiting for you when you get there. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you try and heal from this terrible tragedy.

    September 21, 2012
  370. I feel physically sick, I’m a huge dog lover and I would be devastated if anything like this happened to our dogs. United Airlines should be very ashamed of themselves, it’s an absolute disgrace.

    September 21, 2012
  371. Alycia #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose a pet/best friend. Even though Bea may not physically be with you, she will always be in your heart. Take care.

    September 21, 2012
  372. Michelle #

    A little honesty goes a long way, shame on United.

    September 21, 2012
  373. I’m so very sorry for your painful loss. My heart breaks for you and I cannot imagine the pain you must be feeling.
    You mentioned that you’re not suing, but I ask you to reconsider. Sue not for the sake of financial compensation, but to make this as loud and messy as possible for United. Sometimes you need to start a lawsuit not for money, but for change. You’re not the first story that I’ve read about United’s mishandling of pets. I’m sure that somewhere out there, a lawyer would take the case pro-bono. Maybe even start a class action suit. And refuse to settle out of court. Make them and other airlines aware that there are consequences to killing our pets that cannot be settled with money.

    September 21, 2012
  374. Kim #

    I am so so sorry for your loss. This is devastating, and I can only imagine how you must’ve felt (and still feel). Thank you for sharing this; it’s not easy writing about tragedy. I’m going to pass this along to everyone I know who travels with pets.

    September 21, 2012
  375. Deb #

    I’m sad…so sad. I know what our Blu means to us, so I can empathize with your loss. And I’m scared and wonder…do I fly with my dog? I need to go to Europe next year and there is no way we wanted to leave him behind…but a 10 hour flight. I thought I had researched everything too and am preparing…but what do we do?

    September 21, 2012
  376. So sorry for your loss!

    September 21, 2012
  377. </3 Many of my hedgehogs friends have lost there babies to negligence such as this as well. my heart hurts, and I will never fly with my pets anywhere.

    September 21, 2012
  378. This is appalling and disgusting. Airlines have no sense of responsibility and have NO shit to give about how they treat their passengers, human or otherwise. This is an absolute tragedy. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  379. What a devastating way to remember a pet. Thank you for the info on how the bureaucracy of business and the almighty dollar has affected the way our airlines work. I hope at some point you all can achieve healing and peace.

    September 21, 2012
  380. kim H #

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, I have to ship our beloved shepherd, now I’m terrified to do it.

    September 21, 2012
  381. justaddh2o #

    this post made me sad…I am sorry for your heart ache and for the loss of Sweet Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  382. Reblogged this on fiery skull diaries and commented:
    please read and share this senselessly heartbreaking story; other pet owners and the general public needs to know what happened to this family.

    September 21, 2012
  383. Rosetta Bain #

    I am so sorry for your loss – how heartbreaking. I too had a dreadful experience with United. My doggie survived – but I will never fly United again – with or without a pet. They need to review their policies – or stop carrying animals altogether.
    Again, I am so sorry my heart goes out to you.
    Rosetta

    September 21, 2012
  384. I am so devastated to hear about this, any pet suffering makes me tear up. Thank you for this warning and reminder that no one will look out for your pet as much as you (an owner) will. My heart is broken for you about poor Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  385. i’m crying. i’m so sorry for your sweet little bea. i hate this for you; i hate that your time with your sweet pet was cut way too short for absolutely no reason, and that you weren’t there with her when she went through that. i still break into tears if i spend more than a few seconds thinking about a dear, dear cat i had who suffered immensely and died of cancer.

    if anything can ever, ever comfort you, i hope it’s the thought that dogs are incredibly loyal and even though she died alone, she knew you loved her. she knew that.

    i’m incredibly sorry for your heartbreaking and senseless loss. sue the shit out of united and make sure this never happens to another family.

    love and best wishes. xx

    September 21, 2012
  386. I’m so sorry for your loss! When my dog died, I was devastated, though he was very old and in pain. It’s been years and I still think about him a lot. It must make the loss even worse that Bea was young and healthy, and she died because of someone’s negligence. And then United Airlines didn’t even have the decency to be open about their mistake! I can’t believe that instead of offering compassion and heartfelt apologies, they actually tried to lie about having sent your dog to get an autopsy!

    Writing this post must have been agonising, so thank you for going through with it. Other pet owners may now choose a different method of transportation for their pets, knowing that even a short flight can prove fatal if something goes wrong.

    All the best to you and your husband!

    September 21, 2012
  387. dalton turner #

    Beautiful dog, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, this is heartbreaking.. Something should be done about this. People that have no regard for animals this beautiful must have no regard for anyone in general.

    September 21, 2012
  388. This is disgusting, and I can’t believe that an airline — after all the careful preparation that is required from dog owners before a flight – that such little preparation and accommodation takes place by the airline to keep living breathing pets alive on a flight. This is especially disturbing for me, because my wife and I might be living apart for a year (job related) and were planning to fly with our dog to see one another occasionally. We wont ever be flying united/continental with our pets after reading this…
    http://www.lockestocknbarrel.com

    September 21, 2012
  389. This literally brought me to tears. I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  390. I am so, so sorry. Pets are members of your family and I can’t imagine losing one, especially not in this horrific way, due to the negligence of people who give themselves out to be professionals. May you have peace and closure about all of this.

    September 21, 2012
  391. sqeekchair #

    Maggie-

    Heart-breaking story.. I am an animal lover. All dogs go to heaven. Period.

    While it is your choice not to pursue the airlines for their blatant negligence,

    I wish you would address this to them in a law-suit to prevent this from killing other traveling pets.

    You achieved herculean action to protect your pet- and United should make their flights pet-friendlier, and have to answer for this. Lord knows, as traveler’s- they “stick it” to us every chance they get.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    September 21, 2012
  392. Losing a pet is devastating and in such a terrible way is heartbreaking. Bea was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this information, I would not have known about all of the things that could go wrong. I’m so sorry for your loss 😦

    September 21, 2012
  393. This is absolutely heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  394. looseleafbri #

    I am so tired of living in a world where the fear of a lawsuit trumps compassion and caring. I am so sorry for you loss. This post brought me to tears.

    September 21, 2012
    • Absolutely agree. Not only that, but the rampant lawsuits have reinforced the idea that people don’t have to be responsible when something bad happens. And our kids are learning this idea. Mom and Dad are mad about something so they’re suing… But I digress. I am so sorry for your Bea… 😦

      September 23, 2012
  395. I ache for you and your family. It sounds like you’re replaying her final moments, which is something that would plague me, as well. I hope that you find peace. Perhaps Bea had been sedated, making the whole journey less frightening, easier? Whatever happened, she was not truly “alone” in the dog sense. She knew that there were other animals with her. She knew she was traveling. I’m sure she knew that you were waiting to be reunited with her. And now, I’m sure, she is in peace.

    September 21, 2012
  396. shimmyshake1984 #

    What awful news to have to arrive off a flight to. It certainly sounds like complete negligence on United’s part. How could people be so uncaring and irresponsible with someone’s pet? They should have just been honest and at least have had the management make a serious apology for what they did.
    It is very good that you are getting this story out, hopefully airlines will take notice and understand the importance of pet care when they are going to offer the service of carrying and handling passenger’s pets.

