United Airlines left a dog inside its crate on a runway in the rain, and a passenger decided to snap a photo of the lone animal. After sharing the image online, United is drawing fire for appearing to have left the neglected canine to sit forgotten on the tarmac.
United Airlines passenger Barbara Galletly took the picture and posted it on her Twitter page. The image has been retweeted over 1,100 times since it was posted Sunday morning.
The caption reads: "Evil United Airlines leaves dog on rainy cold runway for more than half an hour despite alerts to staff:-(((((boo"
The dog sat in the pouring down rain for at least 30 minutes before anyone moved the crate, as Gapyear reports.
A large number of Twitter users blasted United for allowing the animal to sit in cold, rainy weather. People demand the airline issue an apology. Others insist they'll boycott the commercial airline over this incident.
One Twitter user believes United Airlines leaving a dog on the runway in bad weather conditions could essentially be a PR disaster, writing, "Don't understand how an airline in 2014 doesn't know when a social media issue is about to break."
The photo of the dog went viral quickly. Australian pop singer, Sia, tweeted about her disgust at United by writing, "I will never fly @United again. Thanks @theregoesbabs for exposing their sh**** treatment of our beloved pets."
A United Airlines rep did respond to Galletly's tweet and all of the critics by citing unpredictable weather and placing blame on PetSafe.
"Thanks for telling us. The weather can change & may have been clear when PetSafe dropped off. They're the ones to call too."
PetSafe informs animal owners on their website that they take great care of their animals that are flying with United Airlines.
"United handles all specialty shipments, especially pets, with the greatest care. We understand the unique requirements of transporting animals, and we adhere to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations."
Animals being transported through PetSafe on United must "arrive at the designated drop-off area" two or three hours before their flight departs, depending on destination.
One commenter on Twitter lashed out at United when they mentioned PetSafe by saying they aren't the ones that have customers with "loyalty points."
"Rule one of social media as a company: no excuses. I don't have PetSafe loyalty points, United is the trusted brand."
On Monday morning, Barbara Galletly let Twitter followers know that the dog United Airlines had on the runway was put in cargo after an hour.
@United guy brought the dog into the cargo. After ~ an hour..."
[Photo Credit: @theregoesbabs via Twitter]