A man found his two golden retrievers dehydrated and one had collapsed after an 11-hour journey on the Spirit on Tasmania.
Boarding the ship on January 11 was supposed to be the first step of an exciting move to the Tasmania, but James Battiscombe said he was gutted by the treatment of his beloved dogs.
“The voyage was delayed two hours this day resulting in our dogs being without contact for us for more than 11 hours,” he said.
“As passengers are denied access to their animals we had requested they be checked at the Pursers Office several times and were told we’d be notified if our dogs were stressed.”
Mr Battiscombe went to the office three times to express concern for the welfare of Laddie and Phoenix.
“By the time we got out after 11 hours to access our dogs, they were extremely dehydrated and Laddie had collapsed,” he said.
“Whoever was suppose to be checking on the animals should have realised something was wrong.”
A TT-Line spokeswoman said the animals were transported in line with TT-Line’s Conditions of Carriage which was sent to all passengers at the time of booking.
Mr Battiscombe was distressed by the state of his dogs, so he got the attention of the person, who TT-Line has since revealed was worker contracted from Qube Holdings LTD, directing vehicles to ask if he could disembark straight away.
“I noticed a traffic control man walking towards my car and asked if he could help with a quick departure because of our very sick dog,” Mr Battiscombe said.
Instead of being allowed to leave, Battiscombe said the employee stood in front of his car and told him to turn the engine off.
“I knew my dog was so sick it was coming down to minutes. Another worker came along ... I called out ‘I have a medical emergency’ and I screamed ‘please help me’,” Battiscombe said.
“He realised it was all clear and he said ‘go, go’ and that’s how we got off.”
Battiscombe said he took his dogs to a nearby park after leaving the dock.
“We laid them out in the dark, it was about 10pm, and started to try to get water into them and revive them,” he said.
The TT-Line spokeswoman said a high importance is placed on the welfare of animals and as such the crew ensures that fresh water was supplied and multiple checks are conducted on the kennels during every sailing.
Mr Battiscombe wants to see TT-Line change policies to ensure anyone concerned about their pet’s welfare can be taken down by a staff member to see their animals.
He also wants to see pet-friendly rooms introduced in the Spirit of Tasmania’s two new ships which will be ready by 2021.