Owner of Dog Flagged by Baggage Handler Says She Overreacted
Animal control officers in Corpus Christi, Texas, tracked down the owner of the dog that a Reno, Nev. baggage handler refused to load onto a plane because the dog was in too bad a condition. Dogster wrote last week about how airport worker Lynn Jones was fired because she didn't listen to a supervisor admonishing her to just do her job and load the dog.
She said the Pointers body was covered with sores, his paws were bloody, and he was too far gone to stand up to be X-rayed. After a huge public outcry about the case, Jones was offered her job back and her employers commended her for doing the right thing.
So that was a happy ending. But concern still remained about the dog. The dog was known to be flying to Corpus Christi, so animal control staff there started investigating. They were able to find the man, whose name they are not releasing, and visit with his dog, whose name is apparently Tex.
"The dog looks nice and was very responsive," animal control officer Lemont Baggling told the Corpus Christi Caller. "He had plenty of food and water and looks good."
The man told the officers that he had taken Tex, a bird dog, hunting before the flight and the dog had expended a great deal of energy running around, which was why it appeared lethargic. He said Jones had overreacted, and that a Pointer's body is naturally lean, like a Greyhound's.
Washoe County animal control kept Tex for four days, washed and dressed his wounds, and gave him plenty to eat, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
I was told he was hunting near Gerlach for a week, and what I saw was consistent with a dog that has been worked very hard, Diana Lucreer, DVM, said in an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal. These dogs get almost psychotic when they are out there working; they will run and run through anything. His paws were cut up, and he had cuts on his body.
But the vet said once Tex got some food and a bath, he was outgoing and friendly. He certainly needed to eat. He was happy. He wasnt abused.
Gerlach, as well as other veterinarians shown photos of the dog by the Reno paper, said Jones and the airport police who took the dog were right to have acted as they did.
Im glad [they] called animal control. I would have done the same thing, said Diana Hess, DVM, of Community Animal Hospital in Reno. "The dog looked sick, and it needed care. Now, knowing the dog's history [as a hunting dog], the very skinny look and injuries are consistent with a dog being worked very hard.
The Reno paper won't publish the photos, in order to uphold new state legislation called Cooney's Law, which seems to take confidentiality in abuse cases a bit further than most lawmakers wanted it to. (Reinterpretations of the law are being hammered out.)
Meanwhile, Corpus Christi animal control staff will be checking on the dog, but the Corpus Christi Caller reports that the officers think he's "in good hands."
Dogsters, do any of you have experience with hunting dogs? It seems like everyone contacted by both newspapers thinks the dog was not abused. Please weigh in.