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American Humane Implores Airlines to Not Abandon Pets During Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, May 7, 2020 — President and CEO of American Humane, Dr. Robin R. Ganzert, today issued the following statement in response to news reports that domestic airlines are limiting and, in some instances, stopping the transport of pets:

“We are deeply troubled that some U.S. airlines, which routinely fly pets in cargo, may be using this terrible economic and public health crisis to permanently ground domestic pet travel. As airlines continue to safely fly people across the country and the world, we see no reason why pets are being embargoed from cargo travel. Cargo travel for mid- to full-size pets is essential as in many cases they are prohibited from flying in the cabin. When so many of our four-legged friends are being abandoned across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we find it especially heartbreaking that airlines are also walking away from our beloved animals. We implore all domestic air carriers to do the right thing and ensure pets are not needlessly separated from their families, now or in the future.”

A sampling of current airline pet policies reveals United Airlines suspended all pets in cargo and military pet transportation until further notice; American Airlines has suspended checked (cargo) pet transportation, but will still take pets, service animals, and emotional support animals in the cabin if they meet requirements; and, that Delta put a pet cargo embargo in place on April 1 with exceptions for U.S. military and diplomat pets, and service and support animals that cannot be accommodated in the passenger cabin.

American Humane is the largest certifier of animal welfare in the world, and steadfastly believes in independent audits of animal operations and standards set by the world’s leading scientists and welfare. To that end, in 2018 American Humane developed a comprehensive set of protocols for the safe transport of pets.

About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare, and well-being of animals, and our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and people. For more information or to support our work, please visit

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