Family Dog Dies Due to Excessive Heat Aboard Flight

Following the tragic loss of their dog, which overheated on an Alaska Airlines flight out of Hawaii, a couple is demanding new regulations to protect animals during air travel.

Tragically, a four-year-old French bulldog named Frank passed away on Sunday, June 30, before a trip from Honolulu to Oregon. 

Gary and Angie Engelgau said that they asked airport workers and Alaska Airlines employees to allow them to remove their “distressed” and panting dog from his carrier, but they were denied.

Gary, the French Bulldog Frank, his sister Charlie, and Fawn, their Beagle-Chihuahua, were involved in the bizarre event as they waited to board their flight. They were excited to start a new life in Oregon after departing the Aloha State.

By the time the Oregonians reached Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 10 a.m., temperatures had risen over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They worried that this would be hard on their kenneled dogs.

They requested permission to remove their pets from the kennels, but the officials denied them. According to Angie, with the exception of the airport’s hybrid indoor/outdoor “pet relief area,” animals are not permitted to be loose from their carriers.

After exhausting all other options, the couple discreetly removed the dogs from their kennels for a brief forty-minute break, during which they provided them with water and kept them shaded.

They requested the Alaska Airlines flight attendants remove the dehydrated dogs from their kennels as soon as they entered the plane, but they were denied. Per AA rules, pets must remain in their cages only in boarding areas, taxis, takeoffs, and landings.

Frank had already passed away when his frantic owners attempted to use ice to calm their bulldog down.

Angie, who was visibly distressed, said that they should have allowed the pet out of his kennel when he was obviously in “distress.” She plans on becoming somewhat of an activist to have the rules changed in order to save pet’s lives.

She is pleading with airlines to “make a change” after Frank’s sad demise.

United Airlines was responsible for more than 40% of the 112 pet fatalities reported by airlines to the Department of Transportation between 2015 and 2020.