– In one of the most troubling cases the Daily Dog has encountered in recent times, a Queensland man’s dog died earlier this year on a Virgin Airlines flight – due to what an autopsy revealed were preventable causes.
Sharn Quarterman from Queensland engaged Jetpets to transport his Australian Bulldog “Charlie” from Perth to Coolangatta in February this year – but a formerly healthy Charlie inexplicably died in transit.
Mr Quarterman drove Charlie to the airport, gave him a walk and a drink and then delivered him to Jetpets to place him on the evening Virgin Airlines flight. Charlie’s flight cost an expensive $680, but that’s just one example of the love, time and care Mr Quarterman obviously lavished on his best mate; Sharn had even rented a house close to walking tracks whilst working in Perth, so he could take Charlie for regular walks.
On February 16, the day after the two-year-old dog died on the flight from Perth to Coolangatta, Matraville Veterinary Hospital in Sydney undertook an autopsy to determine Charlie’s cause of death.
Dr Nima Rahmani found Charlie’s “lungs were collapsed and shrunk completely” and put his death down to “heat stress and respiratory exhaustion”. On the night of the flight, temperatures in Perth were still around 40 degrees Celsius – meaning extra care should have been given to Charlie and any other animal flying that night.
So what have the two Companies involved done to assist Mr Quarterman through his grief? Well Virgin at least have said they are investigating the matter, whereas Jetpets would only say the matter is being handled by their lawyers. At pups4sale we do understand the legal implications implicit in offering an apology in such matters – but a note of sympathy at least? A phone call of regret? Has our society become so callous that all Jetpets can think of doing is call in its lawyers?
As Sharn’s Solicitors have rightly pointed out, dogs are our friends – not our furniture.
Tracey Jackson, of Couper Geysen Family and Animal Law, which is representing Mr Quarterman, said businesses that dealt with pets needed to understand how precious they were to their owners.
“They need to treat them as irreplaceable members of a family – not property,” Mrs Jackson said.
Here, here we say. We hope Mr Quarterman receives a substantial damages payout from both Companies for the terrible trauma and loss he has suffered – and which the autopsy on Charlie suggests they put him through too in his final, desperate hours. At pups4sale we encourage our readers to take note of the awful experience Mr Quarterman has gone through should you need to put your best friend/s in the care of animal transport Companies. No matter how big or reputable such Companies are, remember it’s your family member they’re in charge of. Put them on notice they had darn well better look after your dog/s like royalty at the same time you hand over your hard-earned money to them.
We’ll keep you posted on Mr Quarterman’s case as further developments occur.