United Airlines Bans Dog BreedsPublished March 13, 2012
American Staffordshire Terrier: Getty Images
If you have a Pit Bull terrier, an American Staffordshire terrier, or any other canine deemed to be a “dangerous" breed, the “friendly” skies of United Airlines is no longer living up to it's famous motto.
Following its merger with Continental Airlines last week, United Airlines adopted Continental’s discriminatory pet policies and announced that nine different dog breeds will no longer be permitted to fly on their airplanes:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Presa Canario
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Dogo Argentino
- Cane Corso
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
- Ca de Bou
The carrier is the only United States airline that prohibits certain breeds based simply on their reputation for being “dangerous."
United Airline's PetSafe program enforces a Dangerous Dog Breed Restriction based only on the appearance and the breed, but not the behavior of these dogs.
While the National Animal Control Association, the Humane Society of the United States and The American Veterinary Medical Association maintain that a dog's physical appearance is not a good predictor of aggressive behavior, and these kinds of restrictive and discriminatory policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization, the United Airlines ban remains in force.
Not only do policies like this one prevent responsible owners of these breeds from flying with their dogs, it serves to promulgate the popular myths and misunderstandings about these canines.
These misconceptions have lead to the needless death of thousands of dogs which fall into the “dangerous” category.
This writer feels that this arbitrary policy concerning specific breeds is both prejudicial and unfair profiling. Are all Pit Bulls vicious? Are all Akitas dangerous?
Most dog lovers will agree that without good training any breed can fall into the “dangerous” category.
Since all pets, when frightened, can react aggressively, will the next “logical” step be to ban all dogs from flying with their owners? Isn’t it more appropriate to judge a dog as an individual based on its personality and temperament?
But since United Airlines is listening closely to customer feedback during its adjustment to their recent merger, if you disagree with the present canine policy you can help.
You can join thousands of folks who have signed Huart's change.org petition requesting United Airlines to drop their breed-discriminatory policy and restore their dog- friendly skies.
What do you think about United Airline’s new canine policy? Tell us with a comment.