Dog lost by Air Canada put down
A missing dog that ignited a PR disaster for Air Canada has died.
The woman who was trying to send an Italian greyhound from to a family in British Columbia says the dog was put down after being hit by a car.
Larry ran away from his handlers at San Francisco International Airport on October 7. Air Canada has said workers took the dog out of its crate during a flight delay. The pooch ran off after either slipping out of its collar or breaking it.
Jutta Kulic, a retired dog breeder was shipping the dog to a couple in the Vancouver Island community of Campbell River. The dog originally belonged to Kulic's friend, who recently died of cancer.
Kulic says she received a call this week from a veterinary hospital in San Francisco which had treated Larry. A Good Samaritan found the dog on a highway the same day he disappeared and brought him in.
The dog was badly hurt and was put down almost three weeks ago, but Kulic said the hospital didn't realize it was the same dog until this past Thursday.
An Air Canada spokesman added fuel to the lost dog story when he inadvertently sent an email to a local CBS-TV reporter that said: "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."
The email was intended for another spokesman within the company, and Air Canada quickly apologized.
The airline issued a written statement after learning the animal had been confirmed dead.
"Air Canada's employees are extremely sad with the news about Larry" the statement says.
"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 company says it has reminded employees about its policies for transporting animals.
Kulic calls Air Canada's initial response "abysmal", but she's been in touch with the company in the past few days and it agreed to cover the veterinary hospital's expenses.
The airline has also agreed to transport Lynda White, who arranged to adopt Larry along with her husband, Duncan to Ohio to pick 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 says she and the White family are considering their next steps.
They have yet to ask Air Canada for any additional compensation, such as to cover the veterinary bills to prepare Leo for travel.
(with files from the Canadian Press)