United Airlines confirmed to ABC News on Tuesday that a dog died on board a flight from Houston to New York on Monday after flight attendants requested that the passengers keep the dog in the overheard storage compartment.
According to a Facebook post by passenger June Lara, the dog belonged to a family, which included a young girl, a toddler and their mother on board the flight. Lara claimed that flight attendants said the dog would be safe inside the compartment for three hours during the flight.
"This little guy fought hard for his life, filling our flight with his cries until he finally ran out of breath," Lara wrote. "United Airlines does not care about the safety of their furry travelers. This poor family paid $125 for their pet to be murdered in front of them. There is no excuse for the pain this family is suffering."
United Airlines told ABC News it takes responsibility for the dog's death, but could not say whether anyone would be disciplined for Monday's incident.
"This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” United said in a statement. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”
According to United Airline policy, dogs are permitted on board flights as long as they are kept inside a kennel, which must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.