The Director of Public Safety and Facilities at Erie International Airport, Pennsylvania, said with massive understatement that the couple made a poor decision when they decided to transport their six-month-old female cat on a flight from Philadelphia to Florida by placing her inside their ordinary checked-in luggage with some clothes inside the suitcase.
The couple, Olivia Sari, 21, and Nicolas M Larrison, 21, were heading home to Florida after holidays. The airport’s baggage inspection system alerted Transportation Security Administration officials that an additional inspection was required of the luggage. When they open the suitcase they discovered the cat.
It was a very bad decision as the man says – actually a bizarre decision on the face of it. There’s ample opportunity to use conventional methods and airports are more than happy to help. There’s no need whatsoever to do something as cruel as they did. Perhaps we can put it down to naivety.
Airport police became involved and both of them have been cited with a summary count of transporting animals in a cruel manner. They will be fined and have to pay court costs. At present the court is waiting for their pleas on the citations which no doubt will be guilty pleas. This should speed things up.
Their cat, Slim, has been turned over to the Humane Society of North-Western Pennsylvania. I would hope that after they’ve been through the brief court process they can recover their cat and go home but this time transport her in the usual way. Update: I have just discovered on reading Erie News Now that they have signed their cat over to the society. And also that the cat is in poor condition. Not good. I wonder if they had found the cat as a stray while on holiday and made a spur of the moment decision to take her home.
There are no photos I am afraid to say.