Feds Probing Death of Puppy Stowed in United Overhead Bin

A federal investigation into the death of a puppy on a United Airlines flight has been launched by the Department of Transportation.

Officials from the department announced on Wednesday that they were probing the incident, according to a report by the New York Post. The airline took some heat on social media this week after a passenger posted about the incident.

A flight attendant reportedly forced a mother with two small children to stow her dog in its carrier in the overhead bin. At the end of the three and a half hour long flight, the puppy was unresponsive.

The airline now contends that the flight attendant made a mistake because they could not understand the plaintive mother. The company accepted responsibility for the death, as "as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin," however there's no word on whether the flight attendant has been disciplined.

"We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier," the airline said Wednesday.

"However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin."

"As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident," United added. "We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support."

The story went viral after the passenger behind the young family, June Lara, posted about it on Facebook, including a full narrative and a picture of the dog after the flight.

"They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow," Lara wrote. "They assured the safety of the family's pet so wearily, the mother agreed."

Lara said the puppy, named Tokito, was unresponsive after the three-hour flight.


"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," Lara wrote.

"United Airlines does not care about the safety of their furry travelers. This poor family paid $125 for their pet to be murdered in front of them. There is no excuse for the pain this family is suffering. Today, I boarded my last United Airlines flight," Lara added.