Supermodel Maggie Rizer is in mourning. The blue-eyed, blonde beauty, 34, is grieving the loss of her beloved, 2-year-old golden retriever, Bea, who died two weeks ago following a flight from NYC to San Francisco.
Rizer, who shares a 10-month-old son, Alexander, with husband Alex Mehran, wrote about the situation in an emotional blog post. "Beatrice lost her life due to the negligence of United Airlines," Rizer claims.
Paying United Airlines an additional $1,800 for Bea and the other family dog, Albert, to be safely transported during the cross-country flight, Rizer and husband Mehran "took every precaution we could think of": Labeling their kennels carefully with emergency numbers and flight info, providing special ice-water filled bowls for their hydration and more. "Beatrice had a perfect health record" four days before the trip. "Albert and Bea were very prepared travelers," Rizer explains.
Upon their arrival in San Francisco (where the family lives), Rizer and Mehran were informed by an "emotionless worker" that "one of them is dead." Workers didn't return Bea's body to the devastated couple for several hours, Rizer writes.
After midnight, the family's veterinarian, performed a necropsy (a dog autopsy). The conclusion: "Beatrice’s death was from heatstroke. Our little Beatrice died in pain, scared and alone," Rizer explains. Noting that Albert and other on-board animals survived the trip, United Airlines simply told Rizer that they saw "no irregularities" during the trip.
"They had nothing to say about the fact that the plane had been turned off (for at least fifteen minutes each time) twice before take-off in Newark, nor did they have anything to say when I requested information about her placement in the plane or about baggage being packed around her," Rizer points out.
"I am so saddened by the complete lack of competence, honesty and compassion that United has shown," she writes, taking pains to say she doesn't wish to "start a lawsuit or to get anyone to stop flying United. I am writing this to help make people aware that airlines are incapable of ensuring the safety of our pets . . . Please don’t make the mistake I made that cost our dog her life…I will miss her forever."
Earning $20,000 per fashion show at her peak, Rizer was ubiquitous on the catwalks and magazine covers in the late 1990s and early 200s --gracing Elle, Vogue, Lucky and other mags, and starring in campaigns for Gap, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and other brands during her career.