Virgin Australia passenger says dog was left sitting in 93-degree weather while luggage loaded

This isn’t the type of hot dog that people like.

Aircraft from Australia's second largest airline, Virgin Australia, sit on the tarmac at the domestic terminal of Sydney Airport in Australia, August 19, 2018. Picture taken August 19, 2018.     REUTERS/David Gray

A passenger on Virgin Australia says she witnessed airport workers leaving a dog sitting on the tarmac in extreme heat. The airline, however, says the animal was left in the shade and was only waiting for a few minutes before being loaded on the plane.

Elise Willemsen posted photos to Facebook showing a dog sitting in a green crate, seemingly waiting while workers begin to load regular luggage onto the plane. This incident occurred on a very hot day in Sydney, The Sun reports.

“Thought airlines were supposed to change their policy on animals boarding flight after the luggage and not sitting on the tarmac,” asked Willemsen on Facebook. “It’s 93 degrees in Sydney, I could only imagine how hot this poor dog is! Not good enough, Virgin Australia.”

According to Virgin Australia, however, the animal was “protected from the elements.”

“We take the welfare of all animals traveling on board with us seriously,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement obtained by “All standard procedures were followed by our team in the loading of this pet on flight VA436. In line with standard procedures, the pet was kept in a shaded area next to the baggage belt to protect it from the elements.”

The airline continued, “Our team conducted a final water and welfare check on the pet before it was loaded. It only takes a few minutes to load pets onto the aircraft and this pet was only brought out onto the tarmac when it was required for loading. We take pride in the safe transportation of pets around our network and we will continue to maintain the highest of standards when getting pets ready for their flight.”

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