    September 21, 2012
  397. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a terrible tragedy 😦

    September 21, 2012
  398. mcilveen #

    I can fully appreciate the pain you feel over the loss of your beloved pet. My own died last year totally unexpectedly, although at home, so not the same circumstances but it is difficult to understand.
    You had the hope of an explanation ripped from you by these people, who should be ashamed. The fact that you are not planning to sue, should have been sufficient incentive to put their hands up and admit their wrong doing.
    I hope your family can get through it and take comfort in your other pets. They too will need it.

    September 21, 2012
  399. So sad..I’m speechless.

    September 21, 2012
  400. I’m sorry for your loss, and for the cold indifference you had to face with United. To lose a dog before his/her time due to an accident or illness is heartbreaking enough, but due to the negligence of others leaves one with an overbearing weight of sadness. My family is planning a move from New York to an area outside of San Francisco. We have a husky, two cats, and a cockatiel. People thought I was crazy when I said we were planning a cross-country trip in an RV with all the animals because I didn’t trust any airline getting them there safely. Your story confirmed my suspicions. Again, so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  401. I’m so sorry for your loss — this was very sad to read, but I admire you for being able to write about it and help make others aware of the situation. Sending you lots of best wishes!!

    September 21, 2012
  402. I’m so very sorry to hear about your Bea. But I thank you for sharing your story so that hubby and I know who not to trust with our precious pets.

    September 21, 2012
  403. aschmid3 #

    I can’t imagine losing my dog like that… I just have no words for this. Clearly Bea was well loved and cared for, and more than prepared for the flight by United’s standards. And the total lack of concern or empathy from United just pours a gallon of salt into the wound. I am so terribly sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  404. Your story is heartbreaking, I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  405. HI Maggie,
    Thanks for sharing this blog to help make people aware that airlines are incapable of ensuring the safety of our pets. So sad! Sorry for your loss! http://www.segmation.wordpress.com

    September 21, 2012
  406. ikatpillowtalk #

    How painful and heartbreaking. My heart goes out to you. We have a Golden and I can’t imagine hearing those heartless words coming from some careless employee.

    Although I feel everybody’s frustration and yearning for change in airlines and how they treat our pets when travelling. However, I can’t help but think that maybe pets shouldn’t be on planes, period. Maybe we’ve taken our “convenient” lifestyles a bit too far. Think about the sheer fear these animals have in cargo as they are alone, on a very fast moving vehicle that makes alot of noise – remember everybody, they’re way more sensitive to vibrations and sounds and smells than we are!! That being said, what a nightmare for the poor things! Not only are they at risk of dying by obvious lack of respect and responsiblity from the airline, but also from simple fear – risk of heart attack must quadruple in such an environment.

    In my opinion, I would make United Airlines accountable for the death of this poor Bea as they have made a conscious business decision to have pets onboard. They even have a program. Sounds like they haven’t followed their own protocol.

    On the other hand, I would just back away from the idea of accomodating pets on airplanes. They simply don’t belong there and if you insist otherwise, then maybe our priorities should be reevaluated.The fact of the matter is, pets will continue to die on airplanes no matter what and the worse part is that never, ever would an airline be held accountable. So either way, the pet owner would never win. But then again, that’s just my opinion.

    Sending love and light to beautiful Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  407. I am so sorry. So, so sorry. And now Bea has a piece of my heart. I once a lab/vizsla mix named Libby, we called her Bee for short. She’s up there, too. With your Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  408. Dear Maggie,

    I grew up with a beautiful Golden retriever who was with us for almost 16 years. The loss of a beloved pet is heartbreaking and I am so sorry for your loss. It deeply saddens me to read what you have been through and the lack of support, respect and understanding you received from United Airlines.

    I know all of your posts and comments will never make up for the loss of your lovely Bea, but I hope it brings you comfort that we all truly feel for you and all wish there was something better we could do.

    Love,

    Stina

    September 21, 2012
  409. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve also experienced airline’s insensitivity. They seem to be companies who value “just getting the job done” more then the people who keep things running, though my experience was not as devastating as yours. I hope your story is a wake up call to United and other airlines, and I hope that eventually your family finds some peace.
    -Kimberly

    September 21, 2012
  410. free penny press #

    My heart just broke for Bea and your family.. I’m at a complete loss for words.
    Rest sweetly Bea…

    September 21, 2012
  411. Gosh this is so sad. we have a do called Oscar and he is a Boder Terrier age 5. i am a new blogger do you have any tips that you can pass on to me?

    September 21, 2012
  412. May you find peace. I am sorry for the pain and loss you are feeling. Take care, Anna

    September 21, 2012
  413. Maggie, this is a deeply disturbing story on many levels. Like so many others, I read it through tears. I am so sorry for your loss. It must have been difficult to write, but I feel sure you have saved other pets by making people aware of the negligence and dishonesty of United Airlines.

    September 21, 2012
  414. torri chapman #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My furry babies afre family too…rest in peace Bea.

    September 21, 2012
  415. Mandy #

    how sad and heart breaking, nothing can bring Bea back no matter what airline does to pay back.

    September 21, 2012
  416. I am so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  417. Reblogged this on Hitchhiking Muse and commented:
    I will never again fly United.

    September 21, 2012
  418. so sorry for the lose of your dear pet. 😦

    September 21, 2012
  419. I am so deeply saddened by this post. I am so sorry this happened to you and your family. I cannot imagine how painful losing my dog in that manner would be. I am amazed by your composure in writing this the way you did. It speaks volumes to your character and I hope in some way, you can find peace in helping give others knowledge of your experience and preventing any further animal abuse by United.

    September 21, 2012
  420. What a tragic and painful experience. i am devastated for you. I hope you get to the bottom of what happened and those responsible are held to account. x

    September 21, 2012
  421. I am so sorry to read this, but I knew it was just a matter of time. We had a terrible experience with Pet-Unsafe in July – our 10-year-old beagle was lost for several hours on a hot day, and communication was nonexistent. He had flown with the program when it was Continental several times, and with other airlines as normal pet cargo many times, so this was truly unexpected and traumatic (especially considering the pricy and protocol involved with flying Petsafe). We will never fly him again.

    My husband has status on United and was able to reach a manager about our complaint. The problem seems to be that United is not prepared to run the Continental Petsafe program – the two computer systems don’t “talk” to each other, crew have not been trained and/or agreed to walk the dogs, etc. Given the complexities of airline mergers, this wasn’t on their radar.

    But if you Google Petsafe complaints, you’ll see we are not alone. They’ve had months to figure this out now. Where are the journalists, animal advocacy groups and enterprising attorneys?!

    September 21, 2012
  422. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful, loving dog! So senseless… no words can help, but we all feel your pain.

    September 21, 2012
  423. Writer #

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so sad to read. But it’s important that everyone is aware that things like this are happening. So sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  424. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    September 21, 2012
  425. David Navarre #

    Like so many others, I can’t help but cry. Our Henry is small and only ever rides inside the cabin since we could never risk such a thing. My heart goes out to you and it is my sincere hope that airlines will change how they handle pets. This is insufferable.

    September 21, 2012
  426. I am really suprised by United’s actions. I would never have expected as much from them, as much as I travel with them consistently I have never had any major problems with them. Thank you for sharing your story, as I will not choose United when flying any longer.

    September 21, 2012
  427. I can’t even read this post in its entirety. It makes me so sad and angry at what you had to go through. The carelessness on the part of United is unfathomable. I know how important pets are and how they are part of the family and the fact that we make them travel this way is absurd. I’m so sorry for your loss. So sorry.

