Thursday, November 10, 2011

Help Create Jack the Cat's Law

The story of Jack the Cat is known by animal lovers all around the world. Here is a summary of Jack’s saga via
Jack’s story began last August, as his owner Karen Pascoe was preparing to board a flight to California. Pascoe had dropped Jack and her other cat at the baggage area in two carriers for shipment on her flight.

According to a Department of Transportation Pet Incident Report, a clerk stacked Pascoe's two carriers one on top of each other. When the top carrier fell, Jack escaped.

On October 25, it was reported that Jack had miraculously been found 61 days after he went missing. According to the report, Jack fell through the ceiling of the customs area in Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport.

Jack was taken immediately to a veterinary hospital in Queens, run by Blue Pearl Veterinary Services, and then transferred the next day by pet ambulance to the Blue Pearl hospital in Manhattan for intensive veterinary treatment.

After being found, Jack was diagnosed with fatty liver disease, a disease that cripples the feline liver and devastates the rest of the feline body. Due to his severe malnutrition and dehydration, Jack's skin tore easily, putting him at great risk of infection and organ failure.

Jack was suffering and any more procedures would have prolonged that suffering. Sadly, the decision was made to have him euthanized.
Animal lover Kathleen Lietz has started a petition at to create "Jack the Cat's" Law, a law forcing airlines to put GPS (or similar technology) tracking devices on family pets traveling in cargo holds. In her petition, Lietz states the following:
Every year, family pets go missing from airline baggage areas and cargo holds, never to be located again. Jack the cat was lost in the NYC JFK airport in the American Airlines baggage center on Aug. 25, 2011. American Airlines mishandled his crate during the check-in process, which resulted in the breaking of the carrier. Jack was found 61 days later when he fell through a ceiling tile in the Customs office, in the same terminal in which he was lost. He was severely injured and malnourished. Sadly, Jack was euthanized due to the extensive nature of his injuries on Nov. 6th.

American Airlines was slow to respond and provide support in searching for the cat. In fact, it took the airline 60 hours before calling Ms. Pascoe back with an initial update on rescue efforts. It was only once the situation hit the media and went viral that they began to react in a responsible (but limited) manner. We must force the airlines to have a quick retrieval method in place.
Please sign and share this petition to change the way companion animals are handled by airlines and help prevent another needless tragedy.


  1. That is just the saddest story we ever heard. Yes, I'll happily sign the petition. Something needs to be done so it never happens again.

  2. My mom thinks anipals should NEVER ride as cargo! She says I will NEVER get on a plane without being allowed in the cabin. After all, when I ride in the car, my carrier is buckled into the back seat with the seat belt - NEVER EVER just tossed in the trunk like a broken umbrella. She says if people can buy an extra ticket just so they can sit by themselves, she should be able to buy a seat for me, or WE WON'T FLY!

    I wouldn't fly anyway - I hate the car, and I can't see that a plane would be better. I'm just an at-home kind of girl.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Are there companies out there today that are providing such devices that the individual pet owner could use as well?

  4. Hi Jeff - thanks for stopping by. You can find info about the Tagg pet tracking system at

  5. How sad. I knew Jack had been found but not that he was so ill he had to be euthanized. I signed the petition and I hope that this law is enacted.

    In the meanwhile, if someone has to transport a pet in cargo, they should take precautions that the carrier door can't be easily opened and possibly place a GPS tracking device of their own on the animal.