American Airlines Launches Investigation into Dead Puppies

American Airlines will talk to the employees that handled them.

By Kate Allt
|  Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010  |  Updated 3:27 PM CDT
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American Airlines Launches Investigation into Dead Puppies

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Seven puppies are dead after traveling aboard an American Airlines plane to O’Hare International Airport Tuesday, prompting an investigation by the carrier.

"The employees that handled the flight will be in Wednesday," Fort Worth-based American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said. "We'll be talking with them this afternoon."   

The puppies were among 14 that were traveling from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Chicago. Flight 851 left Tulsa at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at O’Hare around 9 a.m. the airline confirmed.  

Five of the young pups died on board and two died later on at a veterinarian's office. 

Wednesday morning, American Airlines tweeted the following: 

"We are very sorry for the loss of 7 puppies in Chicago on 8/3/10. Teams are actively investigating 2 find out what happened."

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, animal deaths by airplane are unfortunately common.

"We don't recommend pets traveling that way," Lisa Franzetta, director of communications for the ALDF, said. "The cargo areas are not temperature controlled, and especially in the winter and summer months, they can be uninhabitable." 

Fagan said the dogs looked lethargic, and were scheduled to be loaded onto connecting flights for destinations outside of Chicago. 

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