Thanks to one pilot's quick thinking, a beloved pup's life was saved.
Airplanes are known to be one of the least safe travel options for pets. Not only can animals be traumatized in their transit, they are especially vulnerable to oxygen deprivation and heat stroke while in the underbelly of a plane.
The Humane Society of the United States recognizes this, and, therefore, does not recommend it as a safe mode for transporting animals. Sometimes, unfortunately, traveling with a pet via plane cannot be helped.
In situations like that, then, hope your plane is being piloted by an individual like the one who made headlines when he did something unexpected to save a Simba, a seven-year-old French bulldog.
On the Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to Toronto, Canada, the unnamed pilot noticed that there was a problem with the heating system in the cargo hold. He also realized that there was a small dog down there.
Because the outside temperature at cruising altitude can be 50 degrees below zero, and air can drop below freezing in a matter of minutes, the pilot knew he needed to take action.
He diverted the flight to Frankfurt, Germany, where Simba was immediately placed on another flight before the plane continued to Toronto. This risky decision added about 75 minutes to the travel time for the flight’s passengers and cost the airline about $10,000 in fuel costs and landing fees.
Amazingly, Air Canada supports its pilot and says it was the right thing to do.
Said German Kontorovich, Simba’s pup-parent, to CityNews in Toronto: “It’s my dog, it’s like my child. It’s everything to me.”
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