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United Had Its Third Dog Related Incident in a Week and Had to Divert a Flight

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A United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey to St. Louis was diverted and forced to make an unexpected landing after it was discovered that a dog had been mistakenly placed on the flight. The particular flight carrying 33 passengers was diverted to Akron, Ohio, on Thursday, a United spokesperson confirmed to CNN, because the erroneously placed dog was supposed to fly from New Jersey to Akron. 

While United noted that all passengers had been financially reimbursed for the error, the incident marks the third consecutive dog-related snafu on one of its flights in a single week. On Tuesday, an 11-month old French Bulldog puppy was stowed in an overhead compartment at the request of United flight attendants, and later died onboard the plane. Shortly afterward, a German Shepard named Irgo was mistakenly sent to Japan instead of his intended destination in Wichita, Kansas. The latter incident played out over the ensuing days, after Irgo was mistaken for a Great Dane at a cargo facility in Denver and accidentally shipped across the world. He's since been returned to his family. 

Commenting on the diverted flight to Akron, United confirmed that the dog has been safely delivered to its owner. 

United's very bad dog week has brought to light the airline's unflattering record with animals. In 2017, the airline was responsible for 18 animal deaths and 13 injuries, although it transported the vast majority of pets of any American carrier, totaling 138,178. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.