Legislation introduced that prohibits pets from being placed in overhead bins

Los Angeles, CA – A bi-partisan bill was introduced today in response to the recent death of a family’s pet aboard a United Airlines flight. The Welfare of Our Furry Friends or WOOFF ACT would prohibit the stowing of live animals inside the overhead bins meant for carry-on items something already prohibited by United Airlines and other carriers’ policies. spcaLA urges airlines to provide safety precautions for all of its travelers, including animals.

“In the light of this incident, education and training for airline personnel may be even more beneficial than imposing fines,” said spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein. “The airline industry must consult with animal welfare experts, and train staff both on the ground and in the air to provide a safe environment for pets when they fly.”

Though United Airlines has apologized for this incident, they have the distinction of being the deadliest U.S. airlines for pets for the third year in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As the details of this tragedy unfold, many are left wondering how this could have happened, what could have been done differently, or even what one might do in a similar situation.

spcaLA suggests that pet owners carefully consider whether or not it is essential for their pet to accompany them while they travel. If so, make sure they know the airline’s policies and procedures, in addition to properly preparing their pet for travel. Pet owners may also consider the possibility that deplaning a flight may be necessary for the safety of their pets.

About spcaLA

Since 1877, spcaLA has been the premiere independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California. spcaLA is not a chapter of any group. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to spcaLA. Donations run programs and services including animal cruelty investigations, disaster response, violence-prevention and humane education initiatives, as well as a variety of shelter services.