United Airlines apologized for the death of a 10-month-old puppy after its flights attendants forced the dog into an overhead compartment for three hours.
CBS News reported on the story, which went viral after a passenger on the flight posted a photo of the dog, who was named Papicito, after it died.
In the post, a woman who herself owns a French bulldog like the one who died on the flight, described watching the mother and two young children first be forced to lock the dog’s kennel in the overhead compartment and then learn it was not breathing and attempt to resuscitate it.
“There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel,” the passenger wrote. “There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body. My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone.”
The incident, CBS reported, violates United’s policy that instructs passengers to put pets in kennels that can fit underneath the seats in front of them.
United, the report noted, is no stranger to such incidents. In 2017, the company was forced to apologize after a dog was put in the plane’s cargo hold by flight staff, and in 2010, seven puppies died in a similar matter on a United flight. Last summer, the company was sued after a passenger’s rabbit died on an overseas flight. The company was also was the subject of scandal last year after an Asian-American doctor was filmed being dragged off of one of their flights.
In their statement issued to CBS, the company called the dog’s death a “tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin.” They reportedly assumed responsibility for the incident and told CBS they are investigating how it happened.