Maybe he just wanted to be free! But don’t worry, there’s a happy ending!
By Justyne Yuen-Lee
Credit: Instagram / @westjet
Traveling with your pet can be difficult. Some people bring their pets with them everywhere they go, no matter where in the world that may be, while others prefer to have their fluffy companion with them at local events only. Any trip requiring more than five hours of travel is a no-go for many pet owners. The question ‘who’s going to watch the dog?’ is a big one, and there are many options from friends to family to doggie daycare. Today, owners in metropolitan areas often choose to give their pet a staycation at top of the line pet resorts with swimming pools and lavish sleep rooms, where they can watch their pup remotely from their phone. But still, there are instances when paying the extra money to bring your pet on board or fly them to family to have personal care is the best option. Even with careful planning, flying with your pet can cause its own set of problems, just like it did in this case for Cooper the Labradoodle and his family.
Credit: Facebook / Tanya Simon
Cooper was scheduled to be on a WestJet flight from Halifax to Deer Lake, but there was a little mishap on the way there. Somehow he ended up on a flight to Hamilton instead. There, while on a bathroom break, Cooper ran off from an employee, scared of loud noise and men. WestJet alerted Cooper’s humans and his human grandma, Tanya Simon, took to Facebook to ask for help in the search for the doodle. WestJet apologized and flew Cooper’s family to Hamilton to search for the dog in person.
Tanya posted on the Facebook group, Lost and Found Pets in Hamilton Ontario:
“Please help! My daughter and her roommate lost their beloved Labradoodle. They put him on a WestJet flight to NL so they could send him to be taken care of by family, to attend my wedding in Jamaica. WEST JET put him on the wrong flight to Hamilton and a staff member took him out of his kennel to pee and lost him! He is running loose and scared of loud noise and men. The girls flew there this am and are searching desperately with no luck.”
Credit: Instagram / @humphreythecavapoo
WestJet had drones prepared for an aerial search for Cooper. A relative of the family, Hans Ashton, was searching for Cooper all night along with many concerned volunteers. Some people contacted Dog Tales, a rescue organization with experience tracking lost dogs, to help, but their help wasn’t needed. The search lasted less than 24 hours and Cooper was found in a fenced in area at the airport.
We know that unfortunately, losing pets on flights isn’t a rare enough occurrence. ‘Should Pets Fly Cargo?‘ is a concern we discussed with our Veterinarian in Residence, Dr. Sheldon. If an airline can lose your luggage, they can lose your pet. Airlines have already set new policies on pet travel but as always, when traveling with a pet, make sure you weigh the pros and cons.
We’re just grateful Cooper’s story had a happy ending!