A golden retriever was found dead on a Cathay Pacific plane bound for the US shortly before takeoff.
The eight-year-old dog named Popeye was owned by a woman, surnamed Chung, who was immigrating to the US with her family, Apple Daily reports.
Chung said she and her family wanted to bring Popeye along to their new home and obtained the necessary papers from the government.
On Sept. 21, Chung paid a transport company to bring Popeye to Hong Kong from Guangzhou.
Chung then travelled with Popeye to Hong Kong airport around noontime and finished the check-in process at about 2 pm.
Popeye was very healthy and active at the time, Chung said.
Shortly before takeoff, Chung was notified by the pilot that the dog had come out of its cage and died.
Chung said that the cargo area where the dog was kept “was very stuffy, with virtually no air-conditioning”.
She had been earlier told by the staff that the dog would be kept in a well-ventilated area with cabin temperature.
Chung criticized Cathay Pacific’s slow response, saying that if they had found out and notified her earlier, the dog could have been saved.
The flight finally departed Hong Kong at 8:15 p.m., four hours behind schedule. Chung was not on board.
As Popeye was not registered in Hong Kong, his body was turned over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
The dog was cremated on Friday and Chung is bringing the ashes to the US.
She threatened to sue the airline if there is evidence of animal abuse.
Cathay Pacific said it will make a report to Chung within 14 days.
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