We don’t expect Donald Trump to like this (so don’t anyone let him know) but if you’re returning from a trip to some exotic locale — Mexico, Thailand, South Korea, India, Turkey, Colombia, and the Carribean to name a few — you can bring someone back with you to live in the good old USA forever.
And you don’t even have to marry them — or even ever see them again.
Yes, we’re talking about dogs. (Aren’t we almost always?)
But we’re also talking about an easy-lifting way to accomplish a good deed and play a small role in making a dog and a family happy.
Our country’s incoming new leadership may no longer wants those tired, poor and hungry humans we once welcomed from other countries, but the door is still pretty open for dogs (my dog included) that have been saved from horrific conditions in other countries.
Many of them have gotten here thanks to Americans returning from vacations, who are willing to take a little extra time to serve as their official escorts.
How it all works was documented recently by The Washington Post, in a story by Andrea Sachs, who not only talked to people who have done it, but did it herself.
Sachs recently returned from a trip to Colombia with a dog named Max.
“To unknowing eyes, I was just a typical traveler with a strong pet attachment. But in truth I was a flight volunteer for Cartagena Paws, an animal-rescue center that, among myriad services, places Colombian street dogs with adoptive families in North America. My ultimate responsibility was to escort the 8-month-old puppy with the overactive tail to the District. I was headed north anyway, and, well, Max needed a lift.”
There are animal welfare groups around the world rescuing dogs who face bleak lives, or worse, and then finding themselves hard-pressed to find them homes.
One solution they’ve turned to is exporting rescued dogs to the U.S.
Often, though, they need a little help getting them from there to here.
“We use flight volunteers who are met at the airport by the adoptive parents,” said Lisa Anne Ramirez, executive director of the Humane Society of Cozumel Island in Mexico. Those meetings, she says are “usually very emotional and tearful.”
While most airlines will ship a dog traveling solo in their cargo holds, that’s the most expensive and least desirable method.
Dogs are generally permitted to travel as checked baggage, or as carry-ons in the cabin, but in those cases they must be traveling with someone.
The rescue organizations handle the paperwork, so, for the escort, it’s often just a matter of handing those papers over at customs.
Sasithorn “Sas” Moy of Harlem said little inconvenience was involved after she agreed to escort five dogs from Thailand to the U.S. when returning from a trip to visit family.
She contacted the Phuket-based Soi Dog Foundation, which sends at least 25 dogs to North America a month.
“I just showed up at the airport and they gave me the paperwork,” she explained after a nearly 20-hour flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. “I said goodbye to the dogs at the X-ray machine. It was painless… There was extra time on the front end and the back end, but it was worthwhile.”
“I messaged Cartagena Paws two weeks before my departure and received a reply peppered with exclamation points: We would love to have some help! Yes please!”
She and Max flew from Cartagena to Atlanta to Washington — he making the trip next to her in a carrier in the cabin. In Washington, he was picked up for a trip to his new home in Texas.
Sachs also put together a list of international rescues seeking escorts for dogs coming into the United States. You can find more details and contact information at that link.
(Photos: Max arrives in Washington from Cartagena, Columbia, and waits to make the trip to his forever home in San Antonio; volunteers at Cartagena Paws say goodbye to Max at the airport in Cartagena; by Andrea Sachs /The Washington Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 21st, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, airlines, animal welfare, animals, carribean, cartagena paws, columbia, dog, dogs, escort, flights, foreign, humane society, india, international, mexico, new homes, pets, refugees, rescued, rescues, returning, soi dog foundation, south korea, thailand, turkey, vacations, washington post
The dog, named Hank, was photographed by a fellow passenger, tweeted, and widely retweeted.
“It was huge. I have never in my life seen a dog that fat – it was massive,” said Madeleine Sweet, who took the photo.
The passenger said it appeared that Whitman had bought two first class tickets on the LA flight – one for her and one for Hank.
“Everyone, both while boarding the plane and on the plane before takeoff, was speculating as to how the dog got so fat,” she said. “You could legitimately hear hushed whispers of ‘He’s riding first class.'”
Hank sat in the front row of first class on the flight bound for Denver.
Hank belongs to Kari Whitman, an interior designer who founded Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue in Beverly Hills. He is a service dog who detects her seizures., according to NBC in Los Angeles.
As for Hank’s weight issues, they are the result of an illness, and have left him unable to get around much without the aid of a cart.