    September 21, 2012
  428. Reblogged this on Urbannight's Blog and commented:
    United Airlines should be held accountable.

    September 21, 2012
  429. 😦 I am sorry for your loss. It seems like no one, especially the companies, care about anything anymore. The least they could have done is apologize!

    September 21, 2012
  430. Hello,

    I am writing you from the picture desk at Daily Mail Online in NY. We are covering the story of your dog’s tragic death as seen here:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2206495/United-Airlines-Killed-Our-Golden-Retriever-Model-Maggie-Rizer-writes-emotional-attack-dogs-death.html

    My condolences to you and your family. Such a sad loss. We are looking to add this one image of you and dog as a pup here:
    http://www.peoplepets.com/people/pets/article/0,,20631952,00.html

    Is it possible to get permission to run this image? If so, please let me know by email at nypictures@dailymail.co.uk. As we are on deadline, a swift response would be best. Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best,
    Linzi Silverman
    Photo Editor

    September 21, 2012
    • Nancy Wilson #

      Maggie, our heart goes out to you and your family. We as Golden owners, Laker and Bailey cannot even imagine the pain you and your family are going through right now. There are no words to stop the pain. Bea was taken from you and there should be hell to pay for that. Bea run free at the Rainbow Bridge and you will meet up with your loved ones down the road.

      September 22, 2012
  431. I gasped and cried yesterday evening when I saw a post on PeoplePets that your dad had died… I’ve been a long time reader and I know just how much your babies mean to you. They are your children, but simply with 4 legs and fur. I can’t imagine the loss and void in your family’s life and the BS that you’ve had to endure at the hands of a callous airline that is taking zero responsibility for their outright sheet neglect.

    I’ve never flown with pets but have always fear what goes on in the bowels of the plane and how the animals are being treated and care for (apparently not so much at all)….

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss Maggie. Sending you much love from Toronto.

    Lindsay

    September 21, 2012
  432. so sorry for your loss. having my pet pass in july i know the deep heartache. god bless.

    September 21, 2012
  433. Natalia #

    So sorry for your loss!! You should file a lawsuit! It’s the only way things might change! – You can save other pets in the future!

    September 21, 2012
  434. Barbara Giliam #

    I am so sorry for your loss! I am convinced that one day animals of all sorts, in all situations, will get the respect and kindness that they deserve. However, it will take time before a new awareness will ensure their well being. We are their keepers and we have a responsibility to ensure that they are treated humanely whether they are destined to be killed for food, inhabit the wilderness or become part of our family life. We need to stand up to every injustice and if that means a lawsuit then that’s what we proceed with. The money gained from suing can be donated to all sorts of animal friendly organizations. It will not replace Bea but other dogs or animals may benefit from your lawsuit with United Airlines.

    September 21, 2012
  435. Servicedogs #

    I sent my dog once or twice on long flights before (Israel to NY, 13 hrs, and TN to FL) and it was fine, The TN flight, when I went to pick the dog from the airport the transporters were totally emoitionless. I was just so excited to get there and see my dog that of course I went to the crate to say hi. They told me to stay away until they fill out the paperwork or they call the cops. Idiots to say the least,

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. For the next time you travel with a dog on some other airline company, there’s a solution, a better way. Find someone to transport a dog as a service dog on the flight with you. The dog can be transported while in training to become a service dog. What’s a service dog? That’s open to interpretation, anywhere from police dogs to dogs who warm the heart at hospitals. Sorry to hear about your story,

    September 21, 2012
  436. Jennifer #

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Bea deserved so much better than what these people (and I
    use this term loosely) gave to her during this time. I know your loss is great and words aren’t the best comfort, as I have lost 2 of my fur babies recently (German Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois).
    As far as the PetSafe program, I know from experience that they are incompetent and suck. In July, my husband and I received a phone call about a 9 month old Shepherd puppy that needed a home. He was from Tucson, AZ and we are in the Orlando, FL area. So the temps during travel came into play with our travel plans for him. When I contacted United, they were the only airline with the PetSafe program, the said everything was temp controlled and he would be fine. I made the arrangements and within a few days, our new baby would be on his way. We made sure the woman dropping him off in AZ (a friend of my husbands) bought the largest crate allowed, he had special food and water dishes, the absorbent blanket in the crate (just in case), a special toy, he had his health certificate, tags with all of our info, that way someone could be contacted if need be, the crate was labeled and so on. Basically, same as you had done for your babies. The day of his flight arrives, we receive a call from AZ. United called her to let her know he was bumped from the original flight. They called 5 minutes before she was due to leave for the airport and left a message for her to call them. I was livid. I spent a lot of money and time planning his travel. After a couple hours, we find out that he is on a new flight and will arrive later than planned. Now I’m even more concerned because of temps in both cities, not to mention those along his route. Needless to say, he finally made it on board and the long wait began. I was hesitant about flying my baby in cargo, but it was my only option. I looked into the pet airlines, but they don’t fly anywhere near where I needed him, or I would’ve chosen them. To say I was a basket case awaiting my new boys arrival would be an understatement. This was his first time flying, he was older than most puppies who travel, he was coming to a new home, where he didn’t know us. We go to the airport to claim him and cargo is closed. After calling United, now they inform me he’s at baggage claim. Off we go. My husband goes in as I circle the airport multiple times. When I finally see him, he’s with an employee who was an ____ (fill in the blanks). He was also in a hurry because turns out, somewhere in flight (there was a layover in Texas), he had a stress poop, so yeah, it stunk, he managed to spill his water (still don’t get how), so we don’t know how long he went without, but we had brought water with us to the airport and he sucked it down so quickly, then threw it up, so tells me a long time, and was confined to a tiny part if his kennel because of the poop. I was beyond pissed off. Then this ass treated my puppy the way he did when we picked him up. Unacceptable. Needless to say, ergot him out of the kennel, into our car and on his way home.
    He’s now a wonderful new member of our family, who I’m very attached to and love more than words can say. But to think about what he went through during his flight, especially now after reading about what happened to your beloved Bea, makes my blood boil. Please, you have to further pursue this issue with United. The laws need to change and they need to be stricter. Your voice can do this. And I know you’ll have so many other animal lovers in your corner, myself being one of them. Please, United has to pay for what they have done.
    Nothing will bring Bea back, but we can all take a stand and create a ‘Beas Law’ to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Y’all took every precaution to prevent any problems and this happened. They have gotten off the hook many times before, lets
    hold them liable and make them pay. And for United not to admit wrong doing, then lie to you about the remains of Bea, then send an email to your vet. They need to be held liable. Enough is enough.
    Again, I’m so sorry for your loss. R.I.P Bea

    September 21, 2012
  437. This gut wrenching story has truly effected me, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. You have done well to hold back your anger and just state what happened. But I am not so good. Sue them for everything they have, this is outrageous, and they need to feel the hurt for the hurt they have caused you.. Do not hold back, please. Although it’s clearly not about the money for you, it is to them. If they don’t feel it financially, they won’t care, and they won’t change anything. The only way they will make a change is if they get hit hard enough to know that they can’t keep just keep doing what they are doing. I wish you the best.

