I debated whether or not to share this story because it’s so emotional but I decided to because it’s an important story for others to be aware of. First, knowing about this can prevent it from happening to you and secondly, I hope it puts pressure on the airlines to ensure they don’t make this mistake again.

A Golden Retriever died on Gol Airlines when he was placed on the wrong flight.The video was posted by @jfantazzini and then reposted on @aflyguytravels who wrote, “We are trying to bring more attention to this story, to get more media outside of Brazil to pick it up. Please share this reel both on IG and as well on FB its posted on A Fly Guy’s Cabin Crew Lounge.”

A Fly Guy posted the heartbreaking video with the caption: The Heartbreaking Moment: A Man Is Reunited With His Lifeless Dog That Was Killed After Brazil’s Gol Airlines Sent The Beloved Companion To The Wrong City

The man is João Fantazzini, who was to travel on a short flight with his dog and best friend, Joca. According to A Fly Guy, “Fantazzini took every precaution to ensure Joca’s comfort and safety for the 2.5-hour journey, making sure he was medically cleared and well-fed. However, due to a grave error by the airline, Joca was sent on a much longer journey to the far north of Brazil.”

“The airline’s negligence didn’t end there. Joca was left unattended on the tarmac, exposed to the elements and temperatures around 31°C (88°F) for over an hour before being returned to São Paulo. This travel ordeal lasted over 8 hours, and when he arrived back in GRU, the airline continued to neglect Joca’s well-being, failing to provide him with proper veterinarian care for several hours. Tragically, Joca paid the ultimate price for the airline’s mistake. Despite Fantazzini’s desperate attempts to reunite with his beloved pet, he was met with devastating news upon his return to São Paulo, his best friend was dead. Fantazzini’s grief is immeasurable as he mourns the loss of his loyal companion, while Brazil shares in his outrage over this senseless act of animal neglect, with even the president of the country joining in the fight to demand better for pets traveling on Brazil’s airlines.”

According to the Daily Mail, Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) said, ‘The dog died because he spent eight hours without drinking water, trapped inside the plane. I think Gol has to be accountable. I think Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) has to monitor this, and I think we cannot allow this to continue happening in Brazil.’

I grew up with dogs and my siblings all have one so I know how close people get to their beloved pets. When my childhood dog died in my arms when I was 18, I was heartbroken and depressed for a long time. It’s been over 30 years and I still think of him.

Reading this story makes me understand why so many people pretend their dogs are service animals; they don’t want to take the chance of having the same thing happen to them.

If you do have to check a dog, VCA Animal Hospitals has a long list of advice including:

“If possible, avoid flying your dog as “checked luggage” during times when temperatures on the ground are likely to be below 40ºF (4°C) or above 80ºF (21°C).  Although ambient temperatures are controlled in holding areas, vehicles used to transport luggage are not sheltered from the elements. When your pet travels as manifest cargo, transport vehicles are temperature controlled and are handled by trained personnel.”

“Take direct flights whenever possible and try to avoid connections and layovers.”

“Avoid the busiest travel times so airline personnel will have extra time to handle your dog.”

Conde Nast Traveler also has some valuable information including this: “If the dog is flying as cargo, make sure to attach a current photo of her to the outside of the carrier, as well as a small bag of food so airline personnel can feed it in case of a long delay. Keep a current photo of your dog handy on your phone, too, in case the airline accidentally “misplaces” your pet—it’s not likely, but it’s better to be prepared.”

This is such a tragic story and my heart breaks for the dog’s owner. I hope his story can help prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.

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3 Comments On "Heartbreaking: Golden Retriever dies after airline sends pet to wrong airport and doesn’t give him water"
  1. Earl B.|

    Simply horrific. And this is exactly why we have dogs and other pets in the main cabin, with all the problems that has entailed. (No pun intended. Well, maybe a little pun intended.) As much as I dislike sharing the cabin with pets, I cannot in good conscience insist that my fellow passengers consign their pets to the cargo hold. The risk of a dead pet is just too high. The first airline that can reliably and safely transport pets from city to city without drama at a fair price (and without imposing upon the non-pet-owning public) should make a fortune. I hope it happens soon.

  2. LaVerne Parks|

    My heart goes out to the owners. Your in my prayers.

  3. Anonymous|

    OMG. This makes my heart hurt. I hope the dogs owners SUE that airline. I’m SO sorry for your loss.

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