Larry the Dog Dies After Air Canada Staff Loses Him at SFO

Categories: Animals, WTF?

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The Consumerist
Larry
Air Canada is in the doghouse after it reportedly lost a pup at SFO -- and then sent a dismissive email to a reporter inquiring about the missing cargo.

The Vancouver Sun has the sad story about Larry, an Italian greyhound whose owner had recently died of cancer. A friend was relocating Larry to another family in Canada. Sadly, he never made it.

According to the newspaper, the pup ran away from Air Canada handlers at San Francisco International Airport on Oct. 7. Air Canada said the dog got loose when workers took the pup out of its crate during a flight delay -- despite strict instructions to leave the dog in the cart. Larry might have slipped out of his collar, the airline claimed.

Jutta Kulic, a retired dog breeder from Ohio who was shipping the dog to a couple to Campbell River in Vancouver, said after Larry ran off, he was hit by a car on Highway 101.

Larry was rushed to a San Francisco vet who performed surgery on the lost pup; they had no idea who the dog or its owner was, but they soon learned of Larry's story from the news. On Tuesday, the vets called Kulic and informed her that they had already euthanized Larry two weeks ago because he was too badly injured.

Hard to believe, but the story gets worse. According to the Consumerist, After a Sacramento news station contacted Air Canada about the missing dog, the airline's spokesman mistakenly mixed up the "forward" and "send" button on his email, thus sending the reporter the following message:

I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog. Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the U.S. media spends its time.

Obviously, that email was supposed to go to another Air Canada media relations person, but didn't. The airline apologized not long after realizing just how badly it had screwed up, and instead issued this much more PR-friendly statement.

"Air Canada's employees are extremely sad with the news about Larry. Many of our employees are pet owners and animal lovers, and our San Francisco team in particular continued to hold out hope that Larry would be found safe," the statement said.

Air Canada has agreed to cover Larry's hospital's expenses. In addition, the airline will fly the Canada couple out to Ohio where they will be picking up Larry's brother, Leo.

"This dog will not be going in cargo -- he's small enough to fit into the under-seat carrier, so he will be in Lynda's arms all the time," Kulic told the Sun.

We assume Leo will get first-class treatment.




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29 comments
ltrane923
ltrane923

Air Canada shouldn't have been such so crass about the loss, but they were trying to help by taking the dog out to pee. The flight was delayed for more than a day. I'd like to stuff that lady in a crate with out a freakin pee break for more than a day.

People never ship your dogs if you can help it. Get in the car and drive, or find some service to it it for you.

Heather Madison
Heather Madison

So sad, hope Air Canada learned something from this...

Sierrajeff
Sierrajeff

Actually the "other side of the story" is probably that if they hadn't taken it out of the crate for the flight delay, it might have gotten heat stroke, or soiled itself, etc., and now we'd be reading some Outraged Author bemoaning how Air Canada didn't take the dog out of the crate.

Did bad things happen? Yes.  But accidents happen; when I clicked on the story I thought I was going to read about a crate getting lost in a warehouse, not about a dog running away (and have *you* ever tried to catch a greyhound?!) and getting hit on the freeway.

Tom Murray
Tom Murray

There is no "other side of the story," Gord. There are only blogs, outrage and tears.

Gord Nielsen
Gord Nielsen

Have you heard the other side of the story?

marcblackham
marcblackham

AIR CANADA has THE WORST customer service I have ever experienced! Absolutely awful and horribly rude!

SFvince64
SFvince64

Poor dog! Air Canada screwed up all the way around. Their negligence costed the life of this poor dog. Then they screw it up by complaining that Americans have better things to worry about? A life is sacred, even an animal's life. Just because the government is in turmoil doesn't mean people stop should stop caring about everything else. Idiots!

Dante Forrest
Dante Forrest

Why is Air Canada Not putting funds into improving pet travel? Air Canada should make a sizable contribution to a shelter in the name of Larry in his memory . The people should demand so or Boycott Air Canada

ethernot
ethernot

Moral of the story: Never trust an airline with anything you care about, especially a living creature.

Tom Murray
Tom Murray

Agreed, Jeanette - America should not let this insulting gesture by the communists in Canada go unpunished. This is how they repay your freedoms.

Mark Ahumada
Mark Ahumada

Larry the dog is a awesome name for a dog. Sorry Larry the dog! Rip

Jan Simone
Jan Simone

Very sad! Good intentions (by Air Canada staff at SFO) gone wrong. :( But it sounds like Air Canada is doing the right things in the end though--paying the emergency vet hospital, flying the couple for free, and letting the next dog ride in the cabin of the plane.

Haley Mostofi
Haley Mostofi

OMG THIS IS FUCKING NAUSEATING. Why are people so stupid and cruel? Poor Larry.

ItalianGreyhoundMama
ItalianGreyhoundMama

@ltrane923 It was NOT delayed more than a day. It was delayed a few hours. The crate had more than enough padding, and the dog had just been walked prior to being dropped off at SFO.

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