Anthony Balletta’s tribute collage to his bulldog Frank. Picture: Facebook
Anthony Balletta’s tribute collage to his bulldog Frank. Picture: Facebook

Qantas rules out vets on planes after dog dies on flight

Qantas has ruled out "vet hosties" and specially-designed cargo holds after a small dog died on a routine flight.

Anthony Balletta boarded his year-old bulldog Frank on QF405 from Sydney to Melbourne in a crate but Frank died during the short flight that cost $1100 for the dog alone.

Frank the bulldog. Picture: Supplied by Anthony Balletta
Frank the bulldog. Picture: Supplied by Anthony Balletta

"I had a little chat to him when I dropped him off. I said you are going to be alright buddy
and he gave me a nod," Mr Balletta, 42, said on Sunday.

"When we landed in Melbourne they told me what had happened and he was in his crate, all small and helpless. I just broke down."

The bulldog had already proved he could handle being on a plane when he was flown up to Sydney by his breeder as a pup.

Frank’s owner Anthony Balletta. Picture: Facebook
Frank’s owner Anthony Balletta. Picture: Facebook

 

Mr Balletta said he understood that being a snub-nosed breed, the bulldog could have trouble breathing and he wants airlines who fly dogs in the cargo holds to have trained vets to be with them in case they take ill.

"If they are going to accept dogs, they should look after them better," he said. "Frank was such a softie. He created a glow inside me."

Mr Balletta and Frank together. Picture: Facebook
Mr Balletta and Frank together. Picture: Facebook

Qantas said it had no plans to have vets in the cargo hold as it would mean redesigning the planes.

It refunded Mr Balletta the freights costs and said a review found there was no mishandling of the dog.

"We can understand for Mr Balletta and his family that what's occurred is very distressing," a spokesman said on Sunday.



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