Is leptospirosis, an infection from a bacterium that's transmitted through contact with urine, on the rise among dogs in Utah and Colorado, as headlines declare? Possibly. Maybe an optional leptospirosis shot for the pooch isn't a bad idea.
"Things have not gotten as stupid as they are going to get." That was a 2015 tweet from John Tabin, co-host of a podcast called "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends." It's fair to say, judging solely by infectious disease stories, that since then his prophecy has been fulfilled several times over.
Backyard burial may seem like the easiest way to respectfully care for your pet’s remains. But it can be dangerous for other pets and wildlife, since most pets are put down with an extremely concentrated anaesthetic agent, pentobarbital. This drug remains in the pet's corpse for months, and any animal scavenging on the remains can be poisoned.
More than 2/3 of animals are transported on just four airlines: Alaska, Delta, American, and United. United was responsible for transporting a plurality (27%) of all animals in 2017, so we would expect -- from sheer volume alone -- for more pets to die on United flights. So, the question is, "Do a statistically disproportionate number of animals die on United?" In 2017, sadly, the answer is yes.
An investigation by Business Insider found that, "United had more pet deaths in 2016 than any other major US airline." Given United's recent public relations debacle, is this true, too? Technically yes, but statistically no. Becasue it's the statistics that matter, not the raw numbers.