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.

(credit: CBS)

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.

Comments (22)
  1. Carol White says:

    Dutch are very bull headed. It is in their DNA. No to mention very cheap. That is where the saying “ Going Dutch “ comes from.

  2. Kenneth Jackson Roberts says:

    I bet that the airline hurt the dog and then killed it before they landed and would not give the body to the owners to avoid a lawsuit….

    1. Michael Woods says:

      If the family has the means I would strongly suggest that they sue that airline to hell and back! They are unquestionably covering up malfeasance…

    2. Not likely.KLM is major in the business of animal transport and has been for decades. There are legal issues, like in whose airspace did the dog die, along with why, and KL doesn’t want to be the victim of foul play. Nobody set out to kill a puppy.

  3. Mary Wright Pippert says:

    If I ever take my dog on a flight I will buy her a ticket.

    1. Lester Pennington says:

      Enough with the dogs and other animals on airplane flights. Get to where you’re going and leave the pets at home.

      1. Barnett Bob says:

        Hey Moron-the owners were having it shipped to them. They weren’t even on the plane.

  4. Next thing will be the airline says the body has already been destroyed.

  5. Tango Victor says:

    Imagine the whining if airlines refused to transport live animals.

  6. Paul Roberts says:

    What right does the airline have to keep someone else’s property? Is the airline breaking the law?

  7. KLM…KilL’eM,,, just saying.

    1. Why would you say that? What airline in the world has the most respect in Animal transport of all types, so much to there s an animal hotel at the cargo area of Amsterdam’s airport belonging to KLM.

  8. John Carson says:

    He wouldn’t go home to his kids, because he didn’t want to face their disappointment?

    Congrats on not being a dad. At all.

    1. Thom Jones says:

      The crew forgot to heat the cargo hold and the dog died from exposure to freezing temps for the 11 hour flight

  9. RBennett Gard says:

    Meanwhile a Pit Bull on the flight has lawyered up and is refusing to talk to investigators..

  10. Michael Leonard says:

    Didn’t realize there was such a dog shortage in the united states.

    1. CJ Osborne says:

      Michael Leonard: All animals are G_d’s creatures! This poor beast died, alone, suffering unknown pain, with no relief and no comfort. How you can be blasé about that level of suffering is mind-boggling. Also, it was expensive to transport that animal (much higher when they travel separate from their owner). The airline is DISGUSTING! I would never use BLM EVER for any reason (not just for what they did to that poor animal, but their ARROGANT attitude).

      I suppose you are also against spouses coming from foreign nations, since we have an abundance of single males and females in this country? Your cold indifference is unfortunate, disappointing, snarky, and callous.

  11. Thomas Orlando says:

    Perhaps the dog did not die, but one of the flight attendants decided to take it home.

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