Protesters hold 'dog-in' for Kokito

Protesters hold 'dog-in' for Kokito
Animal lovers gather in New York to protest the death of a dog. (Source: NBC)

NEW YORK, NY (WNBC/NBC) - Animal lovers protested at New York's Laguardia Airport after a puppy stowed in the overhead bin on a United Airlines flight died.

A flight attendant insisted the family put the dog, named Kokito, in the overhead bin. Kokito didn't survive the flight.

Kokito's family attended the protest, along with New York's senator, animal activists, and their pets.

"I'm an animal lover, and I know what traumatizes them. I also know what kills them. It wasn't just the tightness of the compartment, but the animal was probably terrified from the noise of the plane. The poor little thing didn't know what was going on. I mean, it's really sad," said Pattie Jirakll, an animal activist.

There's now new legislation to create a pet passenger bill of rights. It would ban placing pets in overhead bins and make sure they have access to food and water.

United Airlines immediately took responsibility for the death of the dog and said starting in April, they will issue bright colored bad tags to travelers flying with pets.

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