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USA: animals abandoned at the airport

Different rules between companies and countries, unprepared and insensitive travellers

Public opinion in the United States is questioning the abandonment of animals at airports and their management by companies and air carriers. The subject has leapt to the headlines after three dogs and a turtle arrived with their owners in airport in the last few weeks and were abandoned between check-in and boarding.

"Most people who travel with their pets are prepared and want their pets to be with them every step of the way" said a spokesperson of the animal rights organization "American Humane".

An activist from the non-profit "Best Friends Animal Society" stressed: "Pet abandonment has been going on for a long time, but I don't think there is an epidemic of people abandoning their pets at the airport", but this news hints that "this is all about the airlines".

These are the facts. A dog was found tied to a pole outside the Des Moines (Iowa) airport. A turtle was discovered in a bathroom at the "Harry Reid" international airport in Las Vegas, while a puppy dog was abandoned near a boarding gate in the same airport. Another dog was discovered wandering alone in the Charlotte-Douglas airport.

Why does this happen? A pet requires a certain degree of planning when travelling. The requirements also vary according to the air carriers (limits on the maximum number of animals on board, bans in the summer months) and the countries (veterinary certificate within 10 days) in which the airports are located. Thus it happens that unprepared and insensitive travelers arrive at the check-in and in their haste leave dogs, cats, canaries and turtles on the ground.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency