WASHINGTON, D.C. – United Airlines, the world’s largest airline, has removed an embargo on nine breeds of dog they deemed “dangerous”. Under the revised policy, the previously restricted breeds can now fly in reinforced crates.
The policy shift follows a campaign on Change.org started by Hawaii resident Jessie Huart after her 10-year-old pit bull was denied travel. United was the only US-based airline to label breeds “dangerous” in its pet policy.
“I am thrilled that United listened to their customers and over 45,000 petition signers and changed their pet restriction policy,” said Huart, who launched the campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change. “This change is a victory for responsible dog owners everywhere at a time when many are facing breed discrimination.”
“All dogs, regardless of breed, should be able to fly safely,” Huart added. “The new requirement of reinforced crates improves the safety of the dogs and is something United should consider extending to all large dogs.”
Huart’s campaign was also supported by Best Friends Animal Society, a nonprofit organization which runs the country’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Last month, Best Friends Animal Society wrote United Airlines urging the company to judge dogs based on their individual behaviors.
“We welcome this enlightened decision, which will immeasurably benefit pit bulls, pit mixes and other dogs,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society, who had submitted a letter of concern to United Airlines. “It demonstrates an understanding that while dogs of these breeds may be strong, they still can be safely handled and transported when treated well.”