Dogs take the long way home via air to Bridgewater
By Matthew Santoni
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
What was supposed to be a five-hour nonstop flight for a Bridgewater resident's two dogs ended up taking three flights and 30 hours before a reunion at Pittsburgh International Airport on Sunday evening.
“I haven't slept for two days. This has literally made me sick,” said Michael Branigan, 52, whose wife put his two purebred 3-year-old boxers on a cargo flight from Los Angeles late Saturday morning before a canceled flight, a missed connection and tarmac delays sent them on a journey to four cities.
Branigan moved from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh in January for work with the Bruster's chain of ice cream shops and hoped that United Airlines' PetSafe service could ship Sarge, a brown and black male, and Scout, a brindle female, on a direct flight from LAX to Pittsburgh departing early Saturday afternoon and arriving Saturday night.
Per United's rules, the dogs had to be put in kennels and shipped in the climate-controlled areas of passenger planes' cargo holds.
But the flight from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh was canceled, so Branigan said he gave permission for the dogs to go to San Francisco for another direct flight to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Once they got there, however, Branigan said he was told the kennels were mishandled and the dogs missed the last flight from San Francisco to Pittsburgh until 10 p.m. Sunday.
Airline spokeswoman Mary Clark said the dogs were then transferred to Houston, where there was an earlier flight to Pittsburgh and a PetSafe facility where the dogs could be let out of their kennels and fed. That flight was delayed two hours before departing.
“While there were a lot of things that happened here, the PetSafe people are working and looking for the best alternatives,” Clark said. She said PetSafe representatives would work with Branigan to settle his complaint.
Sarge and Scout were reunited with Branigan outside United's passenger terminal at 7:10 p.m. Sunday, appearing slightly disoriented and thirsty but otherwise all right, Branigan said.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former PPG executive indicted in fatal N.H. crash
- Wilkinsburg woman, 24, dies in crash
- Trial begins in Steelers stabbing
- Landmark former school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to incubate startups
- Post 9/11 veterans lend skills to community leadership course
- Proposal to drill in West Deer and Frazer draws comments from both sides
- Democrats consider Pittsburgh for 2016 national convention
- Wuerl tells faithful all Catholics are responsible for schools
- 4-car crash near Fox Chapel snarls Route 28 traffic
- Newsmaker: Leah Pileggi
- Bullied South Fayette student’s case prompts wiretap overhaul legislation