Wednesday, 26 January 2011


This is going to be a very short post just to clear up a few of the comments left in response to yesterday's post and to give some more information. I will allow the human to write the rest of this, as she's the one with all the details. Just means I'll have to smack her down later if she gets any high handed ideas about writing on here a second time!

Human: Ok, to start off with, let me tell you that I'm on a number of forums and groups, and one of those just happened to have a lady in it who knew the breeder of the sphynx personally. From conversations that went on, plus reading of the original thread, here's my informed information/opinion.

The kitten was 16 weeks at the time of travel, not 11 weeks as stated in the original story-writer's words. She was shipped in a climate controlled part of the aircraft, and apparently, this cost even more than it would have done for the owner to get a seat herself on that flight. I don't know why she didn't go herself, but I can make an educated guess. The woman refers to young children in her post, so I suspect it was too difficult for her to get them cared for while she went to collect the kitten. From the level of upset she's experiencing, I doubt this was a decision made on selfishness.

One reader asks if she'd checked breeders closer to home. As I'm sure you folks are aware, distances in the US are immense, and many breeders ship their kittens to their new homes as it's often the only way to get them there. Driving sometimes simply isn't an option. Perhaps there were no breeders closer to this lady's home. Perhaps she wanted a sphynx and no rescues had them. I simply don't know. Perhaps she didn't want a rescue cat because she'd be unsure of its start in life and the issues it would bring with it to the home. none of us were there, so we don't know.

What we do know is this. The kitten was in climate control, and, if she'd been dealt with as she should have been by Delta, temperature would not have been an issue, as she wouldn't have been exposed to it for very long. Airlines have rules about temps animals can travel in, and if they took the kitten on the plane, those rules were obviously satisfied. If it was too cold, again, Delta is to blame for agreeing to fly the kitten. It's the airline. It should know, through experience, the bottom temps an animal can deal with while being flown, and yet, it still accepted the kitten.

The breeder packed the baby up well. She had fleecey blankets, a snugglesack, a heat pad, and even was wearing a little sweater for extra warmth. There's nothing else she could have done to keep her any warmer.

The owner showed up on time to ensure that the kitten would not be forced to wait in the cold, but despite numerous plees that the kitten needed to be brought in from the cold, despite Delta staff being made fully aware of a kitten being on board, they continued to offload normal luggage instead of her carrier. Again, this was Delta's fault, not the breeder's, and certainly not the owner's.

This breeder is not a novice. She has been doing this for a long time and knows what she's doing. If folks do their research, they will see that Delta is responsible for many, many pet deaths every year. Even our own ML had her labrador lost for hours on end by Delta. Luckily, that story had a happy ending, but it is still food for thought.

The story is a tragic one with no easy answers. On the bright side, apparently Delta have already been forced to speak to the press about this particular case, so let's hope they keep the pressure on!


Noll's Nip said...

Very sad, very sad.

Old Kitty said...

At least Delta is being made to account for their lack of care. That poor kitty. :-( Shame on Delta!!!!! Thanks for clarifying this story - it's harrowing but hopefully lessons will be learnt and airlines will take better care of any creatures they have on board on their planes!

Take care

GreatGranny said...

So sorry to hear this.

The Lee County Clowder said...

Actually, there was a very simple solution: Bring that cat into the terminal. That Delta seemed unable manage that means Delta is responsible.

Why Delta accepted a kittie they had no ability, and probably no intention, of delivering, some one else will have to answer.

We hope Delta gets a serious fine, and gobs and gobs of bad publicity.

Karen Jo said...

This is so sad. I just cannot understand why Delta wouldn't unload the kitten first.

GottaHaveFaith said...

Thank you for posting more of the details. I am ashamed of the portion of the cat loving community that can find nothing better to do then bash the owner or bash the breeder. Perhaps as I've suggested, there needs to be stricter temperature requirements for the naked breeds of cats/dogs, but that is for the airlines to enforce and create- much like the stricter guidelines for the brachiocephalic breeds out there.

Junior and Orion said...

Well, its good to know more details. And I have been thinking about this since yesterday. We can go on and on about who did what, and what they should have done or could have done, but the end is still the same in this case. This kitten suffered, and died, and that angers and saddens me to no end. I just want to picture this little baby frolicing over the bridge, warm, whole and happy and I wish with all my heart, that she could have been doing that here, on Earth.


Alexi said...

On one group, someone mentioned the heat packs she packed with the kitten would have become dangerous heat sink instead of a heat source. Also, Delta does check what was in the carrier. It could be those things were taken out. We don't know.

Yes Delta is to blame but the breeder is also responsible. We have shipped cats and I would NEVER do it in temps that low. NEVER! Especially a Sphynx ! Shipping of the kitten could have been delayed. They could have gone on the plane to pick her up. There are other options. Some breeders never ship. I would rather lose a sale than lose a kitten. THAT is what responsible breeding is all about- Cats first and ALWAYS!

Sweet Praline said...

This is just so sad for everyone!

Ayla, Iza, and Marley said...

Any company that agrees to transport pets has a responsibility to transport them in safe conditions. That includes air pressure, temperature, and any other physical securities normal to living creatures. Transported animals cannot be considered "merely cargo" like suitcases of clothes!

If they AREN'T prepared to provide those things, then the offer to transport them is reckless and possibly "knowingly cruel".

I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that there is a case for some sort of "reckless endangerment" here. Or at at least "animal cruelty".

I mean that seriously. If exposing humans to low air pressure, lack of oxygen, and cold temperatures is wrong, it should be obvious that animals need the same protections.