LOS ANGELES -- Heather Lombardi paid nearly $300 to fly Snickers, an 11-week-old, 3-pound hairless kitten, from Utah to Connecticut in climate-controlled air cargo.
By the time kitten and owner united, Snickers was icy cold and couldn't move her head or paws, Lombardi said. The kitten died a short time later.
"I feel so guilty. We sat there for nearly an hour. If I'd known, I would have thrown a fit," said Lombardi, who was flying Snickers home from a breeder. "We just sat there. We had no idea she was dying."
The Department of Transportation tracks animal deaths in transit, but no one keeps tabs on how many die of cold or heat in cargo holds or elsewhere, said veterinarian Louise Murray, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City.