    September 21, 2012
  438. Regina Kakoulidou #

    Dear Maggie,
    A very, very warm hug to you for your irreplacable loss. I reside in Greece and upon reading this unreal, terrible mishap have been left speechless…
    Why could not a way be found where our family dogs be allowed to fly with us onboard? Or an airline to be able to fly under such circumstances.Is this so outrageous impossible? Funny that no air-line has not thought of this, because I’m sure all of us having our 4-feeted children will be more than willing to pay for an extra charge knowing at least that they would be 100% safe with us and the airline from their side making money. Who knows maybe God willing someday this might materialize that finally our children will be treated as humans and not as animals.
    I pray for your peace of mind and for Bea now as an Angel Dog looking after you and your family. My sweet Kelly passed over to Rainbow Bridge, hope they meet. Warmest hugs and kisses Regina Kakoulidou from Greece

    September 21, 2012
  439. Lyn #

    I’m sorry for your loss. I wish there was something we could all do. Their customer service regarding this is appalling. Down with UA. They owe you BIG TIME.

    September 20, 2012
  440. Molly #

    This might interest you as well. Jack’s person (Jack is the cat lost by AA at JFK) sent suggestions to the Federal DoT. This is a quote from their blog.

    “In late June, the U.S. Department of Transportation sent out a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” – in essence, they were asking the public to comment on a change they (the DoT) was considering making in how “Pet Air Incidents” would be reported.”

    http://whereisjack.org/2012/08/28/responding-to-the-department-of-transportation/

    September 20, 2012
  441. Molly #

    Hi Maggie, I’m so sorry to read of your loss of Beatrice, especially in the manner it happened. You may find some info on this fb page informative.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-The-Cat-is-Lost-in-AA-Baggage-at-JFK/143108332445793
    I just read a post about another family that used United’s ‘Pet Safe’ program for their mastiff and he also died of heatstroke.
    This second story is VERY sad, so read it with caution, as it might make you too upset. It is the blog post of a husband and wife who were moving to Berlin from Australia and what happened to their French Bulldog traveling in cargo. This blog post introduced me to this sad occurrence of animals dying while traveling.
    I just thought that maybe talking with either of the couples who shared a similar experience might help you feel a little better?

    September 20, 2012
  442. Leah #

    From the bottom of my heart, I wish you condolence and love. So sorry for your loss.

    September 20, 2012
  443. aeron #

    I am sad to hear that you were responded to in such a devastating manner. It is hard enough to have your loss. To add ANOTHER trauma to your loss, by having people treat your situation in a negligent manner, makes this even more difficult for your family, and those who read about this. Your family dog suffered; that is hard enough to try and come to terms with. Had the airlines come to you and own responsibility; and acknowledge that they feel they could have done things differently, at least you would perhaps feel like your loss would help prevent other similar losses. It is just like a physician who makes a mistake; we are human, the airlines are human; but when people ADMIT a wrongdoing or having used regretful judgement, there is room for processing the mistake and allowing that mistake to help comfort those who experience the affect of the mistake, along with those who made the mistake.

    September 20, 2012
  444. Tanya #

    I am so sorry for your loss! I was in tears reading your words, and my heart goes out to you and your family.
    May Bea rest in peace.

    September 20, 2012
  445. Sandy #

    My “girls” are my world now, as my children are grown and we live miles apart. I am so sorry for your loss. What makes it worse as you said ” you took every precaution”. Our pets are as much of a family member as our human family, sometimes more, as their love, loyalty and trust never waiver. They bring happiness and joy on the darkest days and change our moods by simply placing their head on our laps. Know in your heart you did everything possible to ensure she had a safe flight, Bea knows that and she knows how much you love her and always will.

    September 20, 2012
  446. Maria Maietto #

    So sorry for your loss. I totally understand your devastation. My step-daughter worked as a flight attendant for a major carrier for several years and was in tears many times after de-planeing and hearing that animals had died during a flight. She said this particular carrier had an area where they kept the kennels from the animals that died that the owners never claimed and there were many. She said it happens all the time on passenger flights because of temperature and decompression changes in the cargo compartments. They keep it hushed up. It’s their dirty little secret. Something needs to be done about this. Pets are not cargo and need to be treated with more respect and care. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    September 20, 2012
  447. Tania Hovel #

    Dear Maggie,
    I am simply devastated for your loss. I agree with the other comments: please hold United accountable and use this as a catalyst for change. There is, unfortunately, no way to do it unless you file a lawsuit and use your voice to launch the biggest PR campaign animal lovers everywhere have ever seen. It ‘s not about the money, but it is about giving these companies a reason to be deterred from such heinous conduct. Until he law recognizes pets as more than chattel, policies will not change and dogs will continue to die. Whether it be at the hands of an incompetant airline worker or a rogue police officer (I’m sure you’ve heard of the many tragedies of late regarding officers shooting dogs in their own yard because they “feared for their life” – and many have been innocent goldens), we are facing a major problem until the laws are changed. I’m a lawyer in Texas. Please contact me to help.
    Beet regards and prayers for your family. Rest in peace, sweet baby Bea.

    September 20, 2012
  448. Laura #

    My heart aches for you and your family….my sweet Tate is sitting right here and I just nudged him a few extra strokes with my feet while he snores his Golden snore….I cannot imagine the pain of this loss – each and every time I have grieved the loss of a family Golden over the many years we have shared their joy in our life (starting as a child and now a mom with teens myself) I come undone. And those losses have generally been anticipated as age takes my furry family member to the next beyond (where I imagine they are all together, playing and swimming and joyous together)…

    I know Bea is there too …hugs to you and your family Maggie…

    Namaste from a Colorado Golden Ret. mom many times over

    September 20, 2012
  449. Brooke #

    So sorry to hear this horrible news, Maggie…

    September 20, 2012
  450. Laura Taylor. #

    omg i’m so sorry to hear about your loss, pets are family to most of us and to know a member of your family passed away is just heart breaking. please accept my deepest sympathies for you and your family.

    September 20, 2012
  451. Jamie Leigh #

    I have tears streaming down my face as I read your tragic story. I can’t even imagine what you are going through and my heart goes out to you and your family. The strength that it must have taken to write about this tragedy is commendable, and appreciated as I feel that people need to hear this story. Thank you for sharing. Hugs and kisses xo.
    RIP Honey “Bea”

    September 20, 2012
  452. Maggie #

    This is an absolutely horrendous. It’s hard to conceive that any company in the business of serving people day-in and day-out could treat grieving customers in such an appalling manner.

    Thank you for sharing your heart breaking experience with us. I will never willingly patronize United – a company that has shown callous disregard for its most vulnerable passengers – ever again.

    – Maggie Schmid

    September 20, 2012
  453. Corrine #

    We too had a very bad experience with United’s petsafe program. My new 12 week old puppy flew from LAX to Charleston, SC, connecting in Dulles. They bumped her from her confirmed flight out of LA at 8am. They called me at noon to tell me of this and that she would eventually make it to us, albeit 6 hours late, putting her time traveling and in a crate over 15 hours. I was told I could call them after she arrived in Dulles to check on her, which I did. The United employee that I spoke to told me she was “doing great!”. Roughly 45 minutes later I receive a call from the terminal asking if I was expecting a puppy, I say yes in about 5 hours. Surprise! …… She was already here. Turns out that she made her original connecting flight, and the lady that I spoke to at Dulles told me an out-right bold faced lie. We immediately hopped into our car and drove the 2 hours to the airport to pick her up.

