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Beloved Pet Dies After United Airlines Forces Passenger To Stuff It In Overhead Compartment #UnitedAirlines #puppies

A Queens girl whose dog died on a United flight said the heartless flight attendant who forced her mom to put their pet carrier into an overhead compartment later claimed she had no idea their pooch was in it.

“The flight attendant came, and she was like, ‘You have to put him up there because it’s going to block the path,’” Sophia Ceballos, 11, told ABC News on behalf of her mother, Catalina Robledo, who isn’t fluent in English.

“And we were like, ‘It’s a dog! It’s a dog!’ And she said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you still have to put it up there,’” the distraught girl said about her beloved 10-month-old French bulldog, Kokito.

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Robledo, Sophia and her baby brother were flying from Houston to LaGuardia on Monday along with their pup, affectionately called “Little Pig,” who was in a TSA-approved pet carrier.

Robledo, Sophia and her baby brother were flying from Houston to LaGuardia on Monday along with their pup, affectionately called “Little Pig,” who was in a TSA-approved pet carrier.

The carrier was partially blocking an aisle before the three-hour flight, so the flight attendant told Robledo to move it into the tight overhead confines.

Robledo asked if she could carry Kokito in her lap, but the flight attendant refused, Sophia told ABC News.

Fellow passenger Maggie Gremminger told WNBC that “it didn’t feel right” to place the carrier in the bin.

“(Another passenger and I) looked at each other and said, ‘Did they just put the dog up there?’” said Gremminger, who even Googled whether animals could fly safely in overhead compartments.

Sophia said she heard Kokito let out a few whimpered barks during the flight.

“We were really worried,” she said. “He barked in the middle of the flight, and there was a lot of turbulence, so we couldn’t get him.”

When Robledo opened the bin after landing, she noticed that Kokito wasn’t moving and burst into tears.

“She took him out, and he was dead,” the sobbing girl said. “She’s like, ‘He died — died!’ And he didn’t wake up … she hit his chest so he could breathe, but he wouldn’t move.”

Robledo told Spanish-language Telemundo 47 that when the flight attendant realized her blunder, she denied knowing there was a dog inside the carrier.

“She left crying, saying that she did not know it was a dog,” Robledo said.

Sophia said the flight attendant was lying.

“In the end, she says she didn’t know it was a dog, but she actually touched the bag and felt him there,” she said. “She said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was a dog. I thought it was just a normal bag.’ But we told her it was a dog. She was lying!”

The airline took responsibility for Kokito’s death, calling it a “tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin.”

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United spokesman Charles Hobart said it was investigating the incident and talking to the flight attendant, whom he declined to identify.

The airline has refunded Robledo’s tickets, as well as the $200 fee for bringing Kokito on board, and offered to pay for a necropsy, an animal autopsy.


Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 13th, 2018


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