The fact the airlines keep losing animals is horrible. I think more drastic measures need to be taken. I do not think giving the owner money is enough. I think the person who lost the pet should be made to suffer the same. This is not right to treat someones pet this way. Thats like saying you lost someones child. Yes killing a 6 year old boy is bad but what if its a puppy. These people treat pets like children and they lose them like no big deal.
OK... dose of reality here. I understand that pets are a very important part of peoples lives, and for some are indeed "like" children - they however are not children, and to compare a dog and a boy or girl is quite frankly nuts.
May I also say that the vast majority of animals are shipped daily with no problems, no delays, and no issues for the shipper or consignee. Occassionally they are delayed, and yes, occassionally they are misrouted to the wrong city or misplaced. They almost always find their way to their final destination.
I worked in the airline industry for more than 20 years, and I am a pet owner - I love my pets. Just about everyone I knew in the airline industry had the highest regards for animal shipments and would go above and beyond to make sure they were protected, fed and watered especially in the case of a delay.
There is another side of the pet shipment story that I notice is missing here. Irresponsible breaders and pet owners!!! Let me give you a couple of examples. Bringing an animal to ship when it is too cold, or too hot and demanding it go despite the hazardous weather conditions! Presenting the animal in a cage or kennel that is in disrepair - missing screws, dirty, improperly lableled, no food, no water. Shipping an animal that is in poor health! I've seen it all, trust me.
The airlines aren't perfect and yes, make mistakes. If you really think they are that terrible then drive your ass across country to pick up that puppy or don't take Fido with you when you travel. My own cat was misplaced by the airline I work for. No big freak out - we got her back after a few phone calls.
Finally, to suggest that somehow "the person who lost the animal" should be made to suffer or punished is absolutely crazy and shows just how over the edge animal rights activists are. Assuming you find the actual person that misloaded the animal you're really going to punish a human being over a lost pup --- how pray tell??? a public flogging on the airport ramp, a 30 day prison sentence, or maybe you'll just go to his home and kidnap his dog to make things right.
I feel for any pet owner that has to experience the anxiety of a missing pet - but seriously, let's put things in perspective here!