PASADENA (CBSLA) — A Pasadena family wants answers after its 5-month-old puppy died on a flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles.
Bear was a purebred Central Asian Shepherd from Greece who was finally on his way to his new family in Pasadena. He had been a gift from a family friend.
But Bear did not survive the 11-hour flight on KLM Dutch Royal Airlines.
“I couldn’t go home that day,” Bear’s owner Andranik Avetisian said. “I don’t know what to say to my kids.”
To add insult to injury, Avetisian says the airline still has the dog’s body and won’t release it to the family.
“I want to see the puppy. I asked them to see the puppy,” Avetisian said. He says he wants to see the condition of the dog, but no one at the airlines will let him do that.
Attorney Evan Oshan says the family Bear have plans to file a police report if they don’t hear back from the airline.
In a statement, KLM confirmed that a dog was found dead in the cargo hold of the KL601 after a flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles on March 19 and expressed their condolences.
“In cooperation with the local health authority in the U.S., the Center for Disease Control, the dog was initially examined to ensure there was no immediately obvious public health threat. The dog was loaded correctly according to KLM’s pet policy. We have to wait for the results of the necropsy to determine the cause of death,” KLM said in the statement.
They said their cargo department was in contact with the dog’s owner and could not release further details about the investigation for reasons of customer confidentiality.