It appears that this wasn’t Hank’s first flight, or his first first class one, judging from an Instagram for @hankthetank.
Fellow travelers say Hank sat on the floor and that he stayed quiet for the entire flight.
More than probably can be said for some passengers.
(Photo: Madeleine Sweet, via Twitter)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 29th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 165 pounds, airlines, airport, american airlines, animals, detecting, dog, dogs, fat, first class, flight, hank, hank the tank, lax, los angeles, mastiff, overweight, pets, seizure, service dog, travel
A beagle named Sherlock, in the employ of KLM airlines, is recovering and returning items lost by travelers at an Amsterdam Airport — or so this video would have you believe.
But — no shit, Sherlock — the beagle is bogus.
Once again, advertising geniuses have duped the public, and the media, via the Internet.
I’m sure those geniuses don’t see it that way — just creative license, they’d say — but the story of the little beagle reuniting passengers with their lost items is a tall tale, aimed at giving you a warm and fuzzy feeling when it comes to KLM.
Earlier this week the Dutch airline posted the video on YouTube.
Three days later it had 3 million views. New outlets were writing about the amazing pooch who, through his powers of scent, was reuniting travelers with their lost items.
A day or two later, they were writing about him again — once they realized it was, if not an out and out hoax, a creative stretching of the truth.
The video posted on YouTube carried this description: “KLM’s dedicated Lost & Found team at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is on a mission to reunite lost items as soon as possible with their legitimate owner. From a teddy bear found by the cabin crew to a laptop left in the lounge. Locating the owners can sometimes be a challenge, so special forces have been hired…”
KLM managed to reach millions with the bogus beagle story, virtually for free — even before it appeared as a paid advertisement.
The advertising agency explained their creative process as follows:
“We were told that the members of KLM’s Lost & Found team sometimes track down passengers before they even realize they’ve lost something,” “We feel they are a bit like detectives. So to illustrate that KLM goes above and beyond for their passengers, we decided to involve a search dog.”
On one hand, you’ve got to admire their ability to get so much ink — I mean so many hits — without spending a dime.
On the other hand, should we really trust a company that’s pulling the wool, or in this case fur, over our eyes?
(Woof in Advertising is an occasional feature on ohmidog! that looks at how dogs are used in advertising. For more Woof in Advertising posts, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 26th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, air, airlines, animal, beagle, bogus, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, fake, found, hoax, items, klm, lost, marketing, media, pets, returned, sherlock, travel, woof in advertising
Usually it’s no big deal, but when it’s an airline making the mistakes, and they’re strictly the result of carelessness, we have to wonder a bit.
In this case, the first boo boo came when an Air Canada employee in San Francisco decided that, due to a flight delay, a dog being flown to a new adoptive home in Canada needed a potty break. When he let the Italian greyhound out of his crate, Larry escaped.
Jutta Kulic, while attending a dog show in Sacramento, had dropped Larry off at the San Francisco airport. She zip-tied the crate, and instructed the airline not to open it for any reason. Larry, who belonged to a friend of Kulic’s who died of cancer, was on his way to a new home — or so she thought.
That flight ended up being delayed, and later that night, Kulic received a call from Air Canada telling her Larry had run away.
After talking with Kulic about what had happened, CBS13 in Sacramento reached out to Air Canada (that’s what TV news people do these days, “reach out”) which generally means sending an email.
That’s when the airline made its second blunder.
The email an airline representative sent to the station, apparently accidentally, wasn’t meant for public consumption. Instead, it was an internal exchange about how to handle the media inquiry:
“I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog,” read the email from Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick. “Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time.”
Later the airline sent another email to the station, this time with the requisite apologies and saying the incident was being investigated.
Kulic said she is afraid she’ll never see Larry, who is brown and white and two years old, again.
But the family in Canada says they’re still hoping he might be found and delivered to them.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, air canada, airlines, airports, animals, canada, dog, dogs, email, government, italian greyhound, larry, loses, lost, mistakes, pets, san francisco, shut down, shutdown, transportation, travel
As we reported last summer, short-snouted dogs run a far higher risk of death when it comes to air travel, with bulldogs heading the list of cargo hold fatalities, according to federal government statistics.
Bulldogs, pugs and other snub-nosed breeds for whom its harder to take in oxygen accounted for about half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years, the data showed.
Since then two air lines have stop accepting bulldogs as passengers, most recently Delta, which based on its review of animal incidents last year, has opted to no longer carry American, English and French bulldogs.
