United plane diverted to Akron-Canton because dog put on wrong flight

NORTH CANTON, Ohio-- A United Airlines flight was diverted to Akron-Canton Airport on Thursday.

The flight stopped to drop off a dog that was loaded onto the plane by mistake, a United spokeswoman told FOX 8 News. Flight 3996 was traveling from Newark to St. Louis.

United said the pet was safely delivered to its owner. All passengers on board were compensated for the diversion.

This comes after a bad week for animal-related incidents on United Airlines.

On Monday, a family's 10-month-old puppy died after a flight attendant apparently told the owner to put the TSA-approved pet carrier in the overhead bin.

United released the following statement on this incident:

"We have spoken to the family, our crew and a number of passengers who were seated nearby. 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. As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support."

United said by April, it will issue bright bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets to help attendants.

Then on Tuesday, a family moving from Oregon to Kansas went to pick up their 10-year-old German shepherd and discovered United mistakenly shipped him to Japan. They were reunited two days later.

His owner, Kara Swindle, told CNN the airline was planning to send the dog back to the United States in cargo.

“We told them, ‘Absolutely not. You need to be doing this our way now. He is to be flying in the cabin, and honestly we don’t care how it happens. You just need to get it done,’ ” Swindle said.