WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) filed the Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act (WOOFF) today to explicitly prohibit airlines from putting animals in danger by placing them in overhead baggage compartments. This bill directs the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to create regulations to prohibit the storing of a live animal in any overhead compartment of any flight in air transportation and establish civil fines for violations.
A French bulldog died Monday after a United Airlines flight attendant instructed the dog’s owner to place the dog in an overhead baggage compartment during a flight from Houston to New York. Sen. Kennedy sent a letter to United Airlines Wednesday demanding an official explanation.
“Pets are members of the family. Unfortunately, for our pets, they are at the mercy of human beings showing some common sense,” said Sen. Kennedy. “United Airlines is promising to put special tags on pet carriers to help flight attendants in the future. I’d rather make it the law that animals aren’t to be treated like an old piece of luggage.”
“Too many animals have died as a result of human neglect and carelessness,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “The Welfare of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF) Act is designed to protect the well-being of our beloved family members—our pets – when traveling.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that 24 animals died last year while in the care of major U.S. airlines.