Harris County animal cruelty division investigating death of dog on United flight

HOUSTON – KPRC2 has learned the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is interested in reviewing the investigation by law enforcement into what happened on a United flight from Houston to New York City that resulted in the death of a 10-month old French bulldog.

Carvana Cloud, the division chief who oversees the Family Criminal Law and Animal Cruelty Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said the case has a variety of issues.

“We have jurisdictional issues. We don’t know if the dog died in Houston or if the dog died in New York or on the way to New York,” Cloud said.

These are questions that warrant answers, according to Cloud, who admitted that United’s latest controversy surprised her as it did millions of others.

“Initially I was sad, I was shocked.”

The French bulldog was discovered dead following a Houston to New York City flight after a United attendant told the owner to place the carrier with the dog inside in an overhead compartment.

The death has not only sparked outrage and questions on social media, but now the case has law enforcement investigating.

“We have a task force, an animal cruelty task force led by Precinct 5 and they are conducting the investigation,” Cloud said.

Cloud tells KPRC2 they will review law enforcement’s findings carefully, adding that logistics make this case even more difficult.

“We are at the very preliminary stage of the investigation, but it definitely does make it more challenging because it is not something that happened in someone’s backyard here locally or in someone’s home,” Cloud said.

The Robledo family said they can’t understand why this happened. The dog's 11-year-old owner said, “It’s a dog and she said, 'We have to put it up there.'”

United, on Wednesday afternoon, issued a new statement attempting to explain the chain of event.

“We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier. However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin.”

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