I found this article in The Consumerist this morning and it just broke my heart.  While vacationing in Mexico, Josiah and his girlfriend rescued a little stray dog.  They took him to the vet for his shots, got him groomed, and had his eye infection treated.  He was such a good dog.  Not aggressive, affectionate, walked calmly by their sides, and slept soundly with them in a bed.  They named him Paco and made arrangements to bring him home to Canada, buying a carrier, getting the approvals, and paying all fees.  He had to travel as baggage because he was too big as a carry-on for the cabin. 

Everything went well when they flew into Mexico City.  Their next stop – Detroit.  However, when they arrived in Detroit, Paco didn’t.  He was never loaded onto their plane.  Delta assured them that Paco would be cared for, put on the next available flight, and delivered to his home in Canada. 

That didn’t happen either.  Nor did anyone have any answers for Josiah when he called asking if his dog had arrived.  He was transferred from person to person but no one had any idea what happened to Paco.  He was finally told, after many hours, that Paco escaped from the carrier and disappeared.  Now Josiah is left wondering what happened to Paco.   And there are a variety of scenarios.  He could have escaped and ran off.  He could be tucked away in some corner forgotten, hungry and thirsty.  He could have been stolen.  But Delta Airlines was not exactly making it a priority finding out. 

They offered his a $200 credit on his next flight.  That was it.  It was an “Oh well…here is your fee refunded…next customer!” 

This isn’t the first incident of lost animals with airlines and it unfortunately will not be the last.  But it really burns me up that they had the nerve to give him only a $200 dollar credit for the *shipping fee* and just toss the issue aside as lost baggage.  Because that’s what your animal is to the airlines – baggage.  They didn’t even offer to look for him. 

It took a letter to The Consumerist and their inquiry to Delta Airlines to get some fires lit.  As of now, Delta Airlines has offered to reimburse Josiah for all he spent on Paco.  The shots, kennel, food, leash, etc.   The only statement a Delta Airlines spokesperson issued was their “investigating the incident”.  And that is a dubious comfort to Josiah.  This man and his girlfriend are heartbroken.  They want their dog. 

I want to see them get their dog too.  Don’t let Delta get away with it.  They need to make this their highest priority to get Paco back to his owners.  Or give them a good detailed explanation of what happened to Paco and how their going to compensate for the loss.  Here is the website to contact Delta Airlines CorporateLet ‘em have it.  Nicely, but firmly.

Here is the first article on Paco at The Consumerist.   And the update is here.

Like Josiah, I don’t for one minute buy the “escaped the carrier” excuse.  Someone was in charge of this dog and Delta Airlines needs to get off their duffs and find Paco.

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