The animal manager

Live freight is the norm in the Frankfurt Animal Lounge.

Animal Coordinator Monika Denk sends her unusual passengers safely, punctually and comfortably on their way


Time to go: Monika Denk heads for the export area of the Frankfurt Animal Lounge to receive customers and accept and inspect freight. Denk has been working for Lufthansa Cargo for 16 years. For the last two-and-a-half of these, she has been in charge of live freight.


First customer: Three dogs for the 10:55 flight to Chicago are delivered. Denk checks the booking and creates the animals’ accompanying document using the customer’s information. This also stipulates the flight number, destination and the animal’s dietary preferences, such as dry or wet food.


Strapped in securely: The Animal Coordinator inspects the pallet design to ensure it complies with standards. If the agent delivers animals less than four hours before takeoff, they are instantly prepared for the flight and taken to the aircraf t on pallets or individually in a special bus for small animals. Otherwise, Denk and her colleagues take them to a holding area, where they can relax and stretch their paws.


Breakfast time in Germany: Chicken liver with vegetables is served. Denk sporadically checks the animal keepers’ work. Fresh meals are also prepared in the kitchen for Fido and his friends – in line with owners’ stipulations.


Shark attack in the office? Not quite. More like tropical fish in the aquarium. But these remain in Frankfurt. Every year, 80 million fish pass through the animal station. These are accompanied by 15,000 pets, 2000 horses and even some 150 zoo animals such as rhinos and lions.


Able assistance: In the import area, Denk explains the veterinary examination to a family and tells them where they can collect their four-legged friend.


Could these eyes lie? Petting the passengers is one of Denk’s favorite tasks. Whenever she has any free time on her hands, she makes her way through the stables and holding areas for the different animals and enjoys the nicest part of her job.


High-flying guest: A two-year-old gelding is traveling to Argentina today on flight LH8466. Denk is responsible for the entire supply chain in the Animal Lounge. The tag on the halter shows the horse’s name as well as its breed, year of birth, color and gender.


Waiting to board: Throughout the loading process, Denk and her colleagues handle the containers slowly and with extreme care so as not to cause the shy flight and herd animals any unnecessary stress before their flight.


All quiet in the stables! Denk informs the captain about the special freight and gives him the papers for the horse and its handler. If stallions and mares are traveling on the same freighter, they must be kept apart so the males don’t get too frisky.


Ending the day at the desk: When Denk sits down to write emails and the shift report, she finds it a welcome change to the hectic morning. The busiest days in the animal station are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Man’s best friend: The day with the animals comes to an end and Monika Denk heads for home – where her dog, Snoopy, is waiting for her.