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Woman Calls Out Qantas After Dog Dies on Flight

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A woman who was flying from Sydney to Brisbane last month is calling out Qantas Airways after the death of her dog.

A death, she says, was ‘100% preventable.’

Kay Newman brought her 6-year old dog Duke for the trip but was concerned over the heat that day, according to USA Today. December in Australia is summertime, and Newman said temperatures reached 102 degrees that day.

“I was worried about the heat but was told by Qantas freight staff that Duke would only be kept on the tarmac for a few minutes and that he would be kept under cover until they were ready to put him on the plane. All animals are meant to be boarded last (last on first off),” Newman wrote in a Jan. 9 Facebook post. “Nevertheless, I requested and was given permission to wait with Duke in the air-conditioned office until the last possible minute before he was placed in his crate for the flight.”

Initially, Newman said, Qantas was helpful. But when she left the office and went to the gate, she saw outside to the tarmac that Duke was sitting in his crate. More than 15 minutes passed on the tarmac.

Newman said she became teary but Qantas officials said the dog was fine, and as soon as she boarded as the last passenger, Duke would be loaded into the air-conditioned cargo hold.

Unfortunately, her worst fears were realized.

Duke is a boxer, a breed that suffers from Airway Obstruction Syndrome, which can make it difficult for snub-nosed breeds to breathe in high temperatures and at high altitudes.

When she landed in Brisbane, Newman wrote, “I was asked to come through to the back of the office, that’s not normal and I knew in my heart something was wrong, I started screaming, ‘What’s wrong, what’s happened?’ Then I heard the words I never wanted to hear, “We have some bad news, I’m sorry but your dog didn’t survive the flight and has passed away.”

Qantas told The Sydney Morning Herald and another Australian news outlet, 10 Daily, that it had expressed its sympathies to Newman over the loss of her dog and explained that there had been an unexpected flight delay that left Duke on the tarmac longer than expected. Baggage handlers reported the dog was fine when he was loaded onto the plane.

“Shame on you Qantas!!” she wrote on Facebook. “Why were my concerns about Duke ignored on numerous occasions? And why was I told my dog was fine when he obviously wasn’t?”

Three weeks after Duke’s death, Newman says she’s still waiting to hear from Qantas about its investigation.

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