A stray Mexican dog who had finally found a forever home has been missing for a week after Delta Air Lines lost him enroute to his new home in Canada.
This shouldn’t happen with luggage. It really shouldn’t happen with a dog.
The Jack Russell mix, Paco, was last seen during an airline change in Mexico City. His new owner, Josiah Allen, and his girlfriend had walked him and played with him during the five-hour layover. They were still getting to know him, after spending the time and money to get him all the necessary shots and paperwork and equipment to travel to another country with him. Their next stop was Detroit.
When the plane landed, they waited for their new dog. And waited.
Paco never showed up.
Delta told Allen that the dog didn’t make the flight (what, was he having a ciggy in the VIP lounge?), but that he was being cared for by employees and would be there on the next flight to Detroit, and then delivered to his home in Ontario, according to ABC News. The next day, Delta told them the dog had actually escaped from from his carrier the previous day, which is why he was missing. (Understandably, Allen would like to know why he was told his dog was being cared for if his dog really wasn’t there.)
Allen doesn’t buy the story.
“I do not believe for a second that Paco escaped from his carrier,” he said. “It was a very secure hard plastic pet carrier with two locks and a metal wire door.”
“There is no excuse for this kind of situation to take place, and I expect that when you pay to have a live animal flown with you to take him home that Delta Airlines would take every precaution and action needed to make sure that is what happens,” Allen wrote to the blog Consumerist, which broke the story.
The worst part is that he has no idea where Paco is, and what his condition is.
“I don’t know if he’s in his crate somewhere, not having eaten in a week or if someone stole him or what,” Allen said. “They haven’t taken any responsibility, beyond a couple of apologies. This shouldn’t be able to happen.”
Delta has paid Allen $200 for flight expenses, and has offered to pay for the shots he got in Mexico. Wow, a dog’s life is worth a great deal to Delta, isn’t it?
We hope Paco is found safe and sound soon, and can enjoy a first-class ticket straight to Allen’s home. But it’s something to think about next time you consider taking your dog on a plane in anything but the passenger area. Now we can add “losing a dog forever” to dangers like overheating and freezing and being dropped.
Before you consider packing the pooch on a plane for summer vacation, look at this article on The Not So Friendly Skies. If it doesn’t make you want to drive or do a staycation with your dog, I don’t know what will. Sure, most dogs make it unscathed. But too many don’t.
I’ll keep you posted on Paco.