Update: Little girl whose dog died on United flights tells her story

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A tearful little 11-year-old child named Sophia Caballos told her story early Wednesday morning about her now dead dog who passed away on Monday, after a United Airlines flight attendant forced the family to put their ten-month-old French bulldog in an overhead compartment while traveling home from Texas to New York City.

“He was a member of our family,” Sophia stated on Good Morning America. “He was like my brother to me.”

And here’s some more detail about the tragic death of the family’s dog name Kokito. According to People, Sophia, her mother Catalina Robledo and her two-month-old brother had been returning home with their dog. Sophia was having trouble  stowing the dog, who had been in his approved pet carrier, under the seat. When the flight attendant came by, she told them they had to put him up in the overhead bin. The family had paid $125 for their non-service pet to travel with them.


“You have to put him up there because it’s going to block the path the attendant stated. And we’re like, ‘it’s a dog, it’s a dog,’ and the attendant said it didn’t matter,” Sophia recalled.

She then helped Sophia put the dog in the overhead bin and shut the door as if Kokito was just a bag. And even though he barked supposedly for two hours, the dog stayed in the bin until the flight landed.

The following explanation from an eye witness may explain what so many animal advocates have been questioning.  Passenger Maggie Gremminger witnessed the entire situation and stated she had been “stunned” to see the dog being stowed in the upper bin but understood why the family followed the flight attendant’s instructions.

“My only thought is that if it had been me, it would have been a hard scenario. The flight attendant is the authority figure, who should be trusted. I was thinking ‘maybe there is an improved ventilation system’ or something of the sorts,” Maggie told People in an interview last night.

“Also the owner had an infant and other daughter. Causing a scene before flight could risk being kicked off the flight. I can only imagine she felt stuck in her decision to comply.”

Kokito remained in the compartment for the entire three-and-a-half hour flight, and when the flight hit turbulence, everyone was required to stay in their seats. It wasn’t until the plane landed that the dog was found dead.

“We tried, but there was a lot of turbulence. And we weren’t allowed to stand up,” Sophia said. “My mom couldn’t get up; she had the baby on her lap.”

One can only imagine how devastated Sophia had been as her mother tried to stimulate the puppy to make him breathe. A fellow passenger offered to hold the woman’s infant while she desperately hoped her puppy could be resuscitated.

Who can even imagine how this puppy suffered? Pitch black with no air circulation at all. He was scared; his heart rate increased and he had trouble breathing. The breed’s flat face made it even more difficult for him to breathe. He barked and he barked, and no one could help him.

United has assumed full responsibility for the death of the puppy and are investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again. The flight attendant has stated she had no idea a dog was in the bag. She has been described as distraught.

Rest in peace Kokito.

Read prior account here.

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30 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    Once in flight, she should have taken the dog out of that bin and let them arrest her when the plane landed. This flight attendant made this family afraid to do anything but the mother should have gotten up and protected her 4 legged baby too. You do what you know is right and deal with the consequences later. At least her puppy would still be alive.

  2. Pamela Garlisch says:

    That’s right plead that she didn’t know it was a dog. Stupid person, she was TOLD it was a dog! Can’t plead ignorance on this one. She deserves to be fired and prosecuted for animal abuse! RIP Kokito, your family tried. I would have gotten off the flight or made a bigger stink! Sue United and the flight attendant!

  3. Kim Wright says:

    Omfg that bitch lied about not knowing there was a dog in bag the owner mentioned about the dog being in crate or bag whatever she didn’t care the bitch is lying about that that poor dog suffered because of this bitch I don’t believe a fucking word the flight attendant said what a fucking disgusting airline to kill this dog over fucking ignorance omfg poor family and the little girl !!!!

  4. Jo Gurule says:

    The flight attendant lied according to what read! She is responsible and should be taken off flights and put on ground dirk only! There were witnesses, one roiling to ddy something!

  5. Barkley's Mom says:

    How did the attendant NOT know there was a dog in the carrier, they were telling her it was a dog and she said “it didn’t matter”. She aught to be “distraught” and I don’t know how she can live with herself knowing she caused the death of this poor innocent puppy. This is one of the most heartbreaking stories I have heard in a while and should NEVER have happened! United has one of the worst records when it comes to flying pets. I will never fly with them again!

  6. maxiemom says:

    The flight attendant said she didn’t know a dog was in there AFTER the dog was found dead, yet she told them it didn’t matter that there was a dog in the bag BEFORE she forced them to put him in the overhead.

    She was only distraught because she knew she’d get into trouble. She bullied them into putting the dog there, and he died. She needs to be fired and United needs to be sued for every penny they can be.

    The flight attendant should have been more patient, or, actually, FOLLOWED THE RULES THAT SAYS THAT THEY SHOULD BE PUT IN ANOTHER SEAT IF THE CARRIER WON’T FIT UNDER THEIR SEAT!!!!!!!

    I’ve read too many comments that are blaming the mother for this. It was NOT her fault. It was the bullying, stupid flight attendant’s. Damn her.

    Again I say: the law that makes these people mini gods that was passed after 9/11 MUST BE rescinded. Things like this have happened far too often. Argue with them and the US Marshals come and grab you. Their word is LAW. This is ridiculous.

