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Air travel for pets has long been a hotly debated topic among pet owners. While some swear they would never ship their beloved pets like cargo, others counter that sometimes it simply cannot be avoided.

Our Pug, Gunner in his travel bag at the airport.

The airline rules for pets are as follows. If you have a pet under 20 pounds, they can accompany you in the cabin in a pre-approved airline animal carrier. However, that means any of your precious animals above 20 pounds are shipped as cargo, (in the belly of the plane where the luggage goes).

Extreme heat and cold are usually the most significant risks to animals when they travel in cargo, so it’s probably ideal to avoid flying during seasonal extremes, if you can. And as much as the airlines try to avoid issues, accidents happen and even one death is too many. I’m sure you would agree if it was your pet.

Change.org now has a petition asking the airlines to provide a safe space inside the cabin for your pets. A separate place on designated flights, for dogs who exceed the size requirement to travel in a carrier that fits under the seat.

The petition cites many cases where a beloved pet has died at the hands of an airline that has not provided a safe environment for pets to travel. Realizing the airlines may need added cost to make the changes, it states most pet owners would happily pay extra to insure their pet’s safety.

If you would like to read more about this issue… or add your name to the petition, you can do that HERE:

Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .