PASADENA—A Pasadena family wants answers after their five-month-old puppy died en route on Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) from Amsterdam to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The purebred central Asian shepherd, known as Bear was sent from his birth home by family friends in Athens, Greece, as a gift to Andranik Avetisian’s children in Pasadena, California.
The dog was initially examined by authorities to ensure no warning signs of health problems, a procedure conducted by airlines for animal travel. The Avetisian family has not been able to locate or view the dogs body for six days after he was found dead on March 19.
The children, Alex, and Ani received regular pictures and video updates of their puppy before his flight departure to LAX.
“In cooperation with the local health authority in the U.S., the Center for Disease Control, the dog was initially examined to ensure there was no immediately obvious public health threat. The dog was loaded correctly according to KLM’s pet policy. We have to wait for the results of the necropsy to determine the cause of death,” KLM indicated in a statement.
Evan Oshan the Avetisian’s lawyer, plans to seek action from the Airport Police and the district attorney.
“We want a criminal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Bear,” said Oshan at a press conference on Monday, March 25.
A KLM spokesperson responded to the incident during a press conference on Monday, March 25 stating:
“We take matters of animal welfare very seriously. KLM’s Cargo Department is in contact with the owner of the dog, and for reasons of customer confidentiality, we cannot release further details around the current investigation.”