CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says too many passengers are putting their pets in their carry-on bags and sending them through the X-ray machines at airport security.

In a press release Tuesday, the TSA shared photos from recent incidents where pets were discovered inside bags that were being X-rayed.

The TSA said air travelers are permitted to bring small pets aboard, and they can be screened at security checkpoints along with their owners.

It shared the following steps for screening a pet:

  • Bring the animal to the checkpoint in a hand-held travel carrier.
  • Remove the pet from the carrier just prior to the beginning of the screening process.
  • Place the empty travel carrier on the conveyor belt so it can be X-rayed.
  • Never place a pet in the X-ray tunnel.
  • If possible, carry the pet through the walk-through metal detector during the screening process. Alternatively, a pet can walk through the screening process if the owner has the pet on a leash. When in doubt, listen to the guidance that a TSA officer provides.
  • A TSA officer will use an explosive trace detection swab on the owner’s hands.
  • Return the pet to the travel carrier at the re-composure area away from the security checkpoint.

The TSA said that travelers can also look ahead at the pet relief areas provided at their arriving and departing airports, look for signs in the baggage claim areas or ask an airport Customer Care Representative.