A commentor wrote, "WRONG! How many of you have shipped kittens? I amazed that Delta took the kitten. Did you realize that animals must have a health certificate to travel and it states to what temperatures the animal is acclimated. Why in the world a vet sign off on this thing and why would anyone ship a kitten in such cold temperatures?? . We have gotten kittens from Moscow Russis in late December. That breeder ONLY used KLM because of the heated,climate controlled holds. There is information missing.... something that we are not being told. I don't think we are getting the whole story. I suspect the buyer was so desperate that they bullied the breeder in to shipping the kitten. If I had been the person shipping the kitten, I would have told the buyer, shipping is "
delayed because of temperatures. NOTHING would have changed my mind- period."
I've shipped kittens! Perhaps the fact that I bred Sphynx has slipped by here- but I've shipped Sphynx in all sorts of weather since I live in the desert and our heat can reach up to 115 degrees in the summertime! (However, I choose to ship Continental because they have climate controlled vans that transport to and from the cargo hold and they have the better track record. They also have no weather embargoes because the animals are not exposed to the weather during shipping- and therefore, you also do not need an acclimation statement. After this incident with Snickers, however, I am rethinking shipping at all unless airlines have a CONTINGENCY PLAN IN PLACE for emergencies.)
Once again- I challenge you to call Delta and tell them you have a 12 week old kitten to ship and ask about their procedures.
Let's go through your post... First, you state that "There is information missing..." Since when are we, as an animal loving community, so skeptical? The sad thing is- there is no information missing. My own mother just went through almost this same scenario within the last month. She went to pick up a kitten flown via Delta (and this was a six month old kitten!) and when she took him out of the crate, he was literally shivering, wheezing, and COLD. Our local temperature was probably over 40 degrees since we don't reach freezing- but it was still cold out. My Mother watched the transporters unload three other sets of cargo from three other planes before they unloaded Aidan's crate! That kitten never should have sat for three planes to be unloaded! Continental has a saying, "Last on, first off" for their pets in cargo. It appears Delta's saying is, "We'll get to it when we get to it".
Let's then go to Sara's story that she relayed to me recently. She had a kitten shipped to her via Delta and while he was in a climate-controlled environment, there was a mechanical malfunction and the plane was shut off. Which meant the kitten sat in the cargo area, without heat. Sara's kitten also died! Basically- this is the same situation as what happened to Snickers, except Sara's baby was probably 3-4 pounds at the time of shipping and fully furred. Delta NEEDS A CONTINGENCY PLAN.
It was also stated, "Did you realize that animals must have a health certificate to travel and it states to what temperatures the animal is acclimated." How many times have you shipped? Because most vets have a preprinted, pre-filled out acclimation certificate. Delta does require an acclimation certificate to fly. Therefore, once again, if they felt it was too cold to ship- that is when DELTA steps in and says, "The weather is too cold to ship." I'm not sure what your point is here- are you saying the veterinarian was wrong in signing an acclimation certificate for this kitten? Perhaps. But no one expected the kitten to sit in freezing temperatures for an hour waiting to be unloaded on that plane!
Another quote, "That breeder ONLY used KLM because of the heated,climate controlled holds". Really? Because if you call Delta- you will be told the same thing. That they have climate controlled cargo holds- that isn't the issue! The issue is- once the plane is shut off and depressurized, the heat/air conditioning SHUTS OFF. So you should count your lucky stars that you, like most people, received healthy animals! You know- I think quite a few people could rip you apart for shipping cats in from Russia when you can find any breed of cat within the United States with patience and research- and even if you couldn't- there are plenty of breeds that are just as gorgeous as your Nebelungs here. Yet, you won't find that here- you had the choice to go to Russia and import and I support that. I don't support bashing other feline lovers after they have suffered a terrible loss.
Finally, I want to conclude with the silliness about FORCING the breeder to ship. I shall call bull on that one. Plain and simple. A good breeder cannot be forced to ship- and a veterinarian cannot be forced to sign an acclimation statement and the airline cannot be forced to load that kitten into cargo. Plain and simple- hogwash.
I cannot believe the people who take the time to slander Heather and her family for the tragedy they have underwent. To call them liars, to make them out as pushy, nasty people when they were simply what so many people are- even today- a happy excited family picking up their kitten from what they THOUGHT was a safe shipping facility.