Dry ice likely to stop pets from traveling

Lee County Animal shelter dog poses for the camera. / Jessica Fairley

For FOX 31's Thursday Facebook story of the day people wanted to know if there are any special rules when it comes to traveling with a pet on a plane.

Memorial Day weekend is coming up and for the holidays people use many modes of transportation to get home. Some go by car while others choose to hop on a plane but there are special rules when it comes to taking your pooch along for the ride.

"Make sure they have their I.D. tags on just in case they do get loose," says Jackie Grigg, Lee County Animal Control Officer.

When checking an animal on a plane officials say they have to be small enough to fit in a kennel under the seat. If you opt to place the animal in the cargo bin, the temperature outside can't exceed more than 85 degrees.

Officials with Southwest Georgia's Regional Airport say if the temperature for the day is expected to rise higher than 85 degrees, pet owners must take an early flight to avoid the heat.

There's also a stipulation when there's a medical shipment of dry ice on board.

"It's called dry ice because it never turns into a liquid and when it evaporates, it turns into carbon dioxide gas," says Craig Flowers, Assoc. Chemistry Professor for Darton College.

He says carbon dioxide can be deadly for animals.

"It's going to settle on the floor of whatever room it's in and of course if it does, it's pushing the air in the room up above it," says Craig Flowers.

Anything that's living on the floor would die from oxygen deprivation.

It's up to the airline to work with pet owners when checking in their pets but when animals are riding in a car, it's the owners who have the responsibility to keep the animal safe.

"If you must get out of the vehicle, someone needs to stay in the car with it, so that it's still running," says Jackie Grigg.

Grigg says during this time of the year it takes less than two minutes for the car to overheat.

She says with water and frequent stops the animals should be fine.