PHOTO: Kathleen Considine is mourning the loss of her golden retriever, Jacob. (Photo via Flickr/Magnus Brath)
An Oregon woman has called out United Airlines, blaming the carrier for the death of her seven-year-old golden retriever.
In a post to Facebook Friday, Kathleen Considine said her dog, Jacob, was traveling from Detroit to Portland when what was supposed to be a brief one-hour layover in Chicago became a 20-hour kennel experience without food.
"The word needs to get out that airline travel is unsafe for dogs," wrote Considine. "They are treated like baggage instead of loyal, loving family members."
Considine said that Jacob, who passed a mandatory physical 24 hours before the flight and had no previous health concerns, was "disoriented and non-responsive" by the time he finally arrived in Portland and died shortly after visiting the emergency veterinarian back home in central Oregon.
The Michigan native was critical of the airline's response to Jacob's death, accusing the Chicago-based carrier of "assuming zero responsibility for the death of my best friend" and calling its PetSafe program "cruel."
United responded to the accusations in a statement, extending condolences to Considine and saying it's been in touch with her since the incident.
"We were deeply saddened to hear of Jacob's passing after we returned him to the care of his owner," United said in a statement to Detroit's Local 4 News. "Our PetSafe team is committed to the safety and comfort of all the pets that travel with us."
"We worked to ensure Jacob's comfort throughout his entire journey and he showed no signs of distress nor behave in a way that would suggest he was unwell while in our care. Though we understand little can ease the grief that accompanies the loss of a pet, we've been in touch with Ms. Considine to offer our condolences and discuss this matter further."