Of the 16 pets that died on Delta flights in 2010, six were bulldogs.
Animal advocates are praising the decision, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“We’re pleased that Delta is being attentive and responsive to the particular animal welfare concerns with bulldogs,” said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States. Shipping pets in cargo holds “really should only be a last resort, when absolutely necessary,” he said.
Other major carriers have restrictions on bulldogs and some other breeds, or decline to carry any pets in their cargo holds. AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines only accept pets that fit in under-seat carriers. American Airlines stopped carrying snub-nosed dogs and cats last November.
Delta had already restricted a wide range of snub-nosed breeds from flying in hot weather, including pit bulls, pugs and Persian cats.
U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that 122 dogs died on airlines from May 2005 to May 2010. Of those, 25 were English bulldogs and six were French bulldogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air lines, air travel, airlines, american bulldogs, animals, bans, breeds, bulldogs, cargo, cargo hold, deaths, delta, dogs, english bulldogs, flying, french bulldogs, health, pets, pugs, restrictions, safety, short, snout, snub-nosed, travel
A shipper last week checked 14 puppies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a flight to Chicago, according to SmartTravel.com. Despite the airline’s policy against carrying pets when outside temperatures are expected to exceed 85 degrees, the puppies were in the cargo hold as temperatures on the tarmac rose to 87 degrees by the time the delayed flight departed.
When the flight arrived in Chicago, the puppies were lethargic and in visible distress. They were taken to a vet’s office, but five died initially and two others died later, according to the Associated Press.
The airline declined to identify the shipper, or the breed of the puppies. Animals traveling as cargo on American must be at least eight weeks old, and the airline doesn’t allow dogs or cats that have been sedated.
An airline spokesperson said cargo holds carrying animals are routinely kept between 50 and 70 degrees.
But experts — and statistics — say we shouldn’t count on that.
The deaths come a month after the U.S. Department of Transportation warned that short-snouted dogs such as pugs and bulldogs accounted for about half of the 122 dogs that died during U.S. flights in the last five years.
Add in the tales of dogs getting lost at airports and the best advice is to, whenever possible, avoid shipping a pet as air cargo. There are other alternatives — from using Pet Airways, where pets ride in crates in the cabin, to driving, as Ed Perkins of SmartTravel.com notes in a recent column.
The ASPCA recommends that owners avoid shipping pets in the cargo hold, and offers these tips for those who can’t.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, american, american airlines, animals, cargo, cargo hold, chicago, deaths, died, dogs, fly, flying, heat, pets, puppies, pups, short, snouts, temperatures, transportation, travel, warning
Josiah Allen and Erin Docking were sitting on the beach in Puerto Vallarta when the small white dog came up, sat down next to them and stayed all day long.
By the time their 10-day vacation ended, the couple had determined to take the dog, who they’d named Paco, back to Canada.
They filled out paperwork, took him to a veterinarian for treatment of an eye infection and tick infestation, and paid to get him the necessary shots.
But on their flight home, Delta Airlines somehow lost the dog, the Detroit News reported.
On May 3, the couple placed Paco in a pet carrier and flew from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City. At the airport there, they ran into trouble getting approval for Paco to fly to Detroit. Airline officials questioned whether the carrier was large enough for Paco but approved him for the flight once Allen signed a waiver protecting Delta from any claims if the dog was injured.
When Allen and Docking arrived in Detroit, Paco was nowhere to be found.
“After waiting around for two hours, they told us (Paco) was in Mexico City and would be flown in on the next flight,” said Allen, 19, a kinesiology student at the University of Waterloo.
But Paco — described as a mix between a “wiener dog and a Jack Russell terrier” — didn’t arrive the next day, and hasn’t since.
After Allen went public with the story, Delta officials called and offered to cover the expenses he’d incurred with Paco and throw in some extra cash, Allen said.
“Our staff has conducted exhaustive searches to locate the dog,” Delta officials said in a statement. “We have been in contact with the dog’s owner to inform them of the situation and to offer our sincere apologies that we have been unable to recover the dog…”
Some reports say Paco broke out of his cage at the airport and ran away — meaning he may once again be a stray, only this time in Mexico City rather than Puerto Vallarta.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airline, airlines, airport, animals, beach, canada, canadian, couple, delta, dog, erin docking, flight, home, josiah allen, mexican, mexico, mexico city, news, ohmidog!, paco, pets, puerto vallarta, rescue, rescued, stray, travel, vacation