Family Finally Breaks Silence, Speaks on Moment Puppy Suffocated on United Airlines Flight


On Monday night, a dog died on a United Airlines flight after the flight attendant forced the family to put the dog in an overhead compartment.

The family of the poor puppy who died has come forward with their own account of the incident.

Catalina Robledo and her 11-year-old daughter Sophia Ceballos were flying to New York City with their French bulldog Kokito.

“He was a member of our family,” Sophia said of their puppy. “He was like my little brother.

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Although there have been various reports on whether or not the flight attendant knew the beloved pet was in the bag, Sophia and her mother insist that the flight attendant knew.

“While we were flying, the dog started barking and barking, and there was no flight attendants coming,” Sophia said.

“We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence, so we weren’t allowed to.”

The dog had been placed in the overhead because the bag he was in was sticking out into the aisle.

“We were going to put him under the seat, and then the flight attendants came. She said, ‘You have to put him up there because it’s going to block that path,'” Sophia said.

“And we were like, ‘It’s a dog. It’s a dog.’ She’s like, ‘It doesn’t matter, you still put it up there.’ And she just put, she helped her put it up, and she just closed it like it was a baggage.”

Sophia also recalled when she and her mother made the heartbreaking realization that their beloved pet was gone.

“She’s like, ‘He died, he died. Kokito, Kokito.’ And he didn’t wake up.’

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United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart has since released a statement about the accident.

“This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Catalina said that the airline had refunded their tickets and the fee for taking a pet onboard, and even went a step further and asked to settle the situation with money.

Our hearts go out to this family. Rest in peace sweet Kokito.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith