Then on Tuesday, another case of mistaken canine identity occurred on a United flight, sending a pet owner into a frenzy when she discovered a Great Dane in the place of her German Shepard, Irgo, in a facility at the Kansas City airport.
'I burst into tears instantly because this has just all been a whirlwind. "They didn't know [where Irgo was] until 2:30am on Wednesday when the plane landed in Japan".
It comes after a puppy died while flying on a United Airlines flight last week.
"They had no idea where the dog was", said Swindle to CNN. The mix-up occurred during connecting flights in Denver.
'We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible.
A dog has finally been reunited with its owners after it was accidentally put on a flight to Japan earlier this week.
United Airlines has not addressed its animal-related issues as a whole
"United Express flight 3996 from Newark to St. Louis diverted to Akron to drop off a pet that had been loaded onto this flight mistakenly", Noonan said.
It is the third dog-related incident in a week for the airline which has struggled to regain its reputation after a doctor was filmed being dragged off a plane bloodied and beaten previous year. "We provided compensation to all customers on board for the diversion". "This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin".
United Airlines have an extremely poor record with animal welfare.
Christopher Berry, staff attorney at Animal League Defense Fund, urges all carriers to make improvements to procedures when transporting animals, whether in-flight or in cargo areas.
"Pets are not luggage, and they should not be put in the overhead compartment", she said. "I mean, it's really sad", said Pattie Jirakll, an animal activist.