Demand Justice for Pet Killed on United Airlines Flight

Target: Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Airlines

Goal: Accept full responsibility for negligent treatment of dog that died from exposure to extreme temperatures while under United Airlines care

Despite having a “PetSafe” program that promises to ensure the safety and comfort of all pet passengers, United Airlines killed Michael Jarobe’s Mastiff, Bam Bam in August of 2012. Through its “PetSafe” program, United Airlines promises that all pets will be in well ventilated and climate-controlled areas while they are not in flight. These promises were falsely advertised in the case of Jarobe and Bam Bam. Bam Bam died from negligence and failure to properly follow procedures; Bam Bam ultimately died from a heatstroke due to being exposed to extreme temperatures while under the care of United Airlines.

Although Jarobe saw firsthand the treatment Bam Bam received and United Airlines acknowledged that it did not fulfill the standards of its “PetSafe” program, United Airlines claims it is neither responsible nor at fault for Bam Bam’s death. After the incident, United Airlines provided Jarobe with results from Bam Bam’s autopsy. This autopsy determined that the cause of Bam Bam’s death was from a heart attack; the veterinarian who performed this autopsy was provided by United Airlines. Feeling skeptical about the autopsy, Jarobe had Bam Bam’s regular veterinarian conduct another autopsy. Bam Bam’s veterinarian was more than certain that he had died from a heatstroke rather than a heart attack. Jarobe has not been able to gain any justice or closure from Bam Bam’s death; United Airlines continues to deny any responsibility or involvement in Bam Bam’s death.

As a professional company that sells its “expertise” in traveling safety for both humans and animals, United Airlines has lost the trust of many. Not only did the company purposely ignore its own established procedures, but it refused to take any responsibility for consequences that resulted from its negligence. To add insult to injury, United Airlines insisted that it “compensated” Jarobe for his loss. This compensation came in the form of free travel vouchers. Jarobe felt as if he was being compensated for lost baggage or some other minor airline issue. Not only did United Airlines kill Jarobe’s pet, but it devalued Bam Bam’s life by offering to “compensate” Jarobe in such an offending manner. The only “compensation” Jarobe should be receiving from United Airlines is its acknowledgement that it was solely responsible for the death of his beloved pet.

If an airline company promises to treat its pet passengers in a certain manner, it should uphold these promises to the fullest extent. The lives of pets should not be taken lightly; pet owners are putting their complete faith in these companies to bring their pets to their destination safely. Pets are not baggage and should no longer be treated as such. Demand justice for Michael Jarobe and Bam Bam. Sign the petition below to urge United Airlines to claim full responsibility for Bam Bam’s death and to re-evaluate the procedures concerning its “PetSafe” program.


Dear Mr. Smisek,

By charging people for your “PetSafe” program, you should ensure that you completely follow all procedures advertised with this program. Do not make promises you cannot keep. Pet owners are trusting you to keep their pets safe and comfortable during their trip. The incident regarding the death of Michael Jarobe’s pet, Bam Bam, is heartbreaking. He trusted your company to safely handle his beloved pet and you were not able to do so. Your negligence and failure to follow the advertised procedures of your “PetSafe” program ultimately killed Bam Bam. It is even more heartbreaking that your company fails to accept any responsibility for Bam Bam’s death.

Despite several of your employees admitting to Jarobe that Bam Bam was not kept in the advertised climate-controlled areas while on layover, your company still denies any involvement in Bam Bam’s untimely death. Your company even attempted to “compensate” Jarobe with travel vouchers. Bam Bam was not a piece of lost luggage; no amount of travel vouchers can ever replace or amount to Bam Bam’s life.

Give Michael Jarobe the justice and closure he deserves. I am urging you to fully accept responsibility for Bam Bam’s death considering that it was the negligence of your company that ultimately killed him. Please take the action to reevaluate your “PetSafe” program and procedures. Do not falsely advertise a program to vulnerable pet owners if you are aware that all of the procedures regarding the program will not be followed. Bam Bam’s death was preventable and incidents like this should never happen again.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Pets are always at risk during air travel. I would never trust the airlines with my pet.

  2. Crystal Box says:

    If we an individuals treated our pets with the same inhumane treatment that Airlines do, we would be facing prison and fines. Why are the Airlines not held to the same standard?

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