How Not To Travel With Cats

Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty for Packing Their Kitten in Checked Luggage

By Si Si Penaloza

Who thinks putting an animal in checked luggage is okay?

A couple in Florida apparently. The pair has been charged with animal cruelty for stowing their young cat in a piece of checked luggage while traveling through Erie International Airport in Pennsylvania on New Year’s Day. Olivia Sari and Nicholas Larrison, both 21, were heading home to Tampa, Florida after the Christmas holidays when their six-month-old cat, named Slim, was found stowed in a piece of luggage filled with clothes and other items. The airport baggage inspection system alerted Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials that the bag required extra checks, reports the Erie Times-News. Staff opened the bag to find the feline inside.

Ian Bogle, the airport’s director of public safety and facilities, called it “a poor decision made on the customers’ part,” according to Erie Times-News.The couple was charged with transporting animals in a cruel manner, specifically since the cat was placed inside the bag “without food, water or air.” The good news is, Slim has been transferred to the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania, where we hope the cat will be placed in a stable new home after his ordeal.

How we think cats should travel!

Swift justice for Slim.

The passengers were caught red handed trying to cram their live cat in with their checked luggage. We applaud that charges were laid swiftly and Slim is on his way to a more secure home. We have heard about smuggling baby tigers in luggage in Thailand, and as disgraceful as that is, that’s clear criminal poaching – exploitation of animals for financial gain. A tad easier to wrap one’s head around, desperate or greedy people do unspeakable things to survive or thrive. This case involves a couple and presumably their pet, a kitten that they likely think they love. So is there just not enough education and awareness about traveling with pets? We think not, this happened in 2017 and pet research is an Alexa query away. Me thinks this is a case of laziness, frugality or Millennial we-didn’t-think-ahead-let’s-just-wing-it throw caution to the wind-itis.

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