A Sydney woman has revealed her horror after looking out an airport window to find her beloved pet dog sitting in a cage on the tarmac in the middle of the day.
Lucy Shearer said she was promised by Virgin Australia that her pet Cavoodle, Frankie, would be cared for in an air-conditioned room before her flight boarded.
But as she and her partner sat through a 45 minute delay, they saw Frankie and another dog left unattended outside on a flat bed.
“I am so upset right now… looked out the window and can see him sitting on the tarmac,” she wrote in a scathing Facebook post.
“Considering recent events you think our treasured pets would be looked after correctly,” referring to the recent death of a French bulldog who was allegedly left on a hot tarmac for 40 minutes by Virgin staff.
Her post was subsequently shared repeatedly on the Virgin Australia Facebook page by furious social media users, who labelled the airline’s efforts as “pathetic”.
“I CANNOT believe you did this! Not only will I never allow you near any of my pets, I will NEVER fly Virgin Australia,” one woman wrote online.
“Virgin Australia this is absolutely pathetic! No animal should be left in the heat or any weather condition like this! You should be disgusted,” another wrote.
A spokesperson for Virgin Australia told Yahoo7 News that they adhere to stringent guidelines and transport more than 65,000 pets every year.
They said all animals are held in the Baggage Makeup Area, where trained ground staff monitor them and ensure there is sufficient shade and water in well-ventilated areas.
“It only takes a few minutes to load pets onto the aircraft and they are only brought out onto the tarmac when they are required for loading,” the spokesperson said.
“Once we reach the destination, pets are usually the first to be unloaded from the aircraft, which ensures that they can be reunited with their owners as soon as possible.
“We understand the important companionship that pets provide to their owners and we will continue to uphold the highest of safety standards when transporting pets across our network.”
The investigation into Bruno’s death has now been concluded and virgin Australia have been in contact with his owners.
French bulldog found dead in carrier
The incident comes just one week after a devastated NSW family pointed the finger at Virgin following the death of their six-year-old French Bulldog on Boxing Day.
Owners Kristina and Neil Maccabee had taken Bruno with them to visit relatives in Townsville but when they went to collect him after the return leg to Sydney, airline staff told them their beloved pooch had died from apparent heat exhaustion.
They claim Bruno was left on the hot tarmac for 40 minutes before they boarded and are also demanding answers from Virgin.
Virgin Australia confirmed they had concluded an internal investigation into Bruno’s death, adding that they had also been in contact with his owner’s regarding the matter.