United Airlines passenger Barbara Gattetly was shocked when she looked out through the window and spotted a dog, inside a crate, sitting alone on the tarmac in the rain.
Despite alerting United Airlines, the dog remained unmoved for at least 30 minutes, while temperatures hovered around 40-degrees and rain poured down all around him. Disturbed by the airline’s lack of action, Barbara took to social media to share the story:
Evil United Airlines leaves dog on rainy cold runway for more than a half hour despite alerts to staff :-((((( boo pic.twitter.com/xcwVOxIpV9
— barbara (@theregoesbabs) December 28, 2014
The post immediately went viral, with some celebrity dog lovers, including Keith Olbermann and Australian pop singer Sia taking to Twitter in defense of the dog, too.
About an hour after first reporting the dog to United Airlines personnel, Gattetly said an employee finally picked up the crate and took the dog into the cargo hold area.
United Airlines’ Twitter responded to multiple complaints, saying ““Thanks for telling us. The weather can change & may have been clear when PetSafe dropped off. They’re the ones to call too.”
However, their unapologetic response, which shirks responsibility for the incident, instead placing blame onto their PetSafe program that handles transporting animals that don’t travel onboard their planes with owners, but must travel in the plane’s cargo hold.