United Airlines ends discriminatory policy

It didn’t take long for United Airlines to respond to the outpouring of public sentiment regarding the ban on pit-bull-type dogs and other breeds that the airline imposed in March of this year.

Thanks, Jessie!

On May 8th, thanks to the efforts of a Hawaiian pit bull terrier owner, Jessie Huart, who started a petition on Change.org, as well as the support of Best Friends Animal Society and our members who helped the petition grow to 45,000 names, United’s skies became friendly once again.

Why it matters

This policy reversal matters for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that canine profiling of the type reflected in the ban simply perpetuates stereotypes that serve no purpose and, in fact, undermine safety and security. A dog’s appearance, which is what the ban was based on, provides zero information about that dog’s behavior. Dogs are individuals and display as much variation in behavior within a breed group as between different breeds.

The policy change also matters to hundreds of thousands of pet owners who want to travel with their pets, military families traveling from overseas with their dogs, and animal organizations that arrange the transport of rescued dogs to receiving organizations and individuals across the country.

Bottom line — the policy change enhances safety, saves lives, and removes myth-based obstacles for responsible pet owners.

Thumbs up to United Airlines for listening to their customers and doing the right thing for the animals.

Julie Castle with Sunny the dog
Julie Castle
Best Friends Animal Society