    The people working at the terminal had taken her out of her crate and walked her, fed her, and played with her – they were super. Please everyone, be careful when putting your pets on these planes. These people don’t care about your babies. Luckily, my story although nerve racking, turned out ok, but this is not always the case.

    September 20, 2012
  454. The Waite family #

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We know how devistating it can be to lose a pet. They are a part of the family and anyone who has lost a pet can understand. We won’t even go on vacation together unless a family member can baby sit our baby’s. Faith and time will heal. God bless you and your family.

    September 20, 2012
  455. Nicole #

    I have no words. We flew my cat via PetSage twice and I will NEVER do it again. Of course its bad enough that you lost your beautiful, beloved Bea, but the way you were treated is really what horrifies me about this company. You showed extraordinary restraint with those workers. I don’t know that my husband and I would have done the same!! My thoughts are with you!

    September 20, 2012
  456. Dana #

    I am so so terribly sorry for your loss. it saddens my deeply to know that this happened and the response of the airline is as negative as it is. I cant even begin to imagine what you are going thru not to mention what little Sweet Bea went thru 😦

    September 20, 2012
  457. Stephanie #

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for speaking out against United – the public needs to know about how the airlines treat pets – and how they behave when mistakes are made.

    September 20, 2012
  458. Rob #

    My most heartfelt sorrow for the loss of your precious family member,many prayers your way during this devastating time …

    September 20, 2012
  459. Lindsay #

    My heart breaks for your family. Thank you for sharing your story so that others may not suffer the same fate as your beloved Bea. I grew up with a golden and they are absolute sweethearts. My thoughts are with your family.

    September 20, 2012
  460. Neely #

    Dear Maggie & Family:
    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is a horrible experience and this must be just heartbreaking. Although I am totally against frivolous litigation, I agree with the other posters that you have a voice that the average pet owner does not have. Thank you for using it to draw attention to this problem!

    September 20, 2012
  461. Brian #

    Maggie-

    I was in tears reading about your loss..this cannot happen and I hope you continue to get the truth and go forward with processing any legal actions you can againist United. This cruelty needs to stop! As an owner of 2 lovable dogs I send my deepest sympathy to you & your family!

    September 20, 2012
  462. Constance Swift #

    My heart goes out to you for your most unnecessary loss. I love my Sheltie, Leia, with all my heart and if this would have been her I would be absolutely distraught with grief. Please know you and your family are in our prayers and sweet Bea is waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

    September 20, 2012
  463. Your story left me in tears. A mistake like that should never have been made- there is no excuse. Sweet Bea left this world too early and I pray that despite the medical facts, she did not suffer. She is waiting for your at Rainbow Bridge

    September 20, 2012
  464. angie #

    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your dog!! There are many animal deaths every year from all airlines that consider dogs to be luggage! The pressure is not proper and your dog probably died from carbon monoxide poison. The carbon monoxide rises in there and they know it. They do no research to evaluate the situation! If you decide to travel with a large dog again there are services where people drive across the united states dropping animals off and picking them up. The cost may be a little more but to me its always worth it. The people at these airlines have no compassion for the families that have lost their family members . They chalk it up to, “oh well you knew the risks!” they create it to where they cam pocket the money and you can have a broken heart. My heart is broken for you and as i write this tears roll down my cheeks for your heart. I’m so sorry again!!!

    September 20, 2012
  465. we love goldens . My family loved Jazz and Faith. We now have a golden doodle Chancy.
    I must cut myself short or I will ramble about it. I am very very sorry for your serious loss.

    September 20, 2012
  466. Rebecca #

    Maggie,

    This is an unacceptable tragedy. I know that you stated this wasn’t to start a lawsuit, but if I were you I would sew. This move would not be for selfish reasons, but to bring attention to the issue at hand. Then, I might use the gains of that suit to campaign against the negligence of airlines with pets, in honor or Bea. Don’t let her death be forgotten to without cause. Make her memory live on and help this nightmare to save other dogs. Your fur baby and your family are in my prayers. ❤

    September 20, 2012
  467. Ray #

    My condolonsces to you and your family on the loss of your beloved Beatrice. As the son of a veterinarian, I can understand the feelings that you are going through. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    September 20, 2012
  468. Dawn #

    I am so sorry…..I read this as I hugged my beautiful Yellow lab..Ben!! The tears won’t stop. I feel your pain and again I am so sorry!!Dawn

    September 20, 2012
  469. Ann Hayes #

    Maggie–our deepest sympathies in the loss of your beloved Bea! It should never have happened! Know that all your friends and fans here in the Watertown area share your grief! Hoping your memories of your time here in the north country with Bea will sustain you all! She is forever in your heart!! Love the Hayes Family!

    September 20, 2012
  470. Laura #

    I am so incredibly sorry for you and your family’s loss of your Beautiful Bea. This is just heart wrenching, not to mention despicable. To lie to you and tell you that Bea had been taken to a vet and she was right there is just insult after injury. My family just lost our wonderful cat, Psycho a month before his 19th birthday due to kidney failure. That loss was truly devastating but as I read your blog my heart just broke for all of you and Bea; to be treated negligently and to lose her life when she was young and 100% healthy is just WRONG. I at least knew my baby was ‘elderly’; you had EVERY REASON to expect Bea to grow up with your son and be with your family for many years to come. Thank you for sharing your story as I have no doubt that sharing Bea’s story will definitely save other families from the agony that sadly, yours is going through right now. It was generous of you to share this with all of us and a lovely tribute to your Sweet Bea. God Bless. I shared this on my FB page and am hoping my friends share it on their pages as well. I hope your new addition brings you their own kind of joy and happiness. xo

    September 20, 2012
  471. Amy #

    Dear Maggie and family,
    Bea’s story brought me to tears. I can’t imagine the devastation of losing your pet in this way and the mix of emotions you must be feeling … sadness and heartbreak; anger and frustration at the people/company that caused this tragedy; and love thinking of the memories you have with Bea.
    I have been fortunate enough to fly with my pet (a cat) on board with me because of her size; even so, I have experienced airline employees’ clear disregard for my pet as though she is merely another carry-on bag. As a concerned customer and animal lover, I plan to write a letter to United.
    Bea is in my thoughts today and I am sure for many, many days to come.

    September 20, 2012
  472. Maureen Diem #

    I am so sorry for your loss of Bea. Such a tragedy 😦

    September 20, 2012
  473. I posted about this on facebook too so that many more people will read about this. United Airlines must be held accountable. All of our hearts are breaking for you and your family.

    September 20, 2012
  474. I am very sorry for your loss. This is a terribly sad story. I have a big dog (dobermann) and I will not fly him for this reason. But, with your line of work, I can not imagine how you would not have to fly your dogs. I am sure it would be impossible.
    Maggie- best thing you can do is start a campaign to fix this and find airlines that are responsible. While the average person may not be able to do this, YOU CAN. Make it your cause, because it counts.

    Don’t fear, lots of other wonderful doggies in doggie heaven are taking care of your Bea. Including my mini schnauzer Tessa….she was always the best nurse!

    Love from Portland, Oregon.

