I don’t actively go out and search for petitions to sign, but this one landed on my doorstep in the form of an email and I had to go and pass it on. I feel that animal rights is a bigger, more important issue than people often treat it and it’s something we all need to fight for. Our animals are not only our friends and companions in life but also beloved family members.
Breeds like pit bulls have only earned a bad reputation because of the way they’ve been treated and trained by humans. If a pit bull was a complete monster incapable of loyalty, then he wouldn’t be obeying his cruel trainers in the first place. Pit bulls are just as capable of love and gentleness as any other dog breed out there. Exhibit A.
Surgeon’s Warning: Clicking on the above link may result in procrastination through hours of clicking on adorable animal videos in the related videos column.
Now here is the email I received describing the situation:
United Airlines — of the famous “Fly the Friendly Skies” slogan — just got a lot less dog-friendly. Last week, the company decided that some dogs can’t fly with their families, because United doesn’t like the way they look.
The airline has singled out nine different breeds of dog as “dangerous,” judging pets on their appearance instead of how they behave. These kinds of breed discriminatory policies fuel the misconceptions about dogs like pit bulls that lead to breed bans and the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs.
Jessie Huart discovered the policy when she was trying to book a ticket to travel with her dog, a 10-year-old pit bull named Slaw. She was told by the airline that because he’s a pit bull, Slaw couldn’t go, so she started a petition on Change.org to ask United to treat all dogs equally, regardless of breed. Click here to add your name to Jessie’s petition.
These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression. And public officials are starting to listen to the outcry for more effective, breed-neutral policies, too — just last month, the country’s only statewide breed discriminatory law was repealed in Ohio. But canine profiling in a major company like United could turn that tide back against the dogs.
United Airlines adopted the discriminatory policy last week when it merged with Continental Airlines, making it the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that labels some dog breeds as “dangerous.” But while United is still adjusting to its merger with Continental, the company is listening closely to customer feedback. If thousands of dog-loving United customers sign Jessie’s petition, the airline will have to listen — sending a strong message to other companies and lawmakers that breed discrimination isn’t the way to go.
Sign Jessie’s Change.org petition asking United to make the skies dog-friendly by dropping its breed-discriminatory policy.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Stephanie and the Change.org team
P.S. Can anyone tell me how in the heck a dog is supposed to harm anyone on an airplane if he’s in a cage and likely sedated by his own master to reduce stress?