Animal Shipping Mishaps in the News

Guess the puppy

Guess who got really lucky?

Two years ago, just before Christmas, my friend Paula answered the phone to an inquiry about one of her Abyssinian Kittens. The caller was from New Jersey, and was very interested in buying a male kitten as a Christmas gift for his wife. Paula explained to him that it was far too cold to ship a kitten to New Jersey at that time of the year.

Some people, apparently, don’t get the whole ‘no flying kittens in cold weather’ connection.

From the SF Gate:

On January 22, Connecticut resident Heather Lombardi was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her new, not-so-furry family member, Snickers, an 11-week-old, 3-pound hairless kitten that she had recently purchased from a breeder in Utah. Snickers was to be shipped in the climate-controlled cargo area of a Delta airlines flight.

But what was to be a joyous reunion turned into a nightmare when Lombardi opened Snicker’s carrier and discovered that she was icy cold and couldn’t move her head or paws. The kitten died from hypothermia a short time later.

While I am sorry for Heather’s loss, I have to wonder about any breeder who would stick a 3 lb, hairless kitten into a cargo hold in Utah in the coldest month of the year. Yes, the cargo area on planes are ‘climate controlled’ – but what about the tarmac?

If you’ve flown for any length of time, you’re familiar with the sight of cargo transporters sitting waiting on the tarmac to be loaded on to planes, or sitting waiting to be brought into the terminals. Those waits have killed countless dogs and cats over the years, and are yet one more reason why I will NEVER fly one of my puppies in cargo.

When Paula tried to explain to her caller that she couldn’t ship his kitten due to the weather, he had a great solution –

“Ship it to me Fedex – those guys can get anything anywhere”.

Paula passed on his suggestion, but over in Minneapolis, one woman decided that even if Fedex couldn’t, the USPS could.

From the Star Tribune

The postal worker was stunned when the package moved by itself and fell to the floor. Then came the sounds of heavy panting.

Within minutes, she and co-workers had unwrapped a tightly sealed box and rescued a 4-month-old puppy that a Minneapolis woman tried to mail to Georgia.

“It’s just crazy,” said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Angela Dodge. The air holes the woman punched in the box were covered up with mailing tape, and the priority mail trip would have taken at least two days, she said. “It was supposed to be a birthday gift for a family member. It would have been kind of traumatizing to get a dead puppy”

The puppy, a Schnauzer/Poodle miss named “Guess” (which I suspect is short for “guess how lucky I am to be alive” or maybe “guess what some idiot put inside this postal box”) is doing just fine, and is recovering at Minneapolis Animal Control.

Since MAC is a kill shelter, let’s hope Guess’ stay there is short, and that he’s not another celebrity dog recsue who ends up falling through the cracks and being killed.

Mailed Puppy Alive & Well at Minneapolis Animal Control: