Pasadena family’s dog dies in airplane cargo hold
PASADENA — The owners of a family pet are demanding answers Tuesday after their dog died during a flight from Europe to Los Angeles.
Bear, a 5-month-old purebred Central Asian Shepherd, was found dead in the cargo hold of a KLM jet a week ago, ABC7 reported.
According to KLM Dutch Royal Airlines, the puppy did not survive his transatlantic trip from Amsterdam to Los Angeles International Airport, where the plane arrived on March 19.
The purebred had been en route from his birth home in Greece to his new family, the Avetisians in Pasadena.
Family friends in Athens had gifted him to the Avetisian children, Alex and Ani, who had been getting regular updates with pictures and videos.
“We were waiting for months to get that puppy and give him some love — my kids were waiting,” said the children’s father, Andranik Avetisian. “I don’t know. It is very difficult. It is very hard for me.”
Aggravating the family’s loss is what they say is a lack of answers from KLM. The family said they have been unable to view the dog’s body, retrieve it or even find out where it is now.
KLM said the dog’s body was initially examined to ensure there was no public health threat, and the airline issued a statement that said, in part:
“We take matters of animal welfare very seriously. KLM’s Cargo Department is in contact with the owner of the dog, and for reasons of customer confidentiality, we cannot release further details around the current investigation.”
Avetisian’s lawyer, Evan Oshan, said he may seek action from the Airport Police and the district attorney.