    September 20, 2012
    • klm #

      Maggie, Bea was a very beautiful dog. It is sickening to me what happened to her. This story made me cry. I agree with the readers here who think you should sue them. Families with dogs need to feel safe traveling – this is ridiculous and you could make this your cause.The loss of a beloved pet is hard enough but to know that someone is at fault is much worse. My dog was hit by a car 13 yrs ago and I still grieve for her. I wouldn’t be able to handle it if I knew it wasn’t truly an accident.

      Sending my condolences to you and your family from Watertown, NY
      RIP sweet Bea

      September 20, 2012
  475. Jules #

    I was saddened by the story of your Bea. What a love! May she rest in peace.

    I worked at the airport and would never fly my beloved pets on ANY carrier. We moved from the west coast to the east coast and bought a RV for the trip and peace of mind knowing we would be responsible for our pets.

    I am truly sorry for your loss. We too have a golden……who means the world to us!

    Time will never heal your heart but will give you the strength to cope.

    September 20, 2012
  476. Every other month we hear stories about United Airlines and their lack of professionalism, incompetence and very poor customer service. As a person who has had many problems with United Airlines including several times where they lost my luggage – I refuse to fly with them and will gladly pay extra to avoid that airline altogether. Back in August I read a story where United Airlines lost a KID and had no idea where for over four hours!! AND did little to help the distraught parents find her. I just find it difficult to believe that they are still in business.

    September 20, 2012
    • Ali #

      I agree with you Matt. Airlines have complete disregard for family with children, so much so that they make you pay extra if you want you child sitting next to you. So imagine how much they care about your pets. The best way is, like other people said above and below, to bring you famous voice to let the public know that this is not acceptable. We pay them for a service and security that they can’t provide, so they should suffer the consequenses with the public.
      Maggie, I am sorry for you loss of Bea, she was surely a beautiful dog.

      September 21, 2012
  477. I’m so sorry for your loss, Maggie. Even though Bea was taken from you much too soon, I know she was loved and pampered like few dogs are. Her life was short, but I know it was happy. I’m posting your story on FB so others can be warned about the dangers of boarding a pet with United Airlines.

    September 20, 2012
  478. frank wells #

    file a lawsuit , this is the only way to get their attention . maybe you can save someone else from going through this terrible ordeal.

    September 20, 2012
  479. jimmyd_05 #

    So so sorry that you lost such a loving animal. If there is a heaven I hope Bea is having a grand old time, playing with others like our family’s golden, Annie, who touched our hearts every day of her life for over 13 years.

    September 20, 2012
  480. dogsrbest #

    I am so sorry about Bea. She sounds like an amazing puppy. I have a helper dog and when the airline employee hit that dog it made me so mad I wont fly anymore

    September 20, 2012
  481. Maggie,
    My heart aches for you for the loss of your sweet Bea. Indeed, I’ve considered moving internationally and flying my pets over to live with me. However, after hearing your story it makes me extremely cautious. I appreciate your sharing your story with me and pray God grants you peace and healing despite this awful tragedy.

    It’s such a shame that if nothing else, United Airlines would have shown some compassion about that situation. But I do believe what comes around goes around and justice for dear Bea will prevail. I will pray for you and your family that you are conforted.

    September 20, 2012
  482. Julie #

    How extremely sad!

    September 20, 2012
  483. Wanda #

    Dear Maggie,

    We have never met but I am so truly sorry for your loss. I have an 8 yrld Golden lab & he is our “son”.
    Many people don’t understand that an animal IS FAMILY ! My Mom is getting ready to move & she has a 10 yr old black lab. the original plan was to fly her & the dog to their new home. Then we got to thinking he wouldn’t like it & he does have arthritis. So we are now driving out because of the dog…”MY BROTHER”. Bea is at the Rainbow Bridge ( PET HEAVEN ). Again, I am so sorry for your loss ❤

    September 20, 2012
  484. Michelle Reyes #

    I’m so sorry this happened. I have seven rescues of my own ( a mixed bunch for sure) and if anything happened to any one of them I would be heartbroken.
    We should all bring as much attention as possible to the way the airlines handle our pets.
    Again, so sorry.
    God bless

    September 20, 2012
  485. I used to a be a booker many years ago so of course not only your name and Bea-who is my mother’s name resonated-she is also Beatrice..

    I miss your little Bea too-I see how much you tried to do everything right even trusting the airlines. I am so sorry that your little Bea is gone-it’s harrowing and helpless.

    Thank you for sharing your story so that Bea will make United and other airlines Bea extremely aware of the contents they are caring for.

    Long live Bea makes 3-I send you love and light through this horrendous tragedy that I who has 4 dogs and just donated my car when i was a booker to the dog rescue here in LA.

    Your voice will create change!

    September 20, 2012
  486. I hope that news of this horrible negligence, resulting in the tragic loss of Bea spreads wildly so that United Airlines feels enormous pressure to take the required measures necessary to prevent this from ever happening again! I am so sorry for your lost.
    My sincerest condolences,
    Rachel Gilman

    September 20, 2012
  487. Julie #

    I am so truly sorry for your loss. I hope that Bea’s memory brings you comfort at this difficult time.

    September 20, 2012
  488. Heather #

    I am devastated for you. I have loved 5 goldens in my lifetime, and each one special and precious in their own way. I am so so sorry for your family’s loss, and full of anger at the airliens for how you all were treated. I hope you find peace, and you will open your heart to another doggy when the time is right. I will miss reading this blog.

    September 20, 2012
  489. Lori #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a needless, shocking tragedy. I hope Bea’s story goes viral and forces United and other airlines to take action to ensure that people’s beloved pets stay safe and healthy in travel. There is no excuse for this at all. I wish you and your family peace and the knowledge that Bea will always be with you in your hearts.

    September 20, 2012
  490. Sue Storino, Watertown #

    So sorry..it’s amazing how easily our hearts can love, be tickled…. and break when we have pets.

    September 20, 2012
  491. econobiker #

    United Airlines has a complaint website against them at Untied.com. There is a reason for the complaint website- sadly if they can not even treat their human passengers with dignity such issues as this poor pets death are inevitable.

    September 20, 2012
  492. Ken #

    dear maggie, let me start by saying i am very sorry for your loss. As a dog lover and owner i could not imagine if this happened to my dog. For everyone that reads this blog i am going to give you some extra information that was given to me before i flew my dog Rozzi from EWR to SJU in puerto rico by coworkers. I used United Airlines as my choice due to the fact that several coworkers had also flown there dogs with them. Let me start by saying that i work in the aviation industry with the FAA. I also went through all the steps just as maggie had done but, this is the extra info that was given to me. Some of the info was easier to get because of networking through the FAA. Once you leave your pet in there hands please, please do not stop there. Once they start the boarding process grab the head flight attendant, ask politely to speak with the captain of the plane if he is unavailable be sure this information gets to him and also back to you. (it was easier for me to talk to the captain due to my FAA badge) Tell them you are flying with a pet in the cargo area, have your paperwork ready to show them: ex how long they can be at a certain temp range. Request to be told when your dog has been loaded and unloaded at your destination. Your pet is SUPPOSED to be the last peice of cargo on and the first off. Relying on the ramp personnel to inform the capt is the worst thing you can do. After dealing with them for 6 years i have begun to realize why at larger airports controllers have nothing to do with them, ex ramp control. I am guessing that due to the fact that the plane was shut down several times the capt might not have known that there were pets in the cargo area as airlines are limited to certain capacity of pets in that area. Thus meaning that as air and oxygen are flowing through the cabin it might have been in the belly of the plane.

