A recent incident at Laguardia Airport has caused Continental to re-evaluate its pet policy for transporting certain breeds in cargo through its Safe Pets Plan. On June 23, a pit bull escaped from its cargo crate and caused minor disruption on the runway before jumping into Flushing Bay and eluding New York and New Jersey Port Authority officials for 40 minutes before capture.
As a result of this incident, Continental’s Pet Safe Program will be amended in several ways. They will no longer allow the following breeds in cargo after 6 months of age or 20 pounds (whichever comes first):
Pit Bull Terriers
American Staffordshire Terriers
Perro de Presa Canario
Additionally, Continental will be comparing all paperwork associated with the animal (health certificate, titre test, rabies vaccination, etc.) to be sure that the breed reference is correct and consistent. This action is to assure the safety of the animals, passengers, and employees.
Owners of breeds that are considered dangerous need to be concerned about this policy change. Pet and passenger safety is of primary concern to the airlines. Obviously, many of these stronger breeds cannot be confined in a plastic cargo crate. Changes that will insure that events do not reoccur must happen in order for pet owners to be able to transport their pets safely.