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Flying force makes modifications to pet travel in wake of dog’s death in Japan


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People attend the opening ceremony for the renovated Yokota Passenger Terminal at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 13, 2022.

Individuals participate in the opening event for the remodelled Yokota Traveler Terminal at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 13, 2022. (Hannah Bean/U. S. Flying Force).

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan– The Flying force stated it’s making modifications at its air terminals worldwide to protect taking a trip family pets after a household’s dog passed away in transit July 1 in Japan.

For the remainder of the summertime, Air Movement Command will permit taking a trip family pets into climate-controlled terminals when the outdoors temperature level reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a post Wednesday on the command’s main Facebook page. Summer season is when numerous military households transfer to their brand-new responsibility stations.

Traveler terminals run by the 515th Air Movement Operations Wing throughout the Indo-Pacific likewise will save animals in a climate-controlled environment as they await their flights, Maj. Hope Cronin, a spokesperson for Air Movement Command at Scott Flying Force Base, Ill., stated in an e-mail Wednesday.

The dog, Kolbie, a 10-year-old Pomeranian mix, passed away of heat stroke on the Patriot Express throughout its leg in between Yokota Air Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, both in Japan. The dog’s owners, Amber Marie Panko and Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Panko, faulted airplane handlers at Yokota in western Tokyo for leaving the dog in a garage throughout a stopover. The Pankos had actually gotten here in Japan after a 12-hour flight from Seattle.

“Gen. Mike Minihan, Air Movement Command leader, and the leader of the 730th Air Movement Squadron, personally connected to the Panko household to extend their acknowledgements at the loss of Kolbie, get extra information on what happened, and ensure them that all procedures are being required to make sure AMC Patriot Express objectives are as safe as possible for households taking a trip with family pets,” stated the command’s declaration on Facebook.

The 730th Air Movement Squadron is bring back power to a surrounding, momentary terminal center at Yokota to supply extra locations for households with family pets and is sourcing an airplane a/c cart to assist keep family pets cool throughout the packing procedure, Cronin stated in her e-mail to Stars and Stripes. The guest terminal at Yokota resumed June 13 after a comprehensive, $27.5 million remodelling.

” We acknowledge family pets are a deeply fundamental part of numerous households’ lives, and we take seriously the duty of securely transferring them when they are delegated to our care,” stated Air Movement Command.

The command stated it is examining whether all animal transportation procedures were followed when the Patriot Express stopped at Yokota on July 1. “At this time, our preliminary findings suggest our aerial port professionals followed recognized animal transportation procedures and there is no proof of deliberate neglect. Regrettably, these procedures did not properly consider the exceptionally heats and humidity Yokota was experiencing over the July 4 weekend,” stated the declaration on Facebook.

The command likewise dealt with a Facebook post Monday by Leave No Paws Behind U.S.A. that 2 other pet dogs had actually passed away on the very same Patriot Express flight with Kolbie. The Patriot Express is a government-contracted air service that flies in between the U.S. and abroad military bases.

No other pet dogs passed away on that flight, according to the command. The 515th Air Movement Operations Group, the moms and dad system to the 730th at Yokota, discovered that 10 other pet dogs on the very same flight showed up securely at their locations.

” While we can not alter the result of this regrettable circumstance, AMC management is dedicated to guaranteeing this never ever takes place once again,” stated the Air Movement Command declaration.

Nevertheless, one dog obviously passed away in June aboard a Patriot Express flight out of Guam. (* )Navy partner Julie Barker, 38, of Chicago, was on a flight from Guam to Chicago through Seattle on June 5 when she saw that another guest had actually lost his dog, a pug.

The pet dogs were kept in cages 6 hours prior to the flight left Guam, Barker stated. She stated she grumbled up until she was enabled to stroll her dog prior to the flight.

The flight picked up a stopover at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“When we showed up, I took my dog out and after that I see this person holding his dog in his arms and in the beginning I believed he was simply snuggling him,” Barker informed Stars and Stripes by phone on Wednesday. “Then I take a look at him and he resembles weeping and I’m much like ‘Oh, my God is he dead? And he resembles, ‘Yes.'”

She stated the dog might not reach its water bottle, which was twisted outside his cage.

Barker stated the dog owner decreased to speak with Stars and Stripes. Cronin did not instantly react to an e-mail from Stars and Stripes asking for additional details.

” When he opened the cage, the dog was dead and he stated that his very first response resembled, he’s still warm,” Barker stated. “I asked him, what do you desire me to do? We require to do something since it’s, it’s dreadful.”


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