Flight Crew And Passengers Honor Service Dog On Her Final Flight Home

Flight Crew And Passengers Honor Service Dog On Her Final Flight Home

A revered service dog recently made her final flight after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Kaya is a 9-year-old German Shepherd who was trained to help veterans with mental health challenges.

Sadly, she recently took her last flight with Southwest Airlines in Texas. The company shared about it on Instagram, saying:

"We were honored to fly our loyal friend and hero, @kayalyle, home to rest after a lifetime of hard work. Throughout her career, Kaya flew with us over 250 times to help establish the PAWS Act which united Veterans with service dogs. We are so grateful to be a part of her legacy, and we thank her and owner @ctlyle for their many years of service."

In the video, you can hear the pilot announcing that it's Kaya's last flight. He says: "We have the solemn honor of taking her on what will be her last flight, as she goes home to rest where she was born and first met Cole."

Cole T. Lyle, Kaya's handler, also shared about the dog's last flight. He shared a video on Twitter, saying:

"On Kaya's trip home, the pilots made special mention of her before we took off - see below.

When we landed, we loaded Kaya onto a cart to take her out, and when we got to the top of the ramp…the entire terminal cheered and clapped for her. If you were one of them: thank you."


Beyond her duties as a service dog, Kaya has made a lasting impact on veterans through the creation of the PAWS Act. According to FOX 9, Kaya is the dog who inspired the PAWS Act during her time of service. The PAWS Act resulted in a program that provides canine training for veterans that have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kaya sadly passed away just after her final flight. Cole shared on Instagram, "She was as comfortable as I could make her, I just hope she felt how loved she truly was."

"What a life. What a legacy. Miss you so much, girl," he added.

Malorie Thompson

Malorie works as a writer and editor in Northern California. She's passionate about food, conscious living, animal welfare, and conservation. She's worked with a variety of publications in different sectors but is happiest covering topics close to her heart. When not at her laptop, Malorie can be found enjoying picnics on the beach, hiking in the redwoods, and spending time with her rescue pup, Jax.

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