    I am so sorry that this information is coming late but i hope it will help others that may not know.

    September 20, 2012
  493. Nozze Oro #

    Not only they lost young girls flying alone, they kill dogs and manages the situations much bad.

    September 20, 2012
  494. Paulo #

    This is really sad. I have a 10 year old male Golden Retriever, and I just can’t imagine going through something like that. I am really, really sorry for you.

    September 20, 2012
  495. Lara Press #

    Oh Maggie, my heart is aching so much for you, Alex, Zander and your doggie family. What an absolutely harrowing experience, I’m just so sorry for you and I know you must be grieving so much right now. What an absolutely negligent, and irresponsible airline, I hope you are able to take some sort of action to find closure. All my love and thoughts with you and yours….

    September 20, 2012
  496. Reblogged this on Finding Happy Healthy Fitness and commented:
    I cannot imagine the pain that was felt for this family. My heart and prayers go out to Bea, and any other furry family members who may have been disrespected by the travel industry. As a member of this career field, I hope I am never working for a company who does not treat pets as equal guests.

    September 20, 2012
  497. lizzwritesgood #

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is heartbreaking and horrific.

    September 20, 2012
  498. I am terribly sorry for your loss. What you are going through is a tragedy and I hope that you eventually find out the circumstances that led to Bea’s untimely death.

    I have travelled on direct flights between Chicago and San Diego with Sheena, my Boxer in a crate in the cargo area. I always fly United but now I am afraid to do so. They always treat us well and provide me with a slip of paper when she is put onboard. This past year they merged with Continental an airline that “forgot” to put Sheena on our flight from Toronto to Newark. She missed the connection and had to spend the night in a corporate kennel in Newark before arriving one day late in San Diego.

    I guess from now on, Sheena and I will be travelling by car and only by car. I will hug Sheena extra tight because of your tragic tale. I appreciate you having the strength to share it.

    September 20, 2012
  499. I can’t imagine the agony you must have felt. I have lost pets naturally, as well as one suddenly, and one is one the way out. I know the heartbreak that comes with losing a family member. I simply cannot imagine the feeling of losing one when you think you have done all you can to ensure proper safety.

    Frankly, it doesn’t matter if Bea was a perfect purebred, or a mutt like my dog. She was a member of your family. If your child was killed of heatstroke while on the flight, I’m sure they would react very differently. I have been saying for a long time that people consider pets to be “disposable” and not of value, but this is not the case. They are important, beautiful souls, and deserve every ounce of love and affection we have, as they only ever give that to us.

    I hope that your story gets out there, and we can see stronger regulations in the future. I will wait for these new laws to inevitably pass before ever flying a furry or feathered (or scaled, for that matter) family member.

    September 20, 2012
    • I agree with you completely, it doesn’t matter one bit whether Bea was a purebred, had one leg, or if she were a cat. It was only my intention to give you an idea of who she was. I feel that sometimes I can put myself in someone’s situation more easily if I feel like I know the whole story. I wasn’t trying to say that because she was a purebred that it made any difference whatsoever. I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. No living creature is disposable. It is our responsibility to be their voice. My only hope in writing this was to help convey that message in hopes that one day, it will be different. Thank you for your heartfelt words.

      September 20, 2012
  500. This is a terrible story and I feel so bad for your loss. I appreciate you sharing though as I won’t be flying United every and especially with my dogs!

    September 20, 2012
  501. Carol #

    Oh Maggie, I’m heartbroken for you. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through, but I can appreciate your anger & heartbreak. I own Allie, one of Bea’s sisters from the most recent Rizer litter. I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face, sobbing for your grief. I have to stop, but my heart goes out to you & I will never, ever travel my dogs in an airplane, ever.

    September 20, 2012
  502. Marcia Downes #

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Bea….there are no words to comfort you and yours over this tragic and unnecessary loss.. Maggie ,I would like you to know how Bea touched our golden lives and how we have a sibling of hers because of her. Bea is the reason we were fortunate enough to have Scott and Seann intrust a little girl from the October 2011 litter of Hailey and George to us. Penelope lives in Boston with her golden sister Lucy and is loved and told how special she is everyday. We will continue to tell the story of Bea and “Bea Makes Three” and remember your sweet girl always…ox

    September 20, 2012
  503. Susan Reed #

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Beatrice was a part of your family and the airlines are’t going to “come clean” about what really happened. Maybe, in time, an employee from the airline will contact you anonymously and tell you what truly happened.

    September 20, 2012
  504. Pennelope #

    I am so sick to my stomach reading your story.I will never ever allow my dogs to fly.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.My heart is broken for you.My 3 labs are my life.
    God bless and peace be with you and tour family~

    September 20, 2012
  505. heather wisner attorney oliver wisners daughter #

    so sorry for your loss sweetie

    September 20, 2012
  506. Patti Martin #

    I am soo sorry that Bea had to die in such an awful way, or anyway at all, United should be held accountable for their actions, with that being said, I don’t believe that any animal should be put on a plane. Unless It’s in 1st class, and for a good reason, breeding is not a good reason. I think a pet should have full run of the property you have, no matter the blood line.& should be just that “family pets”,

    September 20, 2012
  507. Brenda Harris #

    I am deeply sadened for you ,, I cant imagine what I would do..Its just so sad that the airlines have no sympathy for your loss, and more compassion.. where are people who care for animals,, dont they realise , these are family and are loved deeply..wish I could do something to take away your pain..God Bless !!!!!

    September 20, 2012
  508. Susan Taublieb #

    I am crying for you, Maggie. I have followed your blog from its inception, as I am a Golden lover as well. I have a new 5-month old Golden, following the death of our Maggie in March. I will never ever put my Annie on a plane. Ever. She will either drive with us, or not go.. Period. I wish you and your family the best and know that my Maggie has welcomed Bea in heaven. She is not alone.

    September 20, 2012
  509. Mike & Sheila (Crowley) LaDue #

    Mag- So sorry for your loss…please hold them accountable.

    September 20, 2012
  510. Megan Shane #

    Omg reading this I cried.This breaks my heart beyond words and this airline should be ashamed of themselves for treating such a situation without any heart for you! Dogs are apart of family just like a human is! My dog is the light of my life and i couldnt even imagine that feeling ! im so extremely sorry for your loss.

    September 20, 2012
  511. This story broke my heart totally… As I ship dogs by plane all around the world, I do my best to work eith the most reputed airliners about pet handling… Never used UA and will probably never since I read this blog… God bless Bea and take care of her soul, xxx

    September 20, 2012
  512. Maureen Cean, Watertown, NY #

    so sorry for your loss

    September 20, 2012
  513. Lori Garcia #

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, please don’t give up, I do believe United should be held accountable for their negligence. We had to fly United when we received orders to Germany 4 years ago. Our sweet Sadie 7lbs was able to fly under our feet in a small carrier due to her size & weight. I do not know what I would have done had I been told she had to fly underneath in another area of the plane. In my opinion it is so very obvious Bea was not cared for or watched during the flight. I love my dog and have had her for nearly 5 years and I would be lost without her. I felt such deep emotion & sadness when I read your story and just wanted you to know people all over the world is reading your story. hugs to you from NY!

