Archive for January, 2011

Hairless Kitten Dies After Airline Mishap

Posted on January 25, 2011. Filed under: 4. Guest Bloggers |

We received the following letter from a fan. We felt it was worth sharing as it’s distressing that transporting our pets via a commercial airline still seems to be so risky. Any suggestions out there for how to ensure a pet will be safe when flying them from point A to point B?

Letter from fan Heather Lombardi – Bristol Connecticut:

Last night our family experienced the worst tragedy I have ever personally experienced & I wanted to send this hoping to reach as many animal owners as I possibly can. I appreciate anything at all you can do, even if you only tell your friends. Here is the story of my kitten Snickers & her last night alive. (1/22/2011) I also have attached a picture of her.


We purchased an 11 week old Sphynx kitten (Hairless Kitten) from a breeder & her flight was scheduled to come in last night at 8:40PM on Delta Flight # 738 into BDL (Hartford CT). (Climate controlled cargo by Delta Dash)

We arrived at the airport at 8:15pm, camera & 2 kids in hand to pick up our long awaited new arrival. We immediately went to baggage claim where we would pick her up from her long flight from Utah.

When we arrived, we were told to go sit by the conveyors for luggage & that as soon as the plane was unloaded, they would bring our new family member out to us. We waited & waited & at 8:50 I went to the baggage claim & asked for an update. I told the woman that the kitten was a Sphynx & had no hair & that I was beginning to worry since it was only 7 degrees outside. I was told the flight had arrived on time (8:40pm), but to sit back down, that the cargo hold latch was stuck, but they were doing all they could & would bring her out as soon as they could.

I wasn’t incredibly alarmed; After all, I paid $290 for her to be in a climate controlled cargo area. I figured she would be fine as long as she wasn’t outdoors. At 9:30pm, they brought the carrier out to me & the woman who handed the carrier to me told me I should take her out & that the carrier was very cold. She removed the zip ties & I took the carrier to the floor & opened the door.

The kitten was ICE cold, limp, and unresponsive. I IMMEDIATELY put her into my coat, grabbed my kids by the hands & ran out of the airport to get her into my car & cranked up the heat putting all vents on her as I rubbed her trying to warm her up.

She couldn’t lift or control any limbs, her breathing was labored, she had a blank stare in her eyes, and she let out a meow. As if to say help me — please.

We rushed her to the emergency vet clinic, but to my utter devastation, on the drive, she let out a blood curdling cry & went completely limp as we frantically drove to the vet.

When we arrived, I literally ran in, and gave her to the nurse who whisked her into the back. After 10 minutes, a vet came out & told me that she that she was “DOA” and that there was nothing they could have done to save her. There was nothing I could have done to save her either.

The vet then explained to me that once a plane lands, the cargo compartment depressurizes & there is no longer climate control. She told me that she didn’t stand a chance in this freezing weather sitting in the Delta Cargo hold for almost 50 minutes.

I spent the rest of the night last night crying & more or less having a nervous breakdown. She died cold, lonely & scared. Her last hour of life was spent frozen & unable to escape. I am so utterly devastated — I cannot express to anyone how this feels. I am so sad for her, her little 11 week life lost for no reason. A tragedy that could have been prevented if the airline had valued her little promising life.

Delta didn’t have much to say to me last night & the “investigation” is now being handled by the Supervisor of Claims, (You know the person you call when they lose your luggage?) the bottom line is that they can’t bring her back to me or my family, there is nothing they can say or do to make this whole. We don’t want a new kitten; we fell in love with HER. She was our new child & there is nothing that can be done to bring her home to us. Snickers lost her life unnecessarily.

I just hope that by sending this, I can save someone else the devastation. If you travel allot with your pets or are buying an animal & live in a cold climate — PLEASE RETHINK YOUR FLIGHT WHEN IT IS BELOW 30 degrees.  You can put a pet in a climate controlled cargo, but if it depressurizes — IT IS NO LONGER CLIMATE CONTROLLED.

Please please please don’t let another animal die, be patient, let it warm up a bit. She just didn’t stand a chance against a cargo area that is utterly freezing with employees who are more concerned with getting luggage to their respective owners. Value life everyone, I have just experienced something I pray no one else has too. Don’t let Snickers lost life be in vain, I pray you guys read this & maybe another animals life won’t be lost to the cold & lonely Delta Cargo holds.  – Heather Lombardi

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Amazing Photos of Baby Koala Twins!

Posted on January 24, 2011. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , |

I got this in an e-mail from a family member and had to share these pictures!

– Michelle Brubaker

It is not common for a koala to have twins, and regrettably in this instance, the mom was struck and killed by a passing car. Fortunately, the driver stopped and took the mother to the local vet, hoping to save the creature, where it was discovered she had these twins in her pouch.

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Walk for a Cure for Canine Cancer

Posted on January 14, 2011. Filed under: 4. Guest Bloggers | Tags: , , , | was recently contacted by Magali Wright who suffered a terrible loss when her dog Teeka died from cancer last year. Awareness over the impact of this disease in animals is really starting to grow. Wright is now helping in the Canine Cancer Campaign by organizing a walk next month in San Marcos, California. She shares more of her story in this guest blog and how you can get involved by simply taking a walk.


One out of four dogs over the age of two dies due to cancer. This statistic never crossed my mind until I lost my dog, Teeka, two days after her 11th birthday in February 2010. Since then I have wanted to make a difference so our ‘furry kids’ can lead longer, healthier lives. I  did a lot of reseach and discovered Morris Animal Foundation and their Canine Cancer Campaign. They have made great advancements in the search for a cure but need our help in their continued efforts. I noticed that there were walks in other cities but not in my hometown which has many dog lovers. Therefore, I decided to organize San Diegos 1st Canine Cancer Cure Walk which will be held on 2/19/11 with 100% of proceeds going to MAF. You can walk with  or without a dog on the 1 mile trail. After you can visit with vendors, exhibits and listen to experts from our area discuss cancer prevention, wellness, cancer research and treatment and how to be an advocate for your dog’s health. All attending walkers will receive prize drawing tickets, a bandanna for their dog and an awareness band. -Magali Wright

Please join me in this cause by going to California K9 Cancer website. Once there just click on the yellow San Diego button to get to all the other links.

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Pet Friendly Reflective Wear

Posted on January 5, 2011. Filed under: 2. Fun Pet Stuff We're Trying | Tags: , , , , , |

With the dark cold mornings and nights of winter it can be dangerous getting out for a walk with our four legged friends. My husband insists on walking the dogs at five in the morning when it’s pitch black and we often go for an evening stroll when again… it’s pitch black. I often worry about being seen by drivers.

So I was pleased to test out the “see me” line of reflector products marketed by a company called Pat Bay International. Several of the reflectors are actually sleeves that easily slip around your dog’s collar, leash and even your hat. There’s also an adjustable reflective band that you can wrap around your waist and fasten with Velcro like a belt.

My husband, two dogs and I wore all of these products when we recently went for a walk after dinner. It only took a couple of minutes to put all the reflectors on. Once outside, every time a car drove by, its headlights caught the reflectors and made all four of us pop out against the night sky. The secret ingredient is 3M’s Scotchlite™. Normally we’d just try to wear light colored clothes, but these definitely seemed to give us an extra advantage to being seen and keeping safe.
These items are all priced very reasonably ($3.49 – $14.49). Click here for a short video of us trying out the products on our walk.

-Nina Jimenez

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