SEATTLE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kendra and Travis Parks said their dog, Tucker, had a big personality that matched his size. The Great Dane was about six feet nose to tail and tipped the scale at 158 pounds.
"He'd stand up and put his paws on your shoulders and he could look right in your eyes. It was amazing," Kendra Parks said.
When the Parks moved from Honolulu to Seattle earlier this month, Tucker flew in a custom-made kennel in the cargo hold on a Continental Airlines jet. When it stopped in Houston, Kendra said Continental agents found Tucker salivating heavily.
"They walked him and he was taking water but he wouldn't take food," she said. "He didn't look good but they didn't think it was a big deal."
A Continental spokesperson said Tucker appeared to be okay. He was put on a flight to Seattle. Kendra Parks said when she picked him up she was shocked.
"He was covered in vomit and feces and saliva and blood and he couldn't even move. He was very outgoing and he couldn't lift his head up. He couldn't even stand up," she said.
Kendra took Tucker to a veterinarian who blamed the travel. The dog's intestines had twisted and cut off blood supply. He had to be euthanized.
"No family should have to do that when they've trusted this airline," Parks said.
On its web site, Continental touts its PetSafe travel program, saying animals travel in climate-controlled conditions.
In a statement to Hawaii News Now, Continental spokesperson Christen David said the carrier understands that "the loss of a beloved pet is difficult." She said the airline is carefully reviewing details of Tucker's flight.
Parks said Continental workers should have spotted Tucker's distress when the flight stopped in Houston.
"We would like them to improve their policies and improve the education with their staff," she said. "If you see a dog acting this way, obviously something is not right."
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