POSTED: 08:51 a.m. HST, May 11, 2012
CHICAGO >> A Hawaii woman’s online petition prompted United Airlines to change its policy and allow nine breeds of dogs to fly on United flights.
“I am thrilled that United listened to their customers,” Huart said in a news release. “This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination.”
Chicago-based United, which merged with Continental Airlines, adopted Continental’s PetSafe program on March 3. It has a number of perks for flying dogs and cats.
But the program also used what critics called “canine profiling,” restricting dogs from flying on United flights based solely on their breed — a restriction the former United Airlines didn’t have. The nine restricted breeds were: Pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, ca de bou, cane corso, dogo Argentino, fila Brasileiro, perro de presa canario, presa canario and tosa (or tosa ken).
Huart’s online petition at Change.org received nearly 46,000 signatures.
In response, United changed its policy, effective April 24. It no longer bans the nine breeds but requires them to be transported in reinforced crates.
“As a result of feedback, United will now accept previously restricted breeds of dogs,” United said in a statement. However, the dogs must be in a non-plastic, reinforced crate that meets certain container requirements. Details are online at: tinyurl.com/united-pets.