  7. Red says:

    I am sorry….. I AM NOT ONE TO CAUSE PROBLEMS….but there would not have been enough people on that plane to make me put my dog in an overhead bin!!! This is horrible…..but was so totally avoidable!
    She PAID $125 to take her pet on the plane….why in the name of heaven did that attendant make her do that???? STUPIDITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • N m says:

      I agree. Owner should gotten off the plane immediately and never allowed it to be put in bin. Animal cruelty! Owner should know about dog’s or not own one. Pugs can hardly breathe as it is so it suffocated with no air in there.

  8. Pamela Bolton says:

    The attendant didn’t know?? Big BS!!! They told her twice that it was their dog. She didn’t care!!!
    I hope they sue her butt for killing their family member. Damn humans with no conscience.

  9. pennysdachshund says:

    BULL SHIT!!! To the Flight ATTENDENT who took the position as ” I am God do don’t you dare try to usurp ME lady”!!! The family told her it was a ‘Dog” A DOG!! it was also an APPROVED travel by AIR traveling Kennel”!!! This NEEDS to be an EX -EMPLOYEE!!! and this family needs a DAMN Healthy SETTLEMENT!!! For trauma, pain, suffering, being mistreated … You can see this is a minority and she may have had A REASON SHE DIDN”T WANT disclosed so SHE DIDN”T PUT UP A FIGHT!!!

    • Catherine Brewton Adams says:

      Makes the most sense to me that I’ve read.

      Me, no way would you have gotten me to put my beloved pet in an overhead bin. However, you make a good point about this woman’s possible circumstances. Doesn’t excuse the poor choice she made not to check on her pup. Imagine being closed up in a small dark hard to breath place with unusually scary noises all around. The air pressure, lack of oxygen. Was everyone on that flight brain dead! Hello!!!

      How in the world did a dog barking for 2 plus hours not drive everyone crazy to the point of someone getting off their butt and letting the poor dog out.

      This is a disgrace, the Flight Attendent must not like animals and that’s a red flag to me. She should have been fired immediately and charged with animal abuse!

    • Gizmos Mommy says:

      The skank maggot flight attendant was getting off on a power rush. She knew the family would be scared. I hope that bitch rots from the inside out.

  10. Bunny Peters says:

    If this puppy were my pet, I would have argued over putting my pet in the overhead bin and demanded to see the head flight attendant……

    That cunt of a flight attendant should be fired immediately. It was obvious there was a dog in the bag. No air in overhead bins….. completely predictable that the dog would die……

    I think the family should sue both the flight attendant, personally and the airline……..

    RIP precious puppy…… humans failed you BIG TIME……. You deserved to grow up with your family and love and be loved…… you were cheated out of your life by a useless cunt who will burn in Hell forever for her cruelty to you. Here’s hoping she gets to Hell ASAP, alone, terrified, in pain and unloved……

  11. Linda Novak says:

    I call bullshit on the flight attendant. The attendant wad aware there was a dog in the carrier, and still told the dog’s owner that the carrier would block the walkway. RIP poor pup.

  12. Linda Patton says:

    She knew a dog was in that bag, she just didn’t care. She MUST be fired immediately and charged with animal torture and abuse. SHE caused that puppy’s death! Yes the human caregiver should have refused to do it and walk off the plane, or demand speaking to a supervisor, she holds fault as well. But the attendant holds the majority of fault. United does to, for lack of training, not monitoring employees. United and that attendant would get sued!!!

  13. Charlotte A. Shockley says:

    I have already posted once today on F/B but I am still angry enough to post again! Yes, I am really angry, as are so many friends on F/B. This was a 10 month old French Bulldog, a puppy. The owner
    could have said “No” and held the dog on her lap; the other passengers could have said “No” and could have held the dog; the pilots knew and did nothing; and the flight attendant knew very well there was a dog in the crate when she ordered the owner to stow him overhead. Are these people
    actually human beings??? This autocratic attendant should be stowed for three hours in the overhead. I will never fly United again!

  14. Denise Moore says:

    The people were totally ignorant they should have exited the plane and taken their business to another airline. They sat there and did nothing while the dog whimpered until it died matter a fact the entire plane load of people did nothing. Don’t just blame United blame the irresponsible humans all around on this!

  15. PAMELA D says:


  16. Linda Szymoniak says:

    The flight attendant had no idea there was a dog in the bag? What about the barking? Come on. She’s trying to cover her a** and had to have known.

  17. Nancy Raymond says:

    This piss poor example of a flight attendant needs to have her name published – she lied and she knows it. There were witnesses who heard her demand the dog be dumped in an overhead – no way do I believe she did not know there was a dog in there – I am 100% sure the family told her – she is just trying to cover her lying ass – she deserves all the hate mail she gets. And again, United Airlines proves it is very irresponsible when it comes to ensuring pet safety – this is not the first time United has treated animals inhumanely and they died – all they care about is the money they get – this dump of an airline needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom. The whole company is incompetent – their apologies mean NOTHING.

  18. Gizmos Mommy says:

    The maggot whore skank flight attendant had no idea there was a dog in the bag?!?!?
    What was she deaf and didn’t hear it cry???? I want to know this bitches name. I think we should all know her name so that we can flood her address with hate mail. That’s what that insult to women fucking deserves. She’s nothing more than a POS rabid savage who Can’t Understand Normal Thinking processes.

  19. Jo says:

    Every time I see this I get really upset and mad! The fight attendant knew it was a pup and still FIRCED the family to comply with her demands then says she didn’t know! What a POS attendant! Fire her ass!!!


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