CHICAGO (CBS) — United Airlines, under fire for its recent treatment of pets, is making changes to keep animals safe.

UAL’s CEO told Chicago business leaders this afternoon that the airline has learned some tough lessons.

In a speech to The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Oscar Munoz immediately addressed the incident that made the airline the target of worldwide scorn–the death of a French bulldog placed in an overhead bin.

“It should have never happened,” Munoz said. “And I want everybody in the room to know we take this deeply seriously.”

Making matters worse for United: the airline mistakenly shipped another dog, a German shepherd, to Japan.

“You have the right to demand the highest level of performance from us. We own that … as difficult as that is to accomplish that.”

Munoz says United is taking steps to protect pets on its flights.

Among them: animals traveling in cabins will get a brightly colored tag to better identify them.

And senior employees will be on the tarmac to make sure animals in cargo areas are going to the right place.

Referring to another PR black eye–security dragging a doctor off a United flight last year– Munoz it was a painful but necessary lesson.

“People say, ‘Aren’t you glad that’s over,’ ” he said. “That is the furthest thing from our mind. We constantly want to be reminded of how things can go wrong so quickly.”

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