    September 20, 2012
  514. liz haskins #

    Maggie, Such a heart rendering story…I agree the name of the game should be…SUE!!!!
    So sorry for your family’s loss
    liz haskins

    September 20, 2012
  515. sare #

    I have tears in my eyes reading this. I am so sorry for your loss.
    I too have 2 dogs, one being a purebred Golden, and they are like my children. I cant imagine the pain your going through & believe that United along with all airlines should provide better travel compartments and care for our four legged friends.
    This is just so sad. RIP Sweet Bea. Please give our beloved Golden – Harmony a smooch for us.

    September 20, 2012
  516. Doglover #

    Sue United! They should no longer be able to transport dogs until they accept responsibility for their negligence.

    September 20, 2012
  517. Maura Dawley #

    So sorry about your loss Maggie…our pets are our children…:( very sad for you and your family

    September 20, 2012
  518. Steph #

    Our loss goes out to u,Mag!!!(Watn.NY)

    September 20, 2012
  519. Ariana #

    I am so very sorry for your loss. You didn’t make the mistake, United did. I shared this post on Facebook and it’s been shared more times from my share and on and on. Bea’s story will make a difference. Hugs and love to you.

    September 20, 2012
  520. Jennifer hartz #

    This disgusts me. They should take responsibility fully. As for the moron that just said “one of them is dead” should be FIRED, and if it was ME he said that, to his PHONE WOULD BE SHOVED DOWN HIS FUCKING THROAT. I am in the middle of planning a trip, and UNITED will NOT be my choice of airline EVER. so sorry for your loss.

    September 20, 2012
  521. Judy L. Agar #

    I have had goldens all my life they are family members, i feel so badly for you. Maybe someone should place the manager and attendant in a kennel to experience heat stroke, this is just awful. Peace be with you… 😦

    September 20, 2012
  522. Carol Gersten #

    I am applaud at the treatment and lies you were told, I too truly believe they are covering up what happened. I also think like most do here that you should sue for the damages you have faced, and I certainly WILL NEVER trust an airline with my Pets! This is so heart wrenching, I had a very hard time reading your events and also then feeling your pain. I certainly hope they get what they deserve, and your beloved Bea will stay forever in your heart! Remember the Rainbow Bridge, but I sure it is very very hard from what these pple at United has done, I can not get over this posting!!!!

    September 20, 2012
  523. Ray #

    Sue them for all they are worth, which probably isn’t much any longer. While money will never replace Bea, the hearltess nature with which they handle everything needs to be dealt with harshly. Their safety record on pet travel is terrible. They do not enforce safety rules/regulations nor does it seem as though they care. The supervisor should be fired immediately for lying/covering up and so should the person who lied about Bea being sent for a necropsy. Management will of course cover this up and protect their own. I sure would like to be their safety director…..things would definately change and people would be held accountable!

    September 20, 2012
  524. My heart breaks for your loss.

    September 20, 2012
  525. This story brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your sudden and tragic loss! I can only imagine the pain you felt at learning of her death, and in the subsequent weeks to follow. I also have a two year old golden, Tucker, and he is the best thing in my life. I can’t imagine losing him to old age, let alone, in a sudden, tragic accident. My prayers are with you and your family, and with loving Bea. I hope she is in doggie heaven playing ball with lots of new friends.

    September 20, 2012
  526. Michele Granger #

    Please make United accountable for there actions. They have lost dogs in the past and the need for more suppervision regarding flying dogs needs to happen. There are a lot of us show dog people who have been saying this for years. I own, breed and show goldens for over 30 years and change needs to happen in the pet airline business. This is unexcusable. Not one person can change this but I am sure if you asked for help within the golden community we would be able to get enough people together to make a huge impact and hopefully with any luck get a national change in the airline pet policy.

    September 20, 2012
  527. Martha Ternet #

    I’m heartbroken for you. We lost our beautiful, loving Golden too soon. But at least his death was natural.

    I started following your blog because the Golden tag hooked me. Goldens are the best.

    Take care, Maggie.

    September 20, 2012
  528. Pat Waggoner #

    My daughter Emily lost her English Bull Dog on a trip to Copenhagen. I can still hear her screams on the phone that morning at 2 AM. As the Mom of 3 Goldens my heart breaks for you..I had a beautiful Golden mix that crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2005, he also will show Bea around heaven I’m sure.

    There has to be a way that we can travel with our pets without having to worry that we will lose them in such a cruel way. We love them as we love our children, there just has to be a way.

    September 20, 2012
    • Thank you Pat,
      Hearing Emily’s story was one of the reasons I felt compelled to write this. It’s tragic that she lost Boo the way she did. It’s just not right, there’s something very serious that needs to be changed. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

      September 20, 2012
  529. Kathy S. #

    Maggie,

    There are no words to describe the sadness I feel after reading your post. I am so sorry ofr the loss of your beautiful Bea.

    September 20, 2012
  530. Jennie #

    Maggie, I am so sorry, This is just so sad, our dogs are like are family to us as well. I have such a heavy heart today. Your in our thoughts and prayers…

    September 20, 2012
  531. My heart is aching for you, Alex and Zander. As tears stream down my face for the loss of a dog whom I never had the priviledge of meeting, I absolutely cannot imagine the pain that you are feeling. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I hope that United comes clean and tells you what really happened. Damn scoundrels.

    September 20, 2012
  532. I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story though and helping inform others. I’ve always been so wary about flying my pup(s) and this just confirms that you never really can be totally trusting that they’ll be cared for the way you would care for them. Wishing you and your family as much peace as is possible in these dark days!

    September 20, 2012
  533. Linda Messitt #

    My heart is breaking for you. Know that Bea was loved during her sweet, short life and that she has many furry friends where she is now. I’m crying while writing this as I too have a sweet sweet Golden.
    I’ve been warned by many people not to put an animal in Cargo, not specifically United, but all airlines. I will share this story to help spread the word about their negligence and overall lack of concern for your loss.

    September 20, 2012
  534. Jamie #

    I’m sorry for you loss 😦

    September 20, 2012
  535. Kate Wehrle #

    Oh Maggie I am so so sorry. My heart breaks for you and Alex. Just awful. Our thoughts are with you.
    Kate

    September 20, 2012
  536. Samantha #

    Maggie, that is heart breaking, I am so sorry for your loss!

    September 20, 2012
  537. Oh Maggie, my heart is breaking for you. I’m so sorry.

    September 20, 2012
  538. Will Sullivan #

    Really a tragic situation Maggie, so sorry for your loss, we will miss your posts.

    September 20, 2012
  539. Ann Graham #

    Oh Maggie, I am so sad and sorry for this tremendous loss. She knows she was loved and adored
    completely by her family and that you are not responsible for her untimely death. I don’t know what to say, except I am so sorry for this pain, and for the loss of Ms. Bea. She was indeed, a Sweet Bea.
    love,
    Ann
    {{{XO}}}

    September 20, 2012
  540. I am just crying, crying. I am so beyond heartbroken for you. These furbabies are our family, just as any other child we have is. There is NOTHING that can be said or done to make this ok. Nothing. Just know that there is at least one person you have never met out there who loves her furry children who is reaching through to hug you. I will never fly that airlines again if I have any choice about it.
    Rest in peace, Sweet Bea. If you see a lab mix over there, his name is Bert, he’s new to things over there, and he’ll be an awesome playmate for you.

    September 20, 2012

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