By Phyllis Lee
Last Thursday (7 September), Facebook user Shabana Mary Kuruvilla recounted a shocking incident about how her family’s dog passed away at the pets’ holding area in Changi Airport.
On 2 September, her family and dog were set for a flight to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, via Singapore Airlines (SIA).
The family had checked their four-year-and-seven-month-old American cocker spaniel in before the flight and prepared for it to be transported separately onto the plane. The dog was kept in a crate, and SIA staff were supposed to transport it onto the aircraft.
SIA states that pets are not permitted to travel in aircraft cabins, with the exception of medically-certified service dogs. Cats and certain breeds of dogs are allowed as checked baggage.
When the family went through the boarding gate, they were told that their dog had some mucus, and was asked if they wanted to see it. As having mucus is normal for a dog, the family decided against seeing the dog as they feared a meeting would make it feel even more anxious.
After the family boarded the flight, the pilot announced that there was a pet on board.
However, it was only after they had completed the immigration procedures in Ho Chi Minh two hours later when SIA staff told them that their dog had passed away – and that it wasn’t even on the plane with them.
Ms Shabana said in her post: “We were told that the gates had closed and they did not want to delay the flight and that is why they felt they should not inform us.”
They then took the next flight back to Singapore to collect the dog’s body.
Photos in the Facebook post showed that the dog’s cotton wee pad in the crate was chewed up, and its paw was also bloody.
The family believes that their dog suffered a heart attack from stress, and claimed that SIA did not take proper care of it.
This was not the first time their dog had flown on a plane. The family has since made a police report.
SIA is currently investigating this matter.