United Airlines has third dog-related mishap in a week

Source Louis Nastro  Reuters

The flight from Newark was scheduled to arrive in St. Louis on Thursday, but it instead landed in OH, because a dog was mistakenly put on board.

United flight 3996 from Newark to St. Louis was diverted to Akron, Ohio to drop off the pet.

Already under scrutiny about a dog dying in an overhead bin and another dog being accidentally sent to Japan, United Airlines on Friday acknowledged its third animal-related mistake in a week.

The airline said in a statement to ABC that all passengers on the flight were compensated over the diversion.

"We chose the fastest option to reunite the dog with his family", said United spokesman Jonathan Guerin.

Kokito's death wasn't the first pet death under United Airlines' wing.

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The family heard the tiny French bulldog whimper and bark mid-flight, but were prevented from getting up to help him due to turbulence. When the flight landed, the family discovered that Kokito had died.

"Make no bones about it, United is in the doghouse", the Manhattan state senator said from LaGuardia Airport, where she announced "Kokito's Law". Other passengers also reported that flight attendants insisted that the animal would be safe for the trip.

The plane diverted to Akron so that the dog could be delivered to its owner. "As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident".

The family was reconnected with their dog on Saturday. Turns out United has a particularly awful track record when it comes to safely transporting pets.

And the Harris County District Attorney's Office, in Texas, told a local news outlet that its animal-cruelty task force would conduct an investigation into the death.

"I don't want this to ever happen again", she said.

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