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24 Jan, 2020 20:13

Calls for animal cruelty charges after two cats CRUSHED TO DEATH in horror baggage transfer at Moscow airport

Calls for animal cruelty charges after two cats CRUSHED TO DEATH in horror baggage transfer at Moscow airport

An air traveller is demanding justice for his cats after two died of injuries when their carrier cases were damaged, while a third got frostbite at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The airline is blaming a baggage handling firm.

The gut-wrenching loss of pets occurred on Tuesday when Maksim Chumachenko was traveling from New York to Sofia, Bulgaria. The trip involved a stopover at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for a flight connection. While there, the man was alerted by another passenger that workers were mishandling his cat carriers.

Chumachenko, who on Friday spoke to Telegram channel Baza, says he went to see if the tip-off was true, only to be utterly shocked by the state of his pets’ travel containers. One was so damaged that its bottom “went right into the roof,” and his two colorpoint shorthair cats were badly hurt.

Aeroflot airline staff on duty at the airport seemed as horrified as the owner, and Chumachenko was allowed to take the pets with him into the cabin. This, however, did little to help: one cat died in his hands during the flight while the other one died at a veterinarian’s office in Bulgaria.

Chumachenko says he wants the airline to identify and sue those responsible for the tragedy. Aeroflot has blamed a company hauling baggage at Sheremetyevo and said it will ask the police to launch an investigation into animal cruelty.

This comes as a volley of comments, many of them calling for an investigation into animal abuse at the airport, appeared online. The outrage may not be in vain: a few years ago Russia overhauled its animal protection rules, with a stricter new law coming into full force earlier this month.

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The horrifying story has also been noted by the Russian parliament’s environment committee, with its chair saying he will ask the interior minister to initiate a probe into the incident.

Chumachenko says he took three felines with him from New York. The third one went from Moscow to Sofia via a different flight and was transferred between planes directly – and he claims it, too, had suffered injuries, in this instance from exposure to cold.

READ MORE: Too fat to fly? Cat owner tricks airline with feline BODY DOUBLE after 10-kg